The Lunar Chronicles Part 1: Cinder, Scarlet, & Cress (A YA Book Review)


The Lunar Chronicles Part 1: Cinder, Scarlet, & Cress

By Marissa Meyer

Overall series so far: 4.5/5 Stars: A fun, futuristic fairy tale retelling with an evil civilization on the moon.

Cinder: After World World 4, the world is divided into 6 countries. Cinder is a cyborg mechanic working in the Eastern Commonwealth in New Beijing. Her life gets turned upside down when one day Prince Kai comes to the market and asks her to fix his android. The Eastern Commonwealth—as well as the rest of the world—are in fragile negotiations with the Lunar Crown, specifically Queen Leavana. In addition, the world is being ravaged by a deadly plague. In an act of anger at Cinder’s supposed, insolence, her evil stepmother “volunteers” her for the cyborg draft. The cyborg draft is being used to find a vaccine for the plague, which is fine by everyone because cyborgs are considered second-class citizens. In this case cyborgs are humans who were essentially saved by technology. Soon, Cinder is thrown into Prince Kai’s world and secrets are revealed. Rating: 3/5 stars. The story was very dialogue-driven and at points I found myself bored. Not sure if it is because Cinderella is overdone or if I just didn’t like Cinder’s voice.

Scarlet: Scarlet Benoit lives in France when her beloved grandmother goes missing. She ends up aligning with the aloof and mysterious, Wolf, a violent street fighter when he offers to help her find her grandmother. They head deep into the underworld of Paris and discover that Queen Leavana and the Lunar Crown are more deeply entrenched with Earth than anyone previously thought. This storyline also alternates with Cinder and new ally Captain Thorne, as well as Prince Kai’s subplot. Rating: 5/5 stars. This book so far has been my favorite. I love Scarlet and Wolf! The story was more narrative driven in this book as opposed to Cinder.

Cress: Cress is loosely based off Rapunzel. Instead of tower though, Cress is kept in a satellite orbiting Earth while she works as Queen Leavana’s personal programmer who spies on Earthern leaders. Cress is bright, but naïve due to her isolation. She was introduced in book one and this follows her journey as she becomes allies with Cinder and her gang of bandits. Characters voluntarily and involuntarily part ways in this book and the story alternates between Cress and Thorne, Scarlet, and Cinde, Wolf, and Dr. Erland. The majority of this book takes place in Africa and outer space. The story ends in a bit of a cliffhanger as Cinder kidnaps Prince Kai and prepares herself for a revolution on Luna. Rating: 5/5 stars. I really am glad I stuck with this series. The subplots are stellar, and the characters are loveable—except Queen Leavana because she is almost as terrifying as Bellatrix Lastrange. We also get a tiny taste of Princess Winter. The next book is the novella Fairest, which reveals more about Queen Leavana and is hinted at when she mentions the wedding ring she never takes off.

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© 2020 by Jennifer L. Kelly