Book Series Review : The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

As a confession, the hype is half the reason I’m giving this series a go. Because I could see this book literally everywhere ( and this is not an exaggeration ) almost every bookish community from (probably) all around the continent with different languages and slight different covers posted articles, reviews and stunning shots for this series.

I don’t know what came into me, but there’s this one day where I suddenly decide to give it a go after recent several books that do not quite reach up to my expectation.

Well.. I thought this series did it okay ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


1. Cinder ( The Lunar Chronicles #1 ) by Marissa Meyer

 

Genre : Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance
Page : 400 pages
Published : 3rd January 2012

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— Blurb —

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.

With high-stakes action and a smart, resourceful heroine, Cinder is a Cinderella retelling that is at once classic and strikingly original.

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— MINI REVIEW —

“She was a cyborg, and she would never go to a ball.”

I love how thick the similarities of the retelling with the original Cinderella story. In a way, with more creativity and blood twisted in the retelling.

Cinder is a talented mechanic that is also a cyborg. She lived with her stepmother who despise her every being. Nothing out of the ordinary in Cinder’s life. Until, she was blamed for her stepsister’s illness. Cinder life turn upside down with the false acclaims that eventually bring her closer to the royal palace and eventually, she grows a forbidden attraction towards the well-sought and handsome Prince Kai.

However, the closer and familiar Cinder with the palace and Prince Kai, she found herself tangled more into politics and complicated secret that endangered far more lives than Cinder thought.

This book has every bits of Cinderella important aspects included in the book, like the stepmother, the stepsisters, the lower class situation and the handsome prince. However, it’s so brilliantly twisted with Cinder as a cyborg to begin with, in a world where everyone agreed that cyborg life and rights comes second to any other normal human.

Personally, Cinder is my favourite book in The Lunar Chronicles series, where everything bound to be similar with Cinderella tales but different and complicated at the same time. However, it’s also quite predictable in terms of story line and it has a slow progress. But I very much approved of the book and can’t help myself but to hurried to read the next book!

“I’m sure I’ll feel much more grateful when I find a guy who thinks complex wiring in a girl is a turn-on.”


2. Scarlet ( The Lunar Chronicles #2 ) by Marissa Meyer

Genre : Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance
Page : 454 pages
Published : 5th February 2013

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— Blurb —

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. 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, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

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— MINI REVIEW —

“She did not know that the wolf was a wicked sort of animal, and she was not afraid of him.”

Moving on to the second book.

This time, it’s Scarlet we are talking about with the retelling of Red Riding Hood.

And of course, it includes wolf.

While Cinder is breaking free from prison and force herself allied with another prison-mate— Thorne in search for Cinder’s true identity, in another region, Scarlet is in search for her missing grandmother. Scarlet is a savage and sharp tongue girl from the very start of the book. And so, it’s not a major issues when she come across Wolf— a mysterious, bulky and shy man who has information about her grandmother whereabouts.

This book may be Scarlet’s debut piece, but it also include Cinder’s and tiny bit of Kai’s POV in the book. Although, this book is totally the adventure of Scarlet and Wolf. Even though I love the first book, I found this second book to be too long.

It’s not draggy but it’s too long.

One whole book about Scarlet and the mysterious Wolf venturing places to places in search for her grandmother, with secrets spilled one at a time along their way. Even though I love Cinder more, I like how entertaining this book is! Again, like Cinder, this plot is quite predictable but also unpredictable at times ( with the big fat secrets included! )

“I lied to you about a lot of things….but I meant every apology.”


3. Cress ( The Lunar Chronicles #3 ) by Marissa Meyer

Genre : Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance
Page : 552 pages
Published : 4th February 2014

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— Blurb —

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 higher 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.

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— MINI REVIEW —

“He leaned forward to inspect her closer. “Is that all hair?”

OKAY. OKAY

This is my SECOND favourite book in The Lunar Chronicles series!!!

As Scarlet and Wolf now join forces with fugitives on the run—Cinder and Thorne, they’re set to overthrow the Lunar Queen- Levana  off the throne. But before, they’ve to rescue the imprison satellite girl — Cress who turns out to be the best hacker across Luna. However, when the rescue mission are unlike anything they’re expecting to be, the team got separated.

Meanwhile, the turmoil across the globe is still happening with the price on their head and Queen Levana’s evil scheme to stop at nothing to married the young Emperor Kai.

Obviously, as the title stated, readers will got to know more about Cress— a shy and awkward brilliant young girl, locked and imprison in satellite for years with her long hair just like Rapunzel’s.

Out of the four book, I would say this book has the most different vibe, or— the most complete element out of the four. This book has tension, serious to dying situation, slight crush fairy tale romance, adventure, missions and all, but all are being presented in tiny bits and equal ratio.

Moreover, Cress’s character is so adorable. She’s downright pure and really- there’s no other word to describe her aside from shy, adorable and brilliant. She’s sure is a timid girl but she ain’t weak at all.

And there’s Thorne— the soon to be one of my favourites.

In another words, this book has the most adorable atmosphere out of the four books.

“Wow, when you research, you really research, don’t you?”


4. Winter ( The Lunar Chronicles #4 ) by Marissa Meyer

Genre : Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance
Page : 827 pages
Published : 10th November 2015

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— Blurb —

Princess Winter is admired for her grace, kindness and beauty, despite the scars on her face. She’s said to be even more breath-taking than her stepmother, Queen Levana…

When Winter develops feelings for the handsome palace guard, Jacin, she fears the evil Queen will crush their romance before it has a chance to begin.

But there are stirrings against the Queen across the land. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even find the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter claim their happily ever afters by defeating Levana once and for all?

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— MINI REVIEW —

“She was prettier than a bouquet of roses and crazier than a headless chicken.”

No further introduction.

I bet you could even tell from the cover.

Totally Snow White.

This time, we are going to read more about Princess Winter— (just like Snow White) loved and admired for her beauty, grace and kindness that set jealousy on Queen Levana. Also, do not forget about the handsome prince — (in this book) handsome palace guard.

Despite the title, Cinder and the team will often been featured in this book. I might even say their scenes are longer than Winter herself. But Winter appearance is so impactful, both for the characters in the book and the reader as well.

This book is the peak of all the turmoil where we finally able to read the ending because I’m actually dying with the slow narratives. And here we have 800 pages *sobs*

This is a book of revolution. And you know what might happen in revolution— the near death experience. Which, is a lot to read in this book.

Despite the terror, this book is the most charismatic out of the four. I just come to love each and every characters in the team and their friendship is so charming and warming. Another thing, I really love how the revolution moving on but I would appreciate more Um.. brilliant tactic maybe? A more convincing strategy and plan as the finale of the series.

But still, It’s a good story.

“I am your guard. I’m here to protect you and keep you out of trouble, and that’s it.”


Series Stats

Cinder → favourite book in the series (and favourite character of course!)

Scarlet → Favourite entertainment (that also served as the bridge to connect the mystery and puzzle)

Cress → the most adorable book

Winter → the most charismatic book


This series is a fairy tales retelling and it’s very much obvious there will be couples. Even the blurb often hint about the possible couples. Yes, they’re very much together and it’s very clear from the start who their partners might be. Again, like a fairy tale.

But it’s nerve-wrecking to NOT know whether in the end they’ll ended up together or nah. And each couples are unique with their own style.

The Couples

1. Kai and Cinder

The mature couple.

Seriously, I love how soft-hearted they are but still strong and sturdy when needed, how responsible they’re (with pretty much everything), how they care for each other without having to say the words, how their pride comes second to rational thoughts, how serious and yet cozy and playful their relationship is.

2. Scarlet and Wolf

The possessive daring couple.

I love how both have strong personality, how intense they care deeply to one another, how hot-headed they’re when it comes to one another safety. And I love how they could always find the way back together and somehow make the relationship work. Possessive Wolf and sharp tongue Scarlet. What a duo.

3. Cress and Thorne

The adorable couple.

Adorable and stressing to be exact. Because I want them to be together so bad. Let’s just say… they have their own way in making sure what’s best for their partner. They love deeply but their way in showing the affection is discreet. Them both are sweetheart. Also, they are my second favourite couple after Kai and Cinder♥

4. Winter and Jacin

The protective couple.

The main dynamic for this couple is their instinct to protect each other safe and sound. This couple has the closest aspect to be similar with fairy tale couple bliss. Mostly because of Princess Winter who is being portrayed to be very similar with Snow White for her divine beauty and for the handsome palace guard who is ready to give the world for the princess.

Special Character

~Iko~

Because these all couples make a perfect adorning team, I do not have the heart to separate Iko from the team! Iko is an android and probably Cinder’s closest friend. You are going to love Iko! She shared 99.9% of my reaction most of the time and she’s a super fun character to be around with!


S E R I E S    R E V I E W

• The Characters

I LOVE how the characters are very different from one another, and they all have their own unique trait that sticks to them and it eventually become part of their charm. The characters are the one that drives me going on reading until the very last book. The characters are GOLD.

•The Plot

I would love to say the creative concept of the book intrigued me to read, aside from the never-ending hype. For the plot, it’s both predictable (because we all know the original plot-line in fairy tales), but I would even say those who have never read any fairy tales might even guess correctly how the next scene will proceed and unpredictable (of the little twist that sometimes appear out of nowhere).

•The Writing

To be honest? I’m not a fan of the writing. It’s not engaging enough and not to-the-point enough to keep my interest in the story. Much more later, I even left skimming the unimportant parts to the dialogues conversation because conversing characters are telling me more (about the situation and it’s more direct) rather than reading paragraphs of less engaging narratives.

•The Point of View

The fun reads for this series is the multiple POV that keeps adding on every new book. Begin with Cinder, then eventually Scarlet and Wolf, Thorne, Kai, Cress, Winter and Jacin in the end.


More Honest Opinion

I do not regret reading this super duper HUGE series, I fall in love with Cinder– realizing the pace is quite slow but nevertheless I’m still loving every dynamic in the book. I was giddy and my pulse racing when I finished Cinder, and I directly grab Scarlet right after that.

I have high expectation with Scarlet and I do love the introduction chapters thinking this is going to be much more exciting than Cinder due to the strong introduction. I did love Scarlet but like I stated above, it’s too long for a rescue mission even though I realized much is going on at the same time with the additional POV

Then I started to hope more for Cress which is not something I regret at all and I love the book. But at this point, I started to get really bored with the writing even though it has such a good story. This is my second favourite book in the series after Cinder!

Finally, in the 800 pages Winter, I brush off the ‘boring’ word from my mind and keep on reading. Like Scarlet, I love the introductory chapters to our new character. But I do not understand how could the story be so calm remembering this is the last book in the series and there’s like thousand checklist to accomplished to obtain the ending all characters deserved.

And so, I started to skim the text for the less important part but would read with all my heart about their dialogues and narratives that really matters.

I would love the series with all my heart if it’s more engaging with more packed action that could probably boost the pace of the series. Still, I would love to recommend this series to anyone who loves retelling because the characters are worth it♥

Author: Celine

14 thoughts on “Book Series Review : The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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