Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Five Word Summary

Bohemian, grainy, lively, jaunty, touching.


  • YA lovers of urban fantasy
  • Possibly lovers of steampunk fantasy


This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.

A forbidden romance.
A deadly plague.
Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

My Thoughts

I adored the concept put together by Meyers. It is fresh and unique. Cinder is definitely not your typical, come-rescue-me-Cinderella. She’s a talented mechanic who also happens to be a cyborg which also makes her a sub-class citizen of New Beijing. She has learned the only person she can truly rely on is herself–(well, that and her robot mate, Iko). When you combine this with a decent dose of self-loathing, you have an interesting character who you just know is going to fall down and get up many times.

The story comes complete with a wicked stepmother and two stepsisters, but here Cinder veers from the original tale because one step sister is sweet and loves Cinder while the other is a snotty brat who hates Cinder.

Throw Prince Kai into the mix, an evil Lunar queen and a deadly global pandemic, and we get a great story.

Sadly, however, I didn’t love the book enough to want to read the next book in the Lunar Chronicles. Although, I think that says more about my personal tastes–preferring epic fantasy over urban fantasy–because the writing is great and the story utterly unique. I also found Prince Kai a little … pathetic. I have a weakness for strong male fantasy heroes and while the foundations of strength were there for Kai, I thought him a little lacklustre.

All in all, a fun story with a few giggles and a few heartstring tugging moments. If you like urban fantasy with a difference, you’ll no doubt love Cinder.


I’ve added a new section to my reviews because, well, COVER LOVER! (shoots hand into the air like a five-year-old who wants to go to play time early). I mean, I know so many readers who are the same, and will buy a book simply because the cover is gorgeous.

The cover for Cinder is perfect. Like the story, it is unique and instantly recognisable. Very nice artistry.

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