My good bloggy friend Jean has been insisting that I read this series for so long that it was bordering on absurd that I hadn’t taken her advice yet. I’m a dystopian YA novel junkie and most people who know me, know this.
Jean assured me that this would be the next series I just absolutely lost it over and she was so right. So now I need to share the love and insist that you read the books immediately. Like seriously, go away and don’t come back until you are done with book one, Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I’ll wait.
The premise is fairly simple: It’s a retelling of Cinderella where the poor step daughter turned maid that we know so well happens to be a cyborg in a sort of post-apocalyptictic post-Asian society called the Commonwealth. The people of the Commonwealth along with the rest of the world have one awesome thing going for them – world peace. Seriously, they finally made it happen. Their reward? A horrible plague with no cure. Also did I mention that Cinderella is a cyborg?
Parts of the story will feel familiar – Meyers strings back to the original tale often – but this is not the Cinderella that Disney or the Grimm brothers have told us about. The story is complex and complicated and hard to explain without giving major things away. The characters are deeply described and really do come alive as you are reading. This is one of those awesomely compelling stories that will have you ignoring the dishes, laundry, bills, children, pets, responsibility in its entirety until you finish. Luckily, it’s a fairly short book. I inhaled it in roughly three sittings and I don’t have a lot of time to read. It leaves on a cliff hanger that makes it obvious that more books will follow but still manages to give the story at hand a satisfying enough ending.
Book two is Scarlet. The first thing you are going to notice is that there is a new narrator. At first you will probably be a little miffed. Who the heck is this chick and where did Cinder go? There was, like, important stuff going on that needs clearing up. Also Scarlet is a super drama queen who is a little obsessed with her grandmother. But then you realize that, duh, Scarlet is Little Red Riding Hood. (or maybe you are a smarty pants and realized this immediately based off the cover – shut up).
Two things happen next: The first is that, no worries, Cinder has chapters of the book to narrate as well – and so does Prince Kai. And there are other fun new characters to meet as well. Namely, one Carswell Thorne. You’re going to love him. And let’s not forget, the big bad wolf. He’s there, too. And only occasionally big and bad. The plot thickens in book two as all sequels tend to do. Everything you understood in book one is now thrown off kilter as new rules are introduced and new stories.
The second thing that happens is that you notice there is a terrific amount of cross reference happening where you kind of sense things about to happen because you read fairy tales as a small child and then when everything comes full circle it’s super satisfying. You will feel like a genius a few times. Other times you will sob in despair and get angry ranty face about things. And occasionally you might think “Good gracious, you ladies are boy crazy. You do know you basically just met him, right? Teenagers are WEEEEIIIIRD.” And then you will realize how old you are and have an existential crisis about it.
Even though you honestly didn’t love book two quite as much as the original, you are still at the edge of your seat going “MORE MORE MORE!!!” when it’s over and have already downloaded and begun reading book three even though you still need to make dinner.
In book three we officially meet Cress who has technically appeared in the story already. Luckily we are now used to the shifting narrator deal so when she starts the book off it’s not surprising. Even better? You love this one immediately. She’s basically the best. Ever. After mere minutes you are a devoted bestie and rooting for Cress like there is no tomorrow.
The cast of characters continues to flesh out in book three and we even learn a little more about the big bad villians. Things are really ramping up now in the main story arc and the whole book feels like a climactic ending in some ways – but the smaller stories are still equally compelling and indulgent and thoroughly enjoyable.
Truth be told, book three might be the best in the series so far. Meyer has really come into her own and fleshed out an amazing story. You are going to find yourself thinking about this world she has created so often. You won’t be able to hear, see or think about the moon, wolves or fairy tales the same way ever again. By now you are officially bugging literally everyone you know about these books. Like “Thanks for the mail, mailman, by the way have you read Cinder by Marissa Meyer?” and “I’d like to order a small pepperoni pizza and a side of garlic bread and also you have to read The Lunar Chronicles immediately. Stop making my food and read the book!! We have much to discuss. Where is my pizza?”
Then something horrible happens. Book three ends when stuff is just getting seriously good and you find out that you have to wait until November 10th 2015 to read the next one, Winter. Seriously Marissa Meyer? Are you trying to destroy me? Savvy fans will note that there are several “bridge books” that we can fill the void with (Fairest, Glitches, The Queen’s Army, The Little Android and Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky) whilst we tap our foot impatiently and twitch like the little book junkies we are in between each fix. A lot of these are available for free at Wattpad. Or check out Marissa’s website.
So let’s just make this official: Hello my name is Jennifer and I’m addicted to the Lunar Chronicles. It’s been three minutes and seventeen seconds since I last downloaded a book by Marissa Meyer…