This month’s Spotlight Week features the THE LUNAR CHRONICLES SERIES by YA Author Marissa Meyer.

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 Cinder by marissa meyer

 

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles)
(The Lunar Chronicles Book 1)

400 pages, Hardcover

Genre: YA, Ages 12 and up

Published on January 3, 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

ISBN-10: 0312641893

ISBN-13: 978-0312641894

 

 

First Line:

The screw through cinder’s ankle had rusted, the engraved cross marks worn to a mangled circle.

 Synopsis:

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.

 

 Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Book 2)
(The Lunar Chronicles Book 2)

464 pages, Hardcover

Genre: YA, Ages 12 and up

Published on February 5, 2013 by Feiwel & Friends

ISBN-10: 0312642962

ISBN-13: 978-0312642969

 

 

 First Line:

Scarlet was descending toward the alley behind the Rieux Tavern when her portscreen chimed from the passenger seat, followed by an automated voice: “Comm received for Mademoiselle Scarlet Benoit from the Toulouse Law Enforcement Department of Missing Persons.”

 

Synopsis:

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-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 and 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 has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

 

 

My Review

CINDER  is a retelling of the classic fairytale Cinderella, so it has all the usual elements of the original—two stepsisters, a mean stepmother and a dashing prince.  But that’s really where the similarities end. Author Marissa Meyer completely reinvents the Cinderella archetype in this version, turning her from a wimpy maid into a kick-ass mechanic. Oh, and did I mention this Cinderella is a cyborg?

Cinder is not only a likeable character, she is a lovable one. She has many traits one can expect of a protagonist: she’s smart, brave, reliable and compassionate. Although she has  a strained relationship with her stepmother Adri and stepsister Pearl, she would do anything for her younger stepsister Peony; and that includes risking life and limb to find a cure that would save Peony from a horrible plague that has suddenly struck their city of New Beijing.

And as with any YA story, Cinder also has to deal with a complicated love life on top of her already teetering pile of problems. The romance in this book is well done, and the connection between Cinder and Prince Kai grows organically from their minimal, but memorable encounters.

Aside from having a main character you’d love to root for, this novel has other things that make it a cut above the rest. The world-building in this book is stellar, and the plotting is incredible. Author Marissa Meyer has managed to weave intriguing storylines into a world that by itself is fascinating. Her setting descriptions make it easy for readers to imagine New Beijing and the moon colony of Luna.

The addition of the Lunars and their strange abilities, and the introduction of the evil Queen Levana, certainly ups the thrill factor of the story.

The second book in the series is SCARLET, which is a retelling of Red Riding Hood’s fairytale. Set halfway across the world, and far from Cinder’s Eastern Commonwealth, this book stars Scarlet, a feisty French lass who is on a mission to find her missing grandmother.

I was a bit worried that the second book would have the “sagging middle syndrome”, but my fears were all thrown out the window as soon as I finished the first chapter of the book. Like CINDER, SCARLET is a character readers would love to root for.

Author Marissa Meyer proves her skills as a master storyteller when she weaves Scarlet’s story along with Cinder’s. And like the first book, SCARLET delivers the same thrilling action sequences and exciting plot twist and turns.

CINDER and SCARLET are books that are hard to put down. I had to read each of these all in one sitting because I had to find out what happened next. And even when I was finished, the storyline still reverberated in my head. The Lunar Chronicles is definitely one of my favorite YA series. I can’t wait for the next two fairytales master plotter Marissa Meyer retells, and I’m eager to see how all four storylines come together in the end.

 

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Tune in again on Wednesday for an interview with the awesome Marissa Meyer.

 

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33 Responses to “Spotlight Week: The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer”

  1. Very interesting books! I must read.

  2. Shelly says:

    Tweeted!

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

  3. I loved these too though I wasn’t as lucky as you to read them in one sitting. They are such unique retellings. You are so lucky to get to interview Marissa Meyer. How awesome!

  4. I know it’s not all about the cover, but that Cipher cover really sells the book and fits the plot perfectly Nutschell. You’re making me want to find out more too!

  5. Southpaw says:

    Wow, both of those sound pretty cool. I love the covers and the first sentence of CINDER is fantastic!

  6. Not my style of read but glad you enjoyed them. I’ve seen Cinder on lots of sites.

  7. Akoss says:

    Yay! For Cinder and Scarlet. I loved both books and I’m having a really hard time waiting for the next two books.

  8. Retelling classic fairy tales? I like that idea.

    Nutschell, I returned my interview along with some photos this weekend. Let me know if you received them.

  9. tcavey says:

    These sound interesting. I wasn’t sure I’d like them when I first started reading but you’ve convinced me I will enjoy them!

  10. Desnica Kumar says:

    I’ve been meaning to start the series because it just sounds so awesome and I love the covers!

  11. Karen String says:

    I loved both of these books! Can’t wait for CRESS to come out. Look forward to your interview with Marissa.

  12. Donna Hole says:

    I love twisted fairy tales; and the modernization of familiar story lines.

    ……..dhole

  13. Awesome! I’ve heard good things about this retelling.

  14. julie luek says:

    I’ve seen the books make the blog tour rounds. Thanks for the comprehensive reviews.

  15. Jay Noel says:

    I read over a dozen different versions of the Cinderella fairy tale for a class in college…I haven’t been able to read anything Cinderella inspired since! Argh!

  16. Pat Hatt says:

    Sounds like they are really engrossing.

  17. Meradeth says:

    I read the first few chapters of this in the bookstore the other day and have been meaning to pick the books up–they are great! Thanks for the review :)

  18. Robyn Engel says:

    I much prefer the concept of Cinderella as a cyborg kick-ass mechanic than the wimpy, girly girl. This series looks enticing. Congratulations to Marissa!

    xoRobyn

  19. Jemi Fraser says:

    I have the first one in my classroom, but I haven’t read it yet. Definitely in my TBR pile :)

  20. Bish Denham says:

    I’ve been hearing/reading about these books. They look very interesting. I love the new take on Cinderella. And the covers… stunning!

  21. Nas says:

    Sounds awesome. Thanks for the review.

  22. Great reviews. These books sound cool, too. I like the idea of Cinderella taking charge of her life instead of waiting around for Prince Charming.

  23. Wendy says:

    I am ashamed to say I have not heard of the books or the author. Clearly I must work on that …

    Thanks for the heads-up nutschell!

    Oh, and hello to you too :)

  24. Great review! I recently read Cinder and I was blown away by its originality. I’m glad to hear the next one in the series is just as good.

  25. I’ve downloaded Cinder, but haven’t read it yet. Marissa , both covers are fantastic!

  26. Other than the obvious reference to Cinderella, I didn’t know much about these books. Thanks for another one of your detailed, helpful reviews.

  27. Lexa Cain says:

    I’m not a fan of re-tellings, but you totally made me want to read these two books! Both heroines sound delightful, and the world building is fascinating. Thanks so much for bringing these books to my attention. :-)

  28. Julie says:

    Fantastic review! Congrats to Marissa on both of her books!

  29. Carina Olsen says:

    Great review 😀 I’m glad you loved these books too :) Sigh. Cinder is just so perfect. <3 As is Scarlet :) DYING to read Cress and Winter. <3 Best spotlight week :)

  30. I love that Marissa is basing her stories on popular fairytales–but with a spin. Great interview!

  31. Damyanti says:

    Cinder is already on my TBR :)

  32. […] If you want to know more about CINDER & SCARLET (and maybe see the awesome trailers), you can check out my book review here. […]

  33. […] month for my Spotlight Week, I reviewed CINDER, and SCARLET – Books 1 and 2 of THE LUNAR CHRONICLES. I also featured interview with the series’ awesome […]

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