This Series Spotlight features one of our favourite series from the last few years, The Lunar Chronicles.
|1. Cinder – Jan 2012||2. Scarlet – Jan 2013||3. Cress – Jan 2014||4. Winter – Nov 2015|
|3.5. Fairest – Jan 2015||Collected short stories – Feb 2016|
Cinder was first published in 2012, and since then has gained a huge following of Lunartics around the world.
From the Goodreads blurb:
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.
While the first book was a loose retelling of Cinderella, the other books in the series retell other tales: Scarlet is based on Little Red Riding Hood, Cress is based on Rapunzel, and Winter is (very loosely) Snow White. On top of that, though, there are other interesting little tales woven in that make this story really unique and brilliant. It’s essentially a story about a rebellion to overthrow an evil regime, and prevent war on both Earth and the Moon. Despite often grisly violence, there is plenty of levity between the characters which makes this story feel a lot lighter than its subject material suggests.
Of course, being YA there is romance involved, but not just one romance – there is a different couple in each book. They are all very sweet, hetero and quite perfect romances, which may turn some people off, but the relationships between all characters were just gorgeous, not just within the couples. I can’t decide whether my favourite character is Cinder herself, or Carswell Thorne. I mean, I love all of them, but Cinder is the quintessential revolutionary leader, while still managing to be an awkward teenage girl. Thorne is just awesome – snarky, dashing and not at all humble, like a spacey Flynn Ryder.
The pacing of this series is fast and furious, making the huge page total feel like a fast read, especially in Winter. I am so glad that I re-read the whole series before starting Winter. The detail that has gone into the construction of this story is fantastic and when you read them all back-to-back you get a real sense of the inter-weaving fairytale themes. There are casual mentions of characters in earlier books that we don’t meet until much later, and then Winter just ties them all nicely together in an epic conclusion. Also, I’d recommend reading Fairest before Winter as it gives a better understanding of how Queen Levana got so twisted and messed up, plus some Winter & Jacin background.
I was very sad to reach the end of the journey with these characters, but I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for whatever Marissa Meyer is up to next!
If the idea of fairytale retellings with a sci-fi twist appeals to you, get a hold of this series – you won’t be disappointed.