Book Review: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

I recently did a reread of Marissa Meyer’s Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)I first read it back on its initial release and had completely forgotten about what happened, so I figured a reread was in desperate need before I continued on with the rest of the series. Luckily, it was just as fun as I remembered it being!

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 think by now most people are probably quite familiar with Meyer’s writing style as she’s not some debut author anymore. If you aren’t, Meyer’s strong point is that she can make fantasy and science fiction very accessible. She doesn’t let minute details bog down the story, nor does she churn out overly complex language to explain the world her novels are set in. I feel like a lot of times authors get so caught up in making their world unique that they can lose readers in the process. Luckily, this isn’t something Meyer struggles with. I don’t always want overly flowery language or massive paragraphs explaining the details, sometimes I just prefer things to be kept simple. And Cinder definitely keeps things simple and straightforward. THANK YOU, JESUS!

Can we talk about how high the sass level is in this novel? Every single character has at least one or two perfect comeback moments that I am just in awe of. Cinder is one of my favorite types of heroines. She’s sarcastic, strong-willed, but also has a really soft heart. I loved how strong her relationship was with her stepsister, Peony. You really could feel that she was willing to do whatever it took to ensure her safety. Prince Kai was a fun character as well. His sense of duty really affected his personal emotions and decisions, which I think helped elevate the stakes a bit because you were never sure what he was going to decide to do next. His and Cinder’s interactions were always so cute and witty. I am totally onboard with shipping these two! And Iko… How can a robot be so amazing and probs my favorite character? Because she manages to do it and she’s not even around for long stretches of the book! A robot playing dress-up is a scene that I never knew I needed until I got it. And it was wonderful.

She looked at them, at the three males who meant everything--more than eveRything. Then she SmIled with every last shred of courage, of desperation, of hope for the glimmer of that glorious future. -Lets go rattle .png

The pacing seemed very steady throughout the book. There were only a few sections here and there that I thought were a little slow, but nothing that detracted from my overall enjoyment of the story. The last third of the novel was definitely on overdrive as different things begin to be revealed. I do enjoy a good cliffhanger as well, which Cinder definitely ends on. I thought it was done with just the right amount of tension that leaves you wanting more.

I loved that Meyer chose to go science fiction, rather than typical fantasy for this fairytale retelling. She gave us just enough of the original storyline and yet was able to completely turn around and make it her own. I think my only issue with this book is that I wasn’t at all surprised by the big reveal, nor were there any twists that I didn’t see coming. It was very formulaic in how everything was presented. However, I expect things to deviate more from the norm as the series moves along and I hope for higher stakes in later books. Overall, Cinder was a quick fun read that’s a solid start to this series.

Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars

Have you read Cinder? If so, what did you think of it? Does this series get better with each book? Which character did you enjoy the most? Do you enjoy fairytale retellings?

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Obsessive book reader and blogger. Texas girl. Sports fanatic. Lover of travel, video games, and scented candles. I also just really enjoy sleeping. #noshame

19 thoughts on “Book Review: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)”

    1. Yeah, it was definitely a fun read. I’m in the middle of Scarlet right now and really enjoying it too! I’ve been hearing mixed things about Renegades but I’m gonna stay cautiously optimistic since Heartless got mixed reviews and I loved that book. I hope you have fun tonight!


  1. Great review, and I am so glad you enjoyed Cinder even with this being your second read. I agree I love that Marissa Meyer went the sci-fi route with her fairytale retelling because normally all fairytale retellings are fantasy and it’s nice to see that change. I loved the sass too; Cinder and Kai are definitely one of my OTPs and Iko is probably my favourite character in the whole series!
    I hope you enjoy the rest of this series even more In my opinion the books just got better and better. 😀
    Again great review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Beth! Yeah, I loved the whole science fiction aspect (but I also just love science fiction in general, haha!). I really like Cinder and Kai but now that I’m in the middle of Scarlet, Cinder and Thorne’s back and forth sass is killing me lol. They’re hilarious! Can’t wait to see where this series goes next!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing review, I loved this series so much, and I just love Marissa Meyers writing as well. She makes all the scientific information easy to understand, and I feel that her characters are complex but in a simple way that makes her and the other characters relatable.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that if the characters aren’t great it can ruin a great book, and I also feel the same way for plot.


  3. YES. I completely agree. This was an amazing book, and I can’t wait to see what you think of the rest of the series (in my opinion each book just gets better and better). Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such an amazing world that Cinder lives in and such a great back history… while I really enjoyed the book the actual plot was basically Cinder going to the doctor to give her another piece of info about herself until the end with the Queen… this disappointed me some otherwise it could have been a 5 Star read… I’ve only read this book but I heard it gets better fast! ♥️ Great point about the comebacks and the ease of reading… I loved that about the book too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think Meyer did a great with the world-building aspect. But I can totally see what you mean with the doctor basically giving Cinder all of the information, rather than her finding it out on her own. Luckily, I think some of that was fixed in Scarlet and I think the writing is going to continue getting better with each book. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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