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Book Review: Cinder

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: January 3, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Reviewer: Lyanna
Rating: 3.5 stars


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.

4 stars are for books that I extremely like but were not perfect. So in a sense, I really liked this book, not quite in the “extreme” level.

Cinder was a surprisingly delightful read. I will not lie, when I heard of it, I was apprehensive. A cyborg? The thought sent shudders. Besides, I’m not all too happy with reading a re-telling of a fairytale I know by heart. But more and more, I’ve been getting recommendations from friends and colleagues that it became apparent that I must read this book, and so I did.

When you hear Cinderella, blue gowns, blonde hair, missing shoes and dancing rats come to mind. The ever-popular rags-to-riches story strings along in every re-telling and Cinder is no different.

I appreciated how there's more to it than only Cinder, Meyer also payed attention to the political tensions, power-struggles and impending war. She noted on the state of their economy, the people's opinions of their government, the inside story to a monarch's rule, the discriminatory relationships between social classes. Cinder is a far cry from the typical children's fairytale but doesn't fall short in teaching it's readers some morals.  

Plot development, though was not “bad”, was neither “good”. It wasn't, how do I say this, challenging. Everything was served in a silver platter, so to speak, nothing surprised me, it was almost as if there wasn't any effort in concealing it's poorly developed plot-twists. 


What it lacks in plot-development, however, makes up for in its characters. Cinder is a strong, resourceful, diligent and reasonable girl-cyborg-whatever, she's got a weird sense of humour, carries a wrench around and isn't afraid to use it. Against all odds, what with her societal position, she's learned how to accept herself and to screw anyone who doesn't. 

She's a refreshing new take on Cinderella, a modern, up-to-date, relatable young woman who I'd feel more comfortable looking up to than the girl with blonde hair, a blue gown, and a missing shoe. 

Unfortunately, different can be said about Prince Kai, he was just like any other “prince” I've read about. He’s charming, handsome, kind, and is obviously “not what he seems,” He's the technical definition of a prince and it's boring. I want something new, Prince Kai is a recycled prince who's got Chinese heritage, perhaps that's the only defining factor to him -- he's Chinese. 

My favorite character would be Iko. The best parts were when Iko was oblivious to the tension and most times I forget that Iko isn’t even human, but it doesn’t stop me from loving her (or it), like she was one.

Cinder was a fun read, albeit the frustrating need to reach into the book and strangle Adri.


Overall, liked it, I wouldn’t go so far as love but I enjoyed it and would look forward to reading the next with the hopes that it will outshine its predecessor. 


Yes, I would. If you like the whole “commoner falls in love with the Prince and vise versa,” theme, then this book is for you. If you feel queasy about half-robot half-humans, then you might want to steer clear of it. However, it is a good read, definitely could’ve been better, but not bad nonetheless. And for the record, Cinder does Cinderella justice. 

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