Review: Cinder (Marissa Meyer)



Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

Although eager to impress the prince, Cinder’s intentions are derailed when her younger stepsister, and only human friend, is infected with the fatal plague that’s been devastating Earth for a decade. Blaming Cinder for her daughter’s illness, Cinder’s stepmother volunteers her body for plague research, an “honor” that no one has survived.

But it doesn’t take long for the scientists to discover something unusual about their new guinea pig. Something others would kill for.

I hate to break this, but this is one of my first few books of Fantasy (I read this back in January 2016). Other than Contemporary, I usually read Dystopian such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, Red Queen etc. I sort have joined into the bandwagon to read more Dystopian when book to movie adaptations were introduced.

The first retelling that I read was The Wrath and The Dawn by the lovely Renee Ahdieh back in October 2015. I absolutely loved that story! Her story made me certain that I really have to give retellings a chance.


Linh Cinder (main character) is actually a cyborg, means she is half human and half mechanical. Cyborgs are people who have faced severe accidents in the past thus they need to require prosthetic body parts in order for them to function. Although she is not fully a robot, you could see her thinking with fast speed and working like it. She has this control panel (if that makes sense) in her brain to search and query for stuffs that she needs to know right away.

She is the best mechanic in the futuristic city called New Beijing, the capital of Eastern Commonwealth. We don’t really get to see Fantasy stories set in Asia or other than America. But this time, BOOM! We got one! That made me even more excited to experience their culture and believing.

She also has a stepmother named Linh Adri and two step sisters, Linh Peony and Linh Pearl. Adri and Pearl regularly will degrade Cinder but Peony develops a sisterly connection with her.

So one day, her being Cinderella, met his ‘prince charming’ in her own mechanic stall in New Beijing. The prince charming is called Prince Kai, the crown prince of Eastern Commonwealth. Kai asked Cinder to repair his broken personal android named Nainsi. Cinder later developed feelings for the prince.

This story is even more interesting as the Earth countries has to make political alliances and connection to the government of Luna (Moon), led by an evil queen named Queen Levana. That is because Luna has the antidote to stop Letumosis, also known as ‘Blue Fever’ that has killed thousands of Earth people. Alliances will be agreed by the form of marriage between Prince Kai of Eastern Commonwealth and Queen Levana of Luna. However, Kai at first was reluctant to marry Levana because he wanted to find to the true heir of Luna and investigate about the lost of Princess Selene.

Cinder was ‘given’ to Dr. Erland, a head researcher by her step mother as a form of experiment to check either she is immune to the Letumosis strain or not. Turns out that she is immune to the strain because she is apparently a Lunar.

Cinder was warned by an unknown girl, that Levana wants to kill Kai after their marriage, in order her to fully control the Earth. Cinder intended to tell Kai about Levana’s wishes but unfortunately her cyborg identity was revealed. She was caught in prison and all that she wants now is to reveal the truth. The story ended with a cliffhanger and you will find yourself straight away jump to the second book!

This story is not a mediocre type of Cinderella. Meyer’s touch to this story gives a refreshing plotline with a twist of the futuristic world, love, adventure and politics. It is also easy to grasp, with intricate explanations about the characters and their story.

Starting as the first book of four for The Lunar Chronicles, I think this is pretty excellent book to start with. As for someone who already finished this entire series, this is one of the best retellings I’ve read so far for YA! Even though the base plot of each stories are expectable, each of her characters are very unique and bring radiance to the series.

I would love to recommend this story to Dystopian, Fantasy, Sci-Fi junkies out there! Don’t be hesitant to read this book, because it is really good! It is not your average Fantasy book!






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