Review: Cinder – Lunar Chronicles

From Marissa Meyer’s Website

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.

Marissa Meyer’s Cinder

Read this if you love…

  • Fairy tale retellings
  • dystopian save the world stories
  • a longer series with many lead characters

My Review

What I loved

I love that this is a fairy tale retelling, complete with cruel stepmother and stepsisters, dead father, but set in a future dystopian world. Cinder is a cyborg, meaning she is missing her foot and hand, and has implants all over her body. In this world she is a disposable citizen, made more so because of the plague that ravages the world. 

I love the dynamic between Cinder and Prince Kai. They clearly have a connection that seems to make her someone he can talk to, in a world full of people he has to be perfect around. You almost believe that they could be friends if it wasn’t for the status divide between them. I also love the fact that it’s set in new Beijing, and the characters are all multi racial. Cinder is clearly portrayed as asian in description, yet she is from France, where her father brought her into the family.

What I didn’t love

First, the last line is a bit of a betrayal. The book ends before she has any real shot at protecting her world’s future.

Second, I read this book about a world ravaged by a pandemic, during a pandemic, and this isn’t something I would normally do. I usually want escape from my books, not to be reminded how close to oblivion we might be. But if you do search for that kind of emotional outlet, you might not mind.

Third, I was kind of hoping that this book was more sci-fi dystopian than it is. With the lunar people’s ability, including the lunar queen’s ability to brainwash everyone, it’s a little more mystical than sci-fi, though it is explained heavily in the description. It serves the plot.

My Analysis


3rd close past, Cinder, dr. Elrond, Prince Kai.


External: Society Genre (over arching theme on the who series)
Global Values: Impotence / Personal Power
Core Emotion: Intrigue
Controlling idea:  To save society, you might have to choose the benefit of all over your own personal freedom.

Internal: Status
Global Values: Failure or Success
Core Emotion: Admiration or Pity


Violence: Limited.
Gore: Limited Gore, but Cinder is a Cyborg, and they aren’t shy about people who are dying of the plague.
Romance: Clean, pining.
Series: 1st in Lunar Chronicles series
Reality Clover: Sci-fi / Fantasy – Futuristic

Reference Info