Book Review: Cinder

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)
Published By: Feiwel & Friends/Puffin Books
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2012
Page Count: 387
Source: Purchased by reviewer
Genre: YA/Sci-Fi

Cinder is known as the best mechanic in New Beijing, so when Prince Kai's android breaks down, he seeks her out. As a cyborg, Cinder is unwanted and unloved by all but her step-sister Peony, so when Peony falls sick with the plague, Cinder is devastated. She has a chance to help find a cure for the plague, and spend more time with Prince Kai, or she could escape New Beijing and the prejudice she faces.

I thoroughly enjoyed this creative retelling of the Cinderella story. As a mechanic, she still did the dirty jobs and got covered in muck and grime, and her status as a cyborg (generally thought less than human by polite society) reduced her status in the family. There are multiple points of view in the story, with Prince Kai and Dr. Erlund, who is working on a cure for the plague, each getting their own chapters.

I loved Cinder's voice, her attitude and her determination to overcome the limits placed on her by society. She is loyal and brave and sometimes a little bit stupid, but in the best possible way. 

Kai is burdened by his position as heir to the throne and all that comes with it, but he is lovely and dreamy and just *sigh*.

Iko, Cinder's android best friend, is fabulous. A "fault" in her personality chip makes her more human than android, and she's a great companion to Cinder.

This isn't a straight retelling of the fairy tale, there are definitely points that correspond, but there are many differences as well. Cinder doesn't have a fairy godmother to put things right for her, in fact there's an evil queen determined to see her dead. Cinder needs to stand up for herself and make things happen. No one hands her a pumpkin coach, she builds her own. This independence and determination is what I liked most about Cinder.

The big reveal was a bit obvious from early on, but that didn't detract from the story at all.

This is a great start to the series.


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.