Revisiting Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Hello everyone,

Today’s post is a review on Cinder by Marissa Meyer. However, the one thing that makes this review different from some of the others is that I have already reviewed Cinder. In fact, if you have been following my blog from the beginning, it was one my first reviews that I posted (Click here if you would like to read what 2015 me had to say about the book). I thought it would be interesting to revisit Cinder 5 years later and write a review of it, to make sure it isn’t an exact replica of my first review, I have not looked at it before writing this review. When I am done writing it, I think I will write a postscript describing the few differences that I might have since I read it back in 2015.

Cinder is sci-fi/futuristic retelling of the classic Cinderella story. However, in this instance the story is set in what is called New Beijing in the Commonwealth Empire several hundred years in the future. In this world, the moon was colonized centuries ago and is a separate planet from Earth, in fact the Lunars are considered to be pariah in this society because they are typically a cruel and manipulative society. Enter Cinder, a cyborg mechanic who has no memories of the time before she was a cyborg. She lives with her step-mother and two step-sisters, and she is forced to make a living as a mechanic not seeing a penny of what she has earned. One day she gets a surprise visitor at her booth, Prince Kai, the heir to the Commonwealth Empire. After this chance encounter a series of events occur, including the outbreak of a deadly disease in the marketplace, and Cinder eventually being taken in for testing to help discover a cure for the disease. However, over the course of the tests, both Cinder and Dr. Erlander discover that there is more to Cinder than she knows, not only is she a cyborg, she is a Lunar. And the upcoming visit of the Lunar queen, Levana, could be potentially be dangerous for her if she doesn’t disappear. Espcially since there is even more to Cinder than what even Dr. Erland eventually knows.

I really enjoyed my reread of Cinder. Marissa Meyer does a great job of creating a futuristic world that easy to imagine, as well as creating characters the readers both love and hate. And even though I have already read the entire Lunar Chronicles series, I must admit that there were some details that I had completely forgotten about. The main detail being the deadly Letumosis that plagues Earth. It was interesting reading about a fictional pandemic, especially in the midst of a real pandemic. Which as I was reading this I realized that a lot of my favorite YA books have a pandemic sub-plot in them.

One of the elements that is noticeable are the elements from the original Cinderella story that are included, for example Cinder slaves way as a mechanic and often has grime on her in order to earn money for her step-mother to spend on herself and her daughters on frivolous things. Her step-mother is cruel to her, in fact she blames Cinder for the death of her husband, and later on the death of one of her daughters. There is also a ball, where almost everyone is invited to attend, and the original purpose of the ball is for Prince Kai to try and find a bride. However, instead of a fairy godmother, there is a faulty android named Iko that helps get Cinder ready for the ball.

Of course, there are some other fairy tale elements that are evident in Cinder, for example some of the overarching plot of series is a Snow White retelling. Especially when the ultimate bomb is dropped the Cinder is Princess Selene, the lunar princes who has been thought to be dead after a deadly fire broke out in her room, and if Queen Levana discovers that she is alive, she will have to run for her life.

Another topic that is covered in Cinder is that of discrimination. In this world, the people of Earth are extremely prejudiced against Lunars, mainly do tot he fact that they are known to be cruel and master manipulators. However, Cinder is constantly discrimnated against because she is a cyborg and considered to be less than human because she has some mechanical parts. Which also asks the question, which doesn’t fully get answered in this novel, what does it mean to be human? What classifies someone has human? One of the arguments used against Cinder is that part of her heart is a machine that helps keep her alive, but she still has feelings, even if she can’t fully express them due to her cyborg features, for example, if she is embarassed her system immediately alerts her that she is overheating and does what it can to cool her down.

Cinder is an intersting novel, not just because it takes a classic fairy tale like Cinderella and turns it on its head a little bit, but while doing so also covering serious topics like belonging, discrimination, what it means to be human etc. However, it is also a fun read while doing so!

I highly recommend Cinder for those who are interested in YA, fairy tale retellings, as well as just a fun read.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.


One thought on “Revisiting Cinder by Marissa Meyer

  1. Pingback: September Wrap-Up | Meanderings of a BookWorm

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