Friday, 12 June 2015

The Lunar Chronicles (so far) by Marissa Meyer

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.

Set in the future, several hundred years I think, Meyer re-tells Cinderella, with a nice mix of new twists and surprises while keeping some things recognisable from the original. It was very interesting to see how the world has developed, especially with the different empires and the negotiations and the peace treaties. And of course the Lunars, who with their magic powers of persuasion - bio-electrical something or other is how it's explained - are a series threat to Earth, and the Eastern Commonwealth in particular as their evil queen is determined to become empress. It's some pretty damn incredible world building!

I instantly adored Cinder. Part cyborg after an accident, she is about 30% metal, and is typically prejudiced for being less than human. I really felt for her but she could more than hold her own, with her skills as a mechanic gaining her note, and her spunk and determination for a better life. 

She had some great friendships with Peony, younger step sister, and Iko, an android with a "damaged" personality chip. And I can't go any further without mentioning Kai. I fell for him pretty much instantly, with his charm and sweet nature. I loved all of Meyer's characters, all so very different, with varying sense of goodness and quirks. Plus Queen Levana made a spectacular villain, as she was so completely heartless in her pursuit for power. 

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 . . .

A set of new characters but with odd chapters from old favourites to see how Cinder and Kai are progressing. It was interesting and very cool to see them intertwine by the end, how it seems everything is connected.

Scarlet has her own problems - her grandmother has gone missing and no one seems to care. Along with unlikely companion Wolf, a street fighter who seems to know more than he's letting on, Scarlet takes the hunt to Paris. Scarlet and Wolf were something of an instant hit. They go through so much in just a day or two of knowing each other, it was inevitable they would be drawn together. And I loved that Scarlet made the first move - go girl! 

From Cinder's side, she gets a new companion too, in the form of the hilarious and a little bit pervy Captain Thorne. I admit, I didn't warm to him immediately but it didn't take long to get used to his sense of humour and his heroism. Plus, he bounces off Cinder very well and once they are used to each other, they make a good team.

By the end of the book, things are making a little more sense in terms of Scarlet's place in Cinder's story, as well as how she can help the lost princess take down the evil queen and the save the world. Not too much to worry about then!

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.

Another new face, this time Rapunzel. Some unlikely help comes to Cinder in the form of a damsel stuck in a satellite, a Lunar working for Queen Levena. So unlike Cinder and Scarlet, Cress was shy and anxious and I fell for her instantly. Meyer's heroines have that effect on me! Cress was just so damn cute but considering her rescue went so pear-shaped, she took it all in her stride and proved herself to be a valuable member of the team.

I think this is my favourite book so far, considering how much the characters were split up. Things don't go according to plan (when do they ever) but as more pieces fit together, and more people know the truth about Cinder, we finally start to form a plan. 

Oh, and we finally get a reunion with Cinder and Kai! And it was even better than I could have hoped for! I admit, I squealed. Quite a lot actually! Plus Cress and Thorne, dammit everyone's so cute!

I'm really glad I read these back to back, it made everything flow that bit more easier. And although I was surprised by how much was intertwined between the books, I really liked the set up and the alternating chapters so we could keep up with everyone. Now I've just got to wait for Winter and I'll finally, hopefully, see a happy ending for this fairytale characters!

1 comment:

  1. This looks like an easy trio of books to read. Adding them to the library list. Thanks for sharing.