Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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 wasn’t originally intending to review this, but…. I haven’t read anything else for a couple weeks so here we are! lol

This is technically a reread, but it’s been so long since I originally read it that I didn’t really remember anything that happened. I knew that Cinder was a cyborg and stuff happened involving the moon. That was it. As I started reading, a few things came back to me, but not a whole lot. I’m a little scared to share my thoughts since it is such a beloved book in the community, but everyone’s allowed their own opinions. lol

I didn’t dislike this book. I liked it. I just didn’t love it. I was torn between rating it between 3 and 4 stars, but ultimately decided on 3 stars.

I remember the first time reading this that I couldn’t figure out where it was set. I know it was New Beijing, but WHERE was New Beijing? For some reason, I didn’t connect the dots with the fact that it was where the current Beijing is (at least I think so…). I think the world-building needed a bit more. I could picture a decent amount of the market place and the junkyard and the medical portion of the palace, but that’s about it. I couldn’t picture the city as a whole or any of the transportation or the apartment or any of the other locations. That made it hard for me to connect with the story – if I can’t picture where it’s all going on, it’s not believable for me. (obviously this is fantasy, but with the right world-building fantasy can be believable)

For the most part I liked Cinder. She tried to not let people walk all over her and tried to do the right thing for those she cared most about. I didn’t like how she reacted to a lot of things. Either she was overly emotional or very flat – it made it hard to gauge what she was feeling and didn’t seem realistic. She also rolled with the punches (aka plot twists) a little too smoothly. There was minimal disbelief and with her other emotional response it seemed out of character. Things just didn’t quite add up for me. I also wasn’t a fan of how much she thought down of herself. I really hope she starts to love herself more in future installments.

I really enjoyed some of the side characters and was indifferent on some of the others. I LOVED Iko. I just… I loved her and I am so sad about what happened with her, but I hope we see her back in the sequels. I also really liked Levana. She was the quintessential villain and I’m excited to see more of her story. I liked Kai okay. I never really felt the spark between him and Cinder, but I didn’t dislike him. Doctor Erland was one that I was pretty indifferent with. He seemed pretty flat to me. I don’t know why he wasn’t completely honest each time with her, but was always leaving out some key piece of information.

Overall, I enjoyed it, but I feel like it could have been more. I will definitely read the sequel – after that cliff hanger how can I not?! I think it’s a retelling everyone should read. It’s far enough away from the original, but still has the major elements. It’s quite refreshing (from a retelling point of view) and one to definitely check out! (if you haven’t already lol)


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