Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1 and #2
Published by Feiwel and Friends on January 3, 2012 & February 5, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Futuristic, Young Adult
AMAZON • B&N • BOOK DEPOSITORY • Goodreads
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.
The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...
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. 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, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
This series surprised me. I didn’t think I’d be interested in it. The idea of a cyborg Cinderella intrigued me but not enough to go out and buy the first book in the series, Cinder. Then the reviews started coming in and bloggers I follow and enjoy began to sing Cinder’s praises and I thought, why not? I picked it up and could not put it down. This is such a fun take on the Cinderella fairytale, taking the good and getting rid of the “ugh,” that I’d like my daughter to enjoy this one before the Disney version. Cinder is a cyborg mechanic, the best in town, and while she’s not treated very well by her stepmother, she loves her stepsister, Peony, dearly, and so puts up with a lot of crap. But Cinder is no shrinking violet and she takes her destiny by the balls, which makes me love this character to bits. What was great about Meyer’s take on the Cinderella story is the relationship that develops between her and Prince Kai. It builds and isn’t instant. And it’s heart-wrenching. Is a cyborg human? Not fully, but a cyborg is human where it counts, in the heart, and I just didn’t want him to break hers. For me the weakest part of this book is Kai himself, I just wanted him to grow a pair. But other than that, I was wholly absorbed by this story of family, love, adventure, and intergalactic intrigue.
Cinder – 4 Howls!
Can it get better? Why yes, it can. Enter Scarlet, the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series. This one takes the story of Little Red Riding Hood and turns it on its head. Scarlet’s grandmother has disappeared and its up to her to find out where she is. Scarlet allies herself with an unlikely hero who she can’t fully trust — a futuristic, alien version of the Big Bad Wolf — and the chemistry between them is YA appropriate but strong. What I truly liked about this addition to the series is how it brought together the storylines of the two books. It tied them together nicely, expanded the world and the characters, and made for a very dynamic, and exciting progression in the overall story arc. If I could sum Scarlet up in one word it would be “adventure,” and the addition of characters like Captain Thorne (Han Solo, anyone?) made this a very humorous sequel, too.
Scarlet – 5 Howls!
I can’t recommend this YA series enough. I definitely plan on buying print copies of these books for my daughter to enjoy when she’s older. They’re just fun; they have strong female characters that are young and take charge, and have exciting, fantastical worlds that are fodder for a teen’s imagination. Granted, my daughter is only two and half years old but, you know, in ten years, she might be interested.
Series Rating – 4.5 Howls!