Monday, 24 June 2013

Review - Cinder by Marissa Meyer (and audiobook sampler!)

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

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.

Amazon UK

I loved Cinder. I thought the reinterpretation of the fairy tale worked really well without making the plot predictable, and the concept of the Lunar Chronicles series is incredibly creative! Cinder is a sixteen-year-old cyborg working as a mechanic in New Beijing, one of the six Earthen empires into which Earth’s countries have been split following the fourth world war. Technology has advanced to the point at which androids are employed as servants, and cyber-technology can be used to save lives. However, her status as a cyborg gives Cinder few options in life, and when she is given a job by Prince Kai, heir to the Emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth, the last thing she wants is for him to discover she is part machine.

Meanwhile, a devastating plague threatens the Commonwealth, and hope for a cure may lie with Earth’s enemies, the Lunars, headed by the ruthless Queen Levana. She wants to marry Kai in order to have the empire under her control, and the heir to the throne finds himself torn between saving his realm through a marriage to the evil queen, and pursuing the girl he’s truly falling for: Cinder.

This was a real page-turner, and the sci-fi world is detailed and complex with just enough information given to immerse the reader in the story. I like the subtle links to other fairy tales and to how the saga is going to develop as a whole. I love the concept, love the characters, and overall this is the best – and certainly the most imaginative – fairy tale retelling I’ve read recently. I’m going to have to read the next book, Scarlet (based on Little Red Riding Hood!) now! 

Rating: ****

The lovely people at Macmillan have sent me a sample of the audiobook to share with you guys! Have a listen here:


  1. I love the Lunar Chronicles. So happy you are reading them before Cress releases. I have an interview with Marissa Meyer if you are interested :-) I completely agree that the retelling works perfectly here. Great review!

    My Friends Are Fiction

    1. That's awesome! Thanks for letting me know :)

  2. I'm glad you enjoyrd it! Scarlet is great - because it doesn't just focus on the new characters but we get to see what happens to Cinder next.

    1. I loved, Scarlet, too, probably even more than Cinder! :)

  3. I've always seen nothing but praise for Cinder. I really need to get around to snagging my own copy of this book sometime!

    1. It's worth reading - one of the best fairytale retellings I've read for a while!