[Book Review #26] Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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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.

Book Specifications:

Author: Marissa Meyer

Format: Hardbound

Part of a Series: Yes. The Lunar Chronicles #1.

Release Date: January 3, 2012

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

No. of Pages: 390 pages

Price: 810.00Php

Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy, Retelling, Romance, Fiction, Science Fiction, Fairytale, Fairytale Retelling, Young Adult

Book Review:

The Cover: Basically, the cover features a transparent foot with cyborg parts found inside to educate readers that in this book, the female protagonist is indeed, a cyborg. Two-thumbs up for this cover, not to mention the regal font style! (5 out of 5 stars)

The Story: As some of you may already know, this novel, which is the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series, is a fairy tale retelling of our favorite story of all-time, Disney’s Cinderella. The story revolved around the life of Linh Cinder, a cyborg who has metal for body parts, in a place called New Beijing. It started on a day in her booth in their local market when she was visited by Prince Kai to ask her to fix his personal android. The story the progressed and it actually was reminiscent of the old-fashioned fairy tale. Below are some scenes that absolutely moved me.

  • The scene where Linh Adri, Cinder’s cruel stepmother, gave her up to allow the scientists of the Eastern Commonwealth to conduct experiments on her really pissed me off. Don’t get me wrong, me getting pissed over this scene is a good thing. It just shows that Marissa Meyer’s that good of an author for hooking me up with her book when I’m only a few chapters in. It was extremely unfair for our protagonist since she was just the household’s cyborg, she had no say on the situation. She can’t control her stepmother giving her up. My heart broke for her on this scene.
  • Cinder’s rather cute friendship with Dr. Erland was interesting. When Cinder entered the Commonwealth’s labs, she had no idea that she would make a friend in Dr. Erland. After having my heart broken with the previous scene, it gave me joy that Cinder, no matter how much she didn’t want to have scientists conduct experiments on her, was going to be alright. This was the scene that opened my eyes to the fact that reading this novel was like riding an emotional roller coaster.
  • Peony’s death was yet another heartbreaking scene! Towards the beginning of the story, Peony was introduced as Cinder’s only friend in their household. With that said, I had an instant attachment with her. But when she died of the plague that was spreading all through out New Beijing, despite Cinder’s efforts to administer the cure,  it really broke my heart (AGAIN!). At this point, my heart has been broken twice, and I wasn’t even halfway through with the book.
  • Queen Levana’s brief encounter (staring encounter) with Cinder, was one of my favorite scenes in the book. When Queen Levana worked her glamour to appease to the citizens of the Eastern Commonwealth, and it didn’t work on Cinder, I thought that was an amazeballs scene. Don’t you think so? It empowered Cinder for me, and it showed me that even though our protagonist, being a cyborg and all, is flawed, she still has an edge.
  • The ball scene is too much for words. I loved every moment of the ball, where Cinder arrived wearing Peony’s supposed-to-be dress, where Prince Kai rescued Cinder from the clutches of her stepmother, and the action scene that took place right after Queen Levana finally discovered Cinder. Good gracious, that’s one scene I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

All in all, I am proud to say that I am exceedingly happy with the story of this book. It’s a great start to the Lunar Chronicles series. (5 out of 5 stars)

The Ending: *This part is filled with spoilers. I suggest you skip this part if you don’t want to cry later on.*  I AM SO STOKED AFTER FINDING OUT THAT CINDER IS PRINCESS SELENE!!!! After the hype that got built about the lost princess, I am so stoked for Cinder and I honestly cannot wait to read about what’s next for her. And I appreciated Princess Selene’s small character background from Dr. Erland, explaining Cinder why she became cyborg after the fire. But seriously. I didn’t expect this at all. And I loved every single word of the ending! (5 out of 5 stars)


The Verdict: Cinder is a great book to start the Lunar Chronicles series. Surely, after such a great book, I will be more enthusiastic and hyped to read the next book in the series, Scarlet, which is a fairy tale retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Stay tuned! (5 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.”

“Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”

“Prince Kai! Check my fan, I think I’m overheating.”

“Do your kind even know what love is? Can you feel anything at all, or is it just… programmed?”

“That you prefer to rule through fear rather than justice? So sorry, Your Majesty, I’m afraid I already knew that about you.”

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