The Lunar Chronicles is a tetralogy of fantasy novels written by Marissa Meyer. The series derives its main characters from the children’s fairytales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White. (Time to relive the childhood?)
The series tells the events of hundreds of years in the future. After a devastating war more than a century earlier, the earth is now governed by peaceful empires. The moon has been colonised and androids and cyborgs are a common part of the earthen society. But things haven’t been that great between Earthens and Lunars (residents of the moon) lately. Also, a deadly disease with an unknown cause or cure called Letumosis is raging throughout the world.
The series consists of four main books and two additional side books. The various books in the series are:
A futuristic retelling of Cinderella’s story.
A futuristic retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.
The third novel in the tetralogy, loosely based on the story of Rapunzel.
The final novel in the series, based on the fairytale of Snow White.
Acts as the prequel to the series and tells the backstory of Queen Levana’s life.
4.5 Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection
A series of short stories based on lives of different characters of the series.
The Lunar Chronicles series has a number of brilliantly created characters. To keep this part spoiler free, I’m just gonna mention the initial description of the main characters.
Linh Cinder: A 16-years old orphan/mechanic/cyborg who is the main protagonist of Cinder. Being a cyborg she is a half human and half awesome-features-rich robot. She lives with her adoptive mother and sisters in the New Beijing. Her best friend? An android named Iko.
Iko: An android owned by Linh Cinder’s family. Despite being a robot, she is more enthusiastic than half of the human race. Confirms why we should all have robotic sidekicks in our lives.
Prince Kaito: The crown prince of Eastern Commonwealth that covers most of Asia. A kind, down to earth, good guy prince. Pretty much how we all imagine princes to be.
Queen Levana: The cruel Lunar Queen who is famous for her beauty, but has a strict no-mirror policy. Like most Lunars, she can control other people by manipulating their bioelectricity (wait bio-what) and possesses powerful glamour abilities. The main antagonist of the story.
Scarlet Benoit: A badass redhead French farm girl searching for her missing grandmother. On her search for her grandmother, she meets a mysterious street fighter named Wolf.
Wolf: A mysterious street fighter who once belonged to a ‘pack’. Teams up with Scarlet to find her missing grandmother. Is surprised by the taste of tomatoes.
Captain Carswell Thorne: A former cadet of US republic serving time in the New Beijing prison. Referred to as Captain by others due to a stolen ship he pilots. Charming with his quick wit.
Cress: A 16-years old Lunar prisoner in a satellite revolving earth. Possesses long, blond hair and has lived in isolation for most of her life. A gifted tech geek who can program and hack anything.
Jacin Clay: A lunar guard/pilot who serves the head thaumaturge (highest ranking officer) of Queen Levana. Distant and unreadable to others. Just cares for one person in the world.
Princess Winter: The stepdaughter of Queen Levana. Hates the powerful gifts of Lunars and is going slightly mad due to her reluctance to use the gifts. Probably the most beautiful and lively person in the universe.
A friend recommended me this, and I was a bit sceptical to pick it up at the start. But once I picked up the pace, I found it hard to stop. The writing style is simple, and so is the story. The series mixes old fairytales brilliantly with the futuristic sci-fi genre.
My favourite novel of the series?
Winter. Not that others were bad, but with maximum characters and more complex story compared to other books, Winter is my pick.
My favourite part?
Uhmm, this is tough to answer. I guess I’ll pick the part of Cress where they kidnap Kai from the New Beijing Palace.
The Part I Didn’t Enjoy?
Has to be the beginning of Cinder. When Cinder and Linh Peony were talking in the junkyard, I found it so boring that I put the book down for a few days. The most cringe-worthy part of the whole series.
I finished the six books in forty days. The two breaks that I took while reading made up most of this time. I took a big break in the starting of Cinder, which as explained above was quite boring. The other break was between finishing Winter and picking up the two side novels of the series. The Lunar Chronicles series is so enjoyable that other days I read non-stop. I even finished 850 pages thick Winter in less than 2 days. Overall, the series extremely entertaining read and I would recommend it to others for sure.