Cinder by Marissa Meyer


By Marissa Meyer

4 **** = Can recommend; Great; Overall enjoyable

Confession: I’m not sure I’ve ever seen “Cinderella” before. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the animated Disney version of “Cinderella” before. I have seen the Whitney Houston produced “Cinderella.” Brandy. Victor Garbor. Jason Alexander. Whoopi Goldberg. Instant hit. Obviously.

Doesn’t Hillary Duff have a “Cinderella-like” movie too? Pretty sure I’ve seen that. I like the classics.

I blame Disney vault. I was more of a “Beauty and the Beast,” and “Aladdin” kind of girl, and by the time I wanted to see “Cinderella,” it was locked away – maybe forever – feels that way at least.

But I do love a good fairy tale – especially tripped-out futuristic retellings of fairy tales.

“Cinder,” by Marissa Meyer is just that.

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. (Synopsis from Goodreads).

Cinderella meets Terminator meets Star Wars. Loved it.

It’s dystopian, steam punk, and science fiction all wrapped up in one. There’s a dashing and unusually kind prince, a wicked stepmother who rivals Angelica Houston (“Ever After”) for being meanest mom EVER, an extravagant ball, and a prosthetic foot that gets “lost.” *hint*hint*

Yes, it’s a tad predictable, but totally fun to draw the subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle similarities between it and the classic.

Plus there’s the added spin of a deadly plague taking over this futuristic earth, not to mention an alien race that lives on the moon. This adds complexity and just enough intrigue to make it interesting.

I definitely enjoyed this book right up to the very disappointing end. It wasn’t until the last page that I realized that “Cinder” was just the first of four books – the second installment hitting stores in 2013. Poop.

I guess I’ll have to wait MUCH longer to see how the story of “Cinder” ends. If my previous experience with “Cinderella” is accurate, it will somehow involve a big white wedding with Whitney Houston serenading the kingdom from a glittery cloud floating over the castle. One can only hope.


7 thoughts on “Cinder by Marissa Meyer

  1. Actually, I think the subsequent novels are set in the same world, but follow different fairy tale based characters? If I’m remembering correctly? Still have this on my TBR list…but loved your “Cinderella meets Terminator meets Star Wars” explanation!

    • Just looked at Marissa Meyer’s page (, and it does look that way. The second book seems to be a twist on Little Red Riding Hood. Eeeeek. 🙂 Can’t wait. I hope you like Cinder as much as I did.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it! I love retellings of classic fairy tales! If you’re looking for more, try Entwined by Heather Dixon and Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George. Both are really good and unique retellings of ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses’. Thanks for the review! 🙂

    • I listened to Entwined and thought it was good. Maybe it was because I didn’t know the story of the dancing princesses as well, but it seemed to take a long time for the story to develop. I do love retellings though, one of my favorite types of stories. I kind of felt like Shatter Me was an undercover superhero / XMEN retelling.

      • No, you’re right about it taking a while. I had the same issue. I am very familiar with the story, but I think it’s not very well known. Or maybe just regionally popular.
        I agree about the Shatter Me thing! Nice description!

    • Putting them on hold at the library RIGHT now. 🙂 Thank you so much for the suggestions. Ps – I love your blog. 🙂

      And Gaby, your description of “Shatter Me” just made me super anxious to read it. 🙂

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