Genre: YA Dystopian Fantasy
*Warning: Mild Spoilers.
If you’ve been following my Goodreads and checking out my bio on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve fallen down a Lunar Chronicles hole. And no, I do not plan on ever digging myself out. I’ll happily stay down here.
Fun Fact: I almost didn’t read the rest of this series. One of my dear friends read them and then gifted Cinder, book 1 in the series, to me for Christmas. It took me ages to get through the first two hundred pages. It took me slightly less time to get through the rest of the book because it finally got interesting. But I was frustrated with how slow the beginning was and planned to never read the rest of the series if that’s the way the other books were going to be.
Flash forward a few months to when my second dear friend (and the completion of our Golden Trio) finished the entire series and demanded I try it again. Dear Friend #1 begged me to do the same. They ragged on me until I finally gave in and got Scarlet, book 2, from the library.
And from the very first chapter of Scarlet, oops — I became engulfed in the series for all time. I have so much love for it.
Today, then, I wanted to give my honest reviews on the first two books in the series.
Cinder‘s Synopsis (copied off the back so I can try to avoid giving away spoilers at all costs): “CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.
Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.
This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.”
Alright, guys. So it’s still the honest truth that Cinder is my least favorite book of the entire series, rated at 3/5 Swords. As I mentioned above, the beginning of the book took me ages to get through. The problem, for me, was simply that it felt like there wasn’t anything substantial going on, and I wasn’t getting to see as much of Cinder’s character as I wanted. Instead, the beginning of the book is devoted to Marissa Meyer establishing the world. Don’t get me wrong — the world building is exquisite! I love every detail of it. It’s just that I felt there needed to be more that kept me invested in the actual events of the story. I pushed through it though, and the last 200 pages or so took you on a wild ride to make up for the lack-of-events in the beginning.
Having read through the entire series now, I would like to say that I’m probably going to go back and read Cinder again and see if I like it better the second time around. I’ll keep you updated. 😉
Scarlet‘s Synopsis (again, taken from the back of the book): “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.”
Also as mentioned above, FROM THE VERY FIRST CHAPTER OF THIS BOOK I WAS HOOKED. 4/5 Swords! Scarlet is a spunky, red-headed firecracker looking for her missing grandma while trying to keep their farm afloat. She’s taunted by the people of France who think her grandmother’s a psycho, and while she does have a temper on her that tends to flare up at such accusations, she learns to work through her anger throughout the book. Wolf is a dangerous, nervous, darling child. Not an actual child; he’s a full grown man. I just mean that he’s a precious bean that I want to protect at all costs. He deserves nothing but love and happiness, okay? Do not fight me on this. The relationship that develops between him and Scarlet throughout the book, while a little fast for my tastes at first, made more sense as the story events unfolded. I really enjoyed learning more about their backstories and seeing them overcome obstacles together. AND ALL THE PLOT TWISTS. Guys. It was so hard to put this book down. Just when I thought everything made sense, SMACK! Something else gets thrown at you.
Another thing I’d like to mention is that Cinder definitely grew on me in this book. I was very skeptical about enjoying her chapters when they came along, but the growth in character that Meyer shows helped redeem her for me. AND CAN I TALK ONE SECOND ABOUT FREAKING CAPTAIN CARSWELL THORNE??? A criminal held in a cell somewhere below Cinder’s, the two end up meeting when Cinder tries to break out of the prison. He’s very, very American, and his flirty attitude provides excellent comic relief. He has some fabulous one-liners and even more fabulous scenes. He’s become one of my favorite male characters in the series… He and Wolf are probably tied for my favorite, to be honest.
So there’s my honest thoughts on the first two books in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series! I feel like I was gushing more than being critical, but usually that’s the sign of an excellent read, don’t you think? 😉
Have you read Cinder or Scarlet, or even the whole of the Lunar Chronicles? What were your thoughts?
In my next blog post, I’ll do reviews on Cress (book 3) and Winter (book 4)! Stay tuned!