Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Series: The Lunar Chronicles

Author: Marissa Meyer
Book One: Cinder

Pages: 387
Rating: PG
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.

My Thoughts: I was totally hooked on this book. I was a little wary at first, just because there have been SO MANY retellings of the various fairy tales that I wasn't sure how this would compare. However, the author manages to connect the stories only vaguely. What Cinder has in common with Cinderella is the fact that she is an orphan being raised by someone who is not her mother and who treats her like a servant, she has no father figure, and two stepsisters, she falls in love with a prince, and she goes to a ball, where she dances with said prince. Everything else in the story is completely different. First of all, the story is set WAY in the future. Not exactly sure when since they have a new year counting system. It's after World War 4. People have colonized the moon and gained mystical powers from living there that are quite dangerous to those living on earth. Unfortunately, Queen Levana, from the moon, wants to take over Earth. Emperor Kai is trying his best not to let that happen, but in order to do that, he must find Princess Selene, the rightful ruler of the moon people, who most believe burned in a fire as a baby. 

When Cinder is volunteered for vaccine testing for the plague that kills her sister, she discovers that she has a rare immunity. This fact reveals other secrets about her past, which Cinder doesn't know. She remembers nothing before the surgery that made her a cyborg at age 11. Cinder's story doesn't end with happily ever after. At least, not yet. At the end of this book, Cinder is in a life-threatening situation, and nowhere near romantic happiness. Her story continues in the next book in the series, Scarlet. I am very excited to see where all this goes.  

Book 2: Scarlet
Pages: 452
Rating: PG-13
Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison—even though she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive if she does—in this second installment from Marissa Meyer.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother, or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana.
My Thoughts: Scarlet was definitely more violent and intense than Cinder, and also more complicated because you are switching back and forth between Scarlet's story and Cinder's story. I really liked how the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood was worked into the story in an interesting way. Scarlet lives with her grandmother, who is kidnapped by what seems to be a pack of wolf. One member of the pack offers to help Scarlet find her grandmother. What remains to be seen is whether this wolf is trustworthy or not. (The answer IS in the book, but I'm not going to tell you.) 

I was definitely intrigued by this story as well. I thought the writing was very good and it was incredibly imaginative. I liked that Scarlet gets to sort of have a happily ever after by the end of this book, even though we are still waiting for Cinder to find her happy ending. I assume that won't happen for a while. Also, my one annoyance with this was how Twilight-esque Scarlet and Wolf's relationship was.   


Book 3: Cress
Pages: 550
Rating: PG-13

In this third book in Marissa Meyer's bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

My Thoughts: This series still has me hooked. I absolutely love how the author works in the essential elements from the original fairy tales. However, it's never something you expect. I was completely surprised at every turn, but then when I thought about it, I realized each surprise was not really a surprise at all. Nearly every major plot twist connects back to the original stories. I love how Meyers still manages to surprise me even when she's telling an extremely well-known story. 

I feel like I can't say too much more without giving plot points away and I don't want to do that. This book was so far the longest, but I really enjoyed it. I will say that the books are getting more violent every time, and there is some torture in this book. I like that the romance is kept to a minimum, and about the only thing anyone ever does is kiss, so it's very clean. And there's no language to speak of. That's always a plus. 

Book Four: Winter

Pages: 823
Rating: PG-13

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won't approve of her feelings for her childhood friend--the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn't as weak as Levana believes her to be and she's been undermining her stepmother's wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that's been raging for far too long.
 My Thoughts:
Loved the conclusion to this series! I read it so quickly! I'm still not the bigest fan of the relationship between Scarlet and Wolf (it's a little Twilight-esque) but everything else was great. The ending was good and not totally predictable and I really enjoyed how everything worked out. This was such a good series and I can see them turning it into movies soon! (That would be cool). This  book was violent because it's when the revolution finally happens, but I didn't feel like it was as graphic in the descriptions as some of the other books. That's all I can say. I can't ruin it!