Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Published in: 2012


Cinder by Marissa Meyer summary on Goodreads:

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I was kind of apprehensive before picking up this one. Cinderella was never my favorite, but I pretty much liked the story. So I wasn’t completely convinced that I would like this story so much. A.G. Howard’s Splintered (review to come soon) stuck pretty close to Alice in Wonderland, and I had expected the same of this one, but I am glad that it proved me wrong.


Cinder is the first book of the Lunar Chronicles series, and is set in future, in a world after the World War IV. The countries across the world have converged as an aftermath of the war to create big communities (continents?), and this story takes place in the Eastern Commonwealth, their government set in New Beijing. In the story, human, android and cybrogs live in the same society, and their prime enemy is the lunars, who live on the Moon.

Cinder is a mechanic, and cyborg (human with synthetic parts in her body). She lives with her stepmother Adri and stepsisters, Pearl and Peony, where she is pretty much mentally oppressed. Her only supports at that house are Peony and an android called ‘Iko’. There was no mention of Cinder going to school, so I guess her stepmother never bothered to put her into one. As the story depicts, she works as a mechanic (in fact the best one in town) and helps her stepmother run her family.

The story begins with a critical situation faced by the inhabitants of Beijing, and the introduction to a deadly plague called Letumosis or the Blue Fever, which is probably the main issue in the series. This same plague, in fact, had claimed the life of Cinder’s stepfather five years ago.

Although a cyborg, Cinder is not bereft of human emotions, and has feelings for the Prince of the commonwealth: Prince Kai (from Kaito). Their story gets complicated gradually as the story progresses, and if you want to get a modicum of hint of what happens, just re-read Cinderella. The rest will sure surprise you.

Now, I will stop right there or I will start giving spoilers. Let me just wrap it up saying that there has been a lot of things going on in the story, but they are organized in such a manner that you will not get lost in the pool of information. They are laid out neatly, and the story gets even more interesting with each passing chapter. True, this book is full of too many tragic incidents which claws at the heart from page-to-page, but I am hopeful that all this will be of worth once the series nears its ending.


Cinder is the main protagonist of the story, along with Prince Kai, Lunar Queen Levana and Dr. Erland. Each of the characters came with their own traits and wonders, and I loved each and every one of them. They were developed properly, and even the secondary characters were given enough space to tell their own stories.


Yes, the story ends with a cliffhanger, though not strong enough. But it left me craving for more.

This book was released long ago and I have only gotten the chance to read it. I am not really sure if the novella (Glitches, The Lunar Chronicles #0.5) was the first to release or this novel. I read this novel first and was a little difficult for me to understand the whole concept, especially what Cinder was (what cybrog meant and which parts of her body were prosthetic, etc.). But if you are reading this book now, I would request you to go for the novella first, because it clearly depicts what had happened when Cinder had been turned into a cyborg and how she ended up with Adri.

Marissa Meyer is an awesome writer, and it is an evident that is reflected in every sentence of the story. If you are looking forward to an exciting novel with a dash of sci-fi in it, then Cinder is highly recommended!

My Rating: 5/5

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