Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Series Rating: A fun series that is action packed and sassy

A series that twists the fairy tales we know so well into an amazing sci-fi young adult novel full of action, suspense and interesting characters. Please see most recent review at the bottom of this post.

Rating: An addictive book
Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Publisher: Puffin (January 5, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0141340134
ISBN-13: 978-0141340135

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. This is the tale of Cinderella. Only not like you have heard it before. For starters Cinder is a cyborg and it's the future where there are people living on the moon and hover cars.

I had seen this book around for awhile and to be honest I am generally weary of "buzz" books because more often then not I don't like them. I am happy to say this time I was proved wrong, dead wrong. This book was just a wow book for me, I couldn't put i down, thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. Easily one of my best reads for 2014 (even though it was released a few years back, never mind).

Meyer's has done a wonderful job retelling the Cinderella story but kept it fresh and interesting. I liked the twist of Cinder being a Cyborg and that the Prince was actually more then a bit of beautiful fluff just hanging around waiting for some twit to leave her shoe on his stair case.

Cinder's step (adoptive guardian) and sister are suitable horrible. But I really cant say any more on the characters with out giving the story away.

Don't assume that because you know the Cinderella story that you know what will happen!

There was action, excitement, romance, and witty banter and one liners. While this book is a "light" book it did deal with some heavy topics like discrimination, plague, and moral dilemmas. I found it interesting that Cinder being cyborg showed way more humanity then some of the humans.

Definitely read this if it is on your to be read pile!
Series Post Updated - 11/1/2015

Rating: A fun read and addictive
Age Range: 14 - 18 years
Publisher: Puffin (January 5, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250007216
ISBN-13: 978-1250007216


SCARLET BENOIT'S grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other. Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive - when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana. As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner . . .

So book one Cinder left me hanging for the next book, I HAD to know what happened next. Book two didn't disappoint.

It introduced three new characters and a new fairy tale. We saw the continuation of Cinder's story and her meeting Captain Thorne; who reminded me of Hans Solo in that he was a lovable rogue with a very lose view on laws, quick wit. We are also introduced to Scarlet and Wolf, who are trying to find Scarlett's kidnapped Grandmother.

This book for me was a little darker then Cinder, in that the author shows and describes a few murders and we meet some pretty nasty characters. The action is pretty good and I would be super surprised if this series hasn't been picked up to be turned into a movie.  But let me be clear it doesn't read like a movie script (and some books do) There is still depth there and character development.

We got to see some of Queen Levana's point of view which to me felt a little odd but I can only assume book three will now show some of her "side of the story". Could it be she isn't quite the evil meglomaniac with super powers she has been made out to be? Would be a smidgeon of a shame as she has made a fantastic super villain so far.

I can't wait to start book three!

Rating: A nice addition to the series
Publisher: Puffin (February 6, 2014)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ISBN: 0312642970

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, 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 her army. Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned 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 just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

I can see why some people felt this book was a bit of a let down compared to the first two books. It is slower paced as there is a lot of information being revealed (with out it feeling like to much information in a short period of time) and story arcs being told. There was also some big story developments happening and reveals. Finally it is being told from at least 5 different points of view (I think it may have even been more). To me this slowed the story down a little.

However I still enjoyed this book thoroughly and thought the author did a good job of blending all the points of views, expanding on the story and action. Because there was still action.

Cress is not as sassy as Cinder and Scarlet were, however she will make a good addition to the team going forward through the series.

So I am now hanging out for book 4!

Overall Series thoughts to date
I love the clever blend of fairy tale and sci-fi which to me is so interesting. Also I like that the female characters are really strong role models for young girls (ah cliched I know). But they are. They aren't silly screaming girly heroines who do ridiculously stupid things (like follow a criminal down a dark ally all alone without telling anyone and have no self defence skills or a gun), but they are not ridiculously super powerful beyond their means. They are smart and capable girls who get stuff done. Even the evil Queen who has been shown as a power hungry psycho (well what evil leader trying to take over the world wouldn't be?) has been shown to be very calculating, intelligent and even logical. Even when things went a bit topsy turvey she still managed to manoeuvre a bad situation to her own advantage.

Also I love the cover art for these books. So simple but colourful.

Rating: A good ending to the series
Age Range: 12 - 18 years
Series: The Lunar Chronicles (Book 4)
Hardcover: 832 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (November 10, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312642989
ISBN-13: 978-0312642983

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. Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? 

 I felt Fairest was a bit of a wasted novella. I had no idea if I was supposed to feel more sympathetic or hate her after learning more about Levanna's back story. To be honest I just didn't care enough. The book didn't move me either way. Now in Winter, Levanna's got to put on her evil Queen boots and get her paranoid-psycho-nastiness on again. I enjoyed her way more as a character in this book then in previous books. She is a good baddie, I like her better being a baddie.

This book had a lot of different points of views, and I mean a lot. At least 8 that I can think of while writing this. That is a lot. All these points of views grew over the series as each character was added, in the first book we had Kai and Cinder and then in the second we added Scarlet and Wolf and so on. But in the this book they all converge and it can get a bit much. Luckily there isn't a point of view that I think was not necessary. They all added to the story and helped keep track of what was going down (as there was a lot happening).

Without giving much away I thought the final book managed to wrap up all the story arc's satisfactorily and kept true to their original fairy tale. I did really like Winter and hoped her ending would have been different.

Series Overall Recommendation
Read this series if this is your type of thing. It is a fun and interesting series.

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