Book lover problems: last month for book club we read "The Red Queen" which I devoured and then immediately downloaded the second book and read. Unfortunately for me, there is a third book that doesn't come out until who knows when. Starting an unfinished book series is one of the most frustrating things to me...I literally need to know what happened next or I won't stop thinking about it. I decided I needed a complete series to start ASAP. After a trip to the library I found they had whole Lunar Chronicles, which included four lengthy books I could read for a good minute. I was slightly hesitant because a.) they're teen bestsellers which can be good or bad b.) something about the covers was a turnoff and c.) how many Cinderella stories does a person need?
Apparently I needed one more. Or, as it were, four more books about one awesome cyborg Cinderella. Cinder, the first book in the Chronicles, follows Lihn Cinder. Cinder is a cyborg mechanic living in New Beijing, a commonwealth that like the rest of the world is plagued by the deadly Letumosis.
That sentence normally would make me think the book was too"sci-fi" for me but Marissa Meyer works it all together brilliantly. Cinder lives with her wicked stepmother Adri and stepsisters Pearl and Peony. She has no memory of her past life prior to becoming a cyborg and spends her day working a stall fixing broken things, giving any money back to her stepmother, and only having the company of her funky and malfunctioning android Iko. One day the Price of New Beijing Kai stops by and asks her to fix his personal android, and that pretty much starts the crazy action in the book. Cinder's stepsister Peony catches letumosis and is whisked away, which Adri blames Cinder for and sends her to be palace where scientists are using cyborgs to test possible cures and research to the deadly plague. Cinder there meets Dr. Erland, who runs the research for plague cures. Cinder agrees to take part in the research, but only to find a cure for Peony. In the process she finds shes immune to the plague which sparks some questions, since no earthling could be immune.
While reading you get to go back and forth with POVs, including Prince Kai. Kai's father the Emperor is dying from the plague and he has to deal with Queen Levana, the ruler of the Lunar colony at the moon who wants to form an alliance with him (aka to marry him) as soon as his Dad is dead. So, life's no party for him either. Queen Levana as a lunar has the ability to control your actions and glamour you. She's lived her life in a constant state of glamour as the most beautiful woman in the world, but Kai finds her repulsive. Levana bargains with a cure to the plague if they marry, and Kai feels he has no choice but to save his country.
Before that can happen though Cinder gets Prince Kai’s android to work and finds out that Kai and the android had been searching for the dead/missing Princess Selene. Selene was Levana’s niece who many think is still alive and could take over the throne from Levana. Cinder tries to get that info to Kai, but Levana sees her and knows immediately she's actually a Lunar, and Lunars aren't supposed to be on earth. Levana tells Prince Kai he wants Cinder dead, but instead Kai asks her to the royal ball because, duh. Cinder says no because he's self-conscious of her cyborg bits, which Kai doesn't know about, and because she's a dummy. But then she finds out Levana is going to kill Kai, so she has to go to ball to warn him. Adri bans her from going, and it starts to take on that Cinderella/Ever After imma go to the ball no matter what kinda thing... and you can maybe guess what happens? But wait! then there is a twist! and you'll have to read book two to see what happens.
The next book Scarlet is an awesome take on Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf. After that is Cress, a Rapunzel / Flynn Rider kinda thing, and lastly Winter a Sleeping Beauty/Snow White and the Huntsman retelling which brings all the characters together to bring down the evil Queen Levana.
In case you're feeling some kinda way about the queen, Marissa has her backstory available in short story form!
It might be temping to say you'll skip these books for the same reasons I almost did but they are awesome and unique re-tellings that don't make you feel like you're just watching the Disney movies. The series was different and exciting, had strong female leads (with diversity), NO love triangles (thank you Jesus and Marissa Meyer), and was just fun to read. If you're a fan of the tv show Once Upon a Time or if you love a bit of sci-fi mixed with your Disney, I'd say read them ASAP.
Shoutout in the comments what you've been reading, or if you loved the Chronicles too! If you suggest a non-complete series though I swear...lol
Till next time,