Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #1, #2, #3 and #4)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publication: January 3rd 2012, February 5th 2013, February 4th 2014 and November 10th 2015
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Format: Kindle Edition 400 pages, Kindle Edition 464 pages, Kindle Edition 560 pages and Kindle Edition 833 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Retellings
Read: December 2015, October and December 2016
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.
Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This book is really interesting and entertaining but oh my goodness, it was so predictable. I’m pretty sure I figured out everything that was going to happen in this book in the first quarter of it. That was disappointing because I expected so much more considering how much hype this book has. However, I liked the mystery involved (even if I figured it out) and how the author incorporated the original story line with her world.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I liked Meyer’s writing style. It’s really simple and straight to the point. There’s a lot of detail and description and it was engaging enough to keep me interested in the story although I knew where it was going. It was captivating enough but there wasn’t much distinction between character perspectives.
Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Characters are what make books for me. If I’m not feeling the characters, its a sure fire way to make me lose interest in a book which was what happened here. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the characters, but they didn’t really captivate me much. They were all just… there.Cinder is cool. She’s really jaded and kind of has a rude/sassy attitude. Some of her lines were kind of funny and I like how she tried not to take shit from other people around her. She’s really strong, specially after the life she’s had. I liked her determination and how independent she was. While she’s kind of a closed off person, she’s also really kind. I think all the things she had to deal with in her family and as a cyborg really made her conscious of how she should treat people and thinking beyond herself, even when that wasn’t reciprocated to her. However, there wasn’t anything about her that stood out to me and made me her fan or to want to root for her as I read.
There are also quite a few side characters. Kai, the prince in this story, was okay. He’s really young and inexperienced and the poor guy has the whole world on his shoulders. However, he’s determined to do the best job he can to keep his people safe and I admired that. I want to also mention that I love Iko, she’s amazing haha. There’s a lot of great changes with the characters and what they represent but they are still close to the original.
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. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or 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 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.
Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
Plot wise this book definitely stepped it up in the series. The various story lines as well as the original stories are starting to intertwine which makes it much better for me because this one didn’t feel as predictable as the first. It was interesting and entertaining. It was action packed, fast paced and much more gruesome than I expected. I definitely enjoyed this particular story much more.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, the writing style is really simple and straight forward. I think the author does a great job with connecting the existing stories together as well as with the original ones. It’s detailed, descriptive and engaging. I think the distinction between POVs was much better than the first book, I felt like I was reading about and from different people.
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the characters from the first book, there was nothing that really captivated me about them. However, this book got so much better! Not only did I feel like they were more distinct in their voices and personalities, but I think the fast paced plot helped make me care more about what was happening to the characters.Scarlet became an instant favorite. She’s just so fierce! She’s determined and stubborn. I love how caring she is and how she doesn’t back down. She listens to her gut and follows it no matter what, that’s so inspiring to me. She’s loving to the people she cares about and takes awhile to warm up to others. I think she’s badass and I want to read more from her point of view.
There are also many more side characters introduced in this book. Wolf is one of them and he’s pretty great in my opinion. He has such a powerful presence and he’s fierce and apologetic. But you still get the sense there’s more to him than meets the eye. However, there was one character that was introduced in this book that blew everyone else out of the water and that is Thorne. I absolutely loved him, he stole the show for me. He’s hilarious, a bit self-centered and just a great character overall. I’m a big fan of him.
In this third book in Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I’m really glad to say that these books keep getting better and better as the series continues. This one was entertaining, action packed and intense. It was definitely much more unique than I was expecting since the ones before were predictable in some ways. This one deviates from the original story a whole lot more and I loved it! This original science fiction, revolution story is taking over the series and it’s pretty great. The plot of this book was also so much more emotional. It’s getting down to the wire and you can definitely feel it as you read.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve come to really enjoy Meyer’s writing style. It’s simple and engaging, it’s easy to slip back into the world and the story because of that. It’s very detailed and descriptive, specially this book because there is so much traveling. These books are very fast paced and the author has gotten much better at creating distinction between all the POVs she’s working with which I really appreciate.
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This part of the books just keeps on improving which each one. When I read the first book, I wasn’t really feeling most of the characters, but now that there’s more of a crew and the cast has gotten larger, I’ve warmed up to and am rooting for them much more. I was really interested in meeting Cress since I heard about this series, I really wanted to know how the author was going to work with the Rapunzel story and I really enjoyed her. She has such a sweet disposition despite all that she’s gone through. I found her naivety to be really endearing and cute. She’s so amazed by everything around her and even when she’s terrified of something, she does the best she can and is determined to push through no matter what.
I already knew I loved Thorne and that feeling just grew tenfold in this book. He’s charming, funny, smart and strong. I also like that he has character development in this book, he goes beyond just comic relief.
A lot of the side characters make appearances together as a group and I’m really loving their dynamic now. Shit got complicated but they did their best to stick together and to make it work with each other. I still love Iko and Wolf and Scarlet. I liked how Kai and Cinder were reunited in this book, it definitely got me to like them a bit more individually and together than I had in the past.
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.
Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
This is my favorite book in the series by far. I don’t know if its just because its the finale and the culmination of everything the gang has been trying to do for so long but I loved it. It was action packed, intense and powerful. There was a lot more blood shed and violence than the previous books but it was just as exciting and emotional as I wanted. The books have shifted so much from the original stories but there are so many correlations and intricate connections. However, this book was really, really long.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, the writing style really works with making the story shine. It’s simple yet engaging and easy to read. It’s really descriptive and detailed. I love how there’s so much more distinction between the different POVs now and I can tell who’s telling the story just by the first few lines. It was intense and action packed and really fast paced, though this book was definitely a bit too long for me.
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve definitely become a fan of this cast of characters as the series went on. The group as a whole has a really great dynamic and they bring out the best in each other. I loved seeing how they all worked together and how they watched each other’s back through this crazy finale.
I really, really wanted to meet Winter. She sounded like such an interesting character but I was not prepared to being inside of her head. She’s really sweet and kind, an all around good person. However, she has delusions which affect how she sees the world which makes her very vulnerable. I just wanted to put her in a little bubble and protect her but at the same time, I wanted her to leave her comfort zone and kick butt haha.
Jacin is a character that annoyed me since coming onto the page, I couldn’t really understand him and his motivation… until I read this book. His relationship with Winter is so pure and open and just ride or die (I don’t know how else to say it haha). His personality, however, gets on my nerves. He has such a singular focus that his protective nature and his determination can rub me the wrong way. But I can’t fault him for being so dedicated.
SO MUCH HAPPENED TO THE CREW. I can’t even wrap my mind around everything the characters went through. I can say though that I really liked seeing them all together as a team and getting shit done together. Their fierce protectiveness of each other is just amazing.
I definitely think that this series is over hyped. But at the same time, I think that it got better and better with each book and that was really fun.
Based on all the hype from the first book, I was expecting a lot more action and so much more originality. The plot was predictable. We follow Cinder who is a mechanic and a cyborg living with her adoptive mother and sisters when one day her sister gets a life threatening disease which causes Cinder’s world to go haywire. I will say this about the plot, it was really entertaining. I never found myself bored while reading. I really enjoyed seeing the correlation between the original story and this retelling. I never liked them to be too similar because then it’s not a retelling but I like to be able to catch the connections between the two stories which this book did very well. However, it was so predictable! I managed to figure out all the plot twists by the first quarter of the book which is kind of ridiculous in my opinion. That really lowered my opinion on the book and on all the hype surrounding it. I wanted to be engaged and captivated as well as blown away but I was just mostly entertained and going along with it since I don’t really DNF books. I think if I did I would’ve put this one down once I figured everything out. At the same time, I don’t know if I guessed everything because that’s just me because when I read this, it was something that was happening with a lot of the books I was reading or if it’s just because I’m picking up books that aren’t that surprising or as good as they’re advertised to be. Anyway, while I was disappointed with the plot, I still managed to enjoy reading it. Cinder was okay. I really enjoyed her character and I appreciated the kind of personality she had. She’s really tough and determined. She’s used to having a rough life and she keeps her head down and works hard. But I just didn’t connect with her as much as I thought I was going to. I just felt kind of meh toward her. And I also wanted to see more growth with her throughout the book. She had some, it’s not like she didn’t, but she learns so much and goes through so much that I wanted it to have a bigger impact on her personality. There’s a few side characters involved in this series but I don’t think many of them get a lot of page time in this book. The one that gets the most is definitely Kai who I thought was sweet. I felt really bad for him and for the circumstances he found himself in. So much responsibility on his shoulders and not enough space to really grief or to think about himself. I kind of liked him more than Cinder but both of them were kind of average for me. The romance was definitely not for me either. I’m just not sold on it at all, they spent so little time together in this book that their attraction wasn’t something that I could really get behind. While this wasn’t the introduction I expected I still wanted to continue the series which I did.
(For some reason, 2015 me thought it was totally okay to just talk about the characters in the plot section so be warned). I enjoyed this second book a lot more than Cinder but there are still some things holding me back from really falling in love with the series. The plot was action packed. Cinder escapes from prison with a straggler tagging along while we meet Scarlet who is searching for her Grandmother who she believes has been kidnapped and she gets some unlikely help to try and find her. This book is kind of divided into three storylines: Kai in the palace, Cinder getting the fuck outta dodge, and Scarlet traveling through France. The Cinder & Kai parts of the book were okay. Cinder was kind of petulant and in denial. She kind of annoyed me a bit. Iko was amazing as always and I loved how she didn’t disappear and how she’s such a ray of freaking sunshine. Thorne became my new favorite which I talked about above. He was absolutely hilarious and such a unique character with so much life that everything was made so much more entertaining with his presence. That’s pretty much why I loved him, I enjoyed the book so much more because of his little anecdotes and self-centeredness haha. I liked how the three characters mentioned above worked together. Even though they didn’t know each other (well, Iko and Cinder didn’t know Thorne), this unlikely partnership happened and they managed to look out for each other. They made a good team and kicked ass when necessary. The action was top notch in this book. Things are escalating and there’s a lot of fast paced and treacherous things happening. From Cinder getting out of a prison, to a bunch of the things that Scarlet had to go through, the action was really fun to read and made me interested in the book much more than I was with the first one. In this book, Kai got on my last nerve. He’s being really stupid and I just don’t care to know what he’s going through right now. He’s the only one that’s still oblivious to Cinder and who she is and he’s gotten himself into a crazy pickle that I don’t know how he’s gonna manage to get out of. The Scarlet parts of the story were much more calm when it came to action but more emotionally tense. She’s really determined and single minded. I loved how much of herself she put into everything, she wanted so much to find her Grandma and she did everything in her power to make that happen. When I read this book, I didn’t really see any correlation with the original story, until I sat down and really though about it and I went: oh shit! I see what she did there! I really liked this one much more than the first book.
This third book is the one that has finally gotten me into the series. I’m still not a huge fan but it’s definitely growing on me. The plot is action packed. The gang is on the run from various authorities when they stumble upon Cress, a Lunar shell who’s been trapped in a satellite for years and has been helping the gang stay undetected from all the people that are after them. Their plan to rescue her goes awry and the story goes off from there. One of my biggest complaints about this series has always been the predictability. I figured out everything interesting from the first book and the second book was still a little bit easy to figure out, but there’s no such thing in this book. This is where I can finally see some great retelling in this series. The Rapunzel story is flipped and adjusted in a bunch of different ways to fit the overall plot of the series. It was really freaking awesome because then I could actually be lost in the story and not annoyed haha. It was much easier to enjoy the story and to be entertained and to feel like this is something new and unique that I’m reading. I also really liked that we got to see more of the world and its residents, including Luna. I’ve been wanting to see more of how this future world is and how the people are. Cress and Thorne as well as some of the other characters travel to several different places in Earth and in Luna and that was really cool to see. I liked seeing the different kinds of side characters and the kind of people that live in this crazy future and have to survive in the background as this ragtag team tries to save them all, you know haha. There’s also so much action in this book, so many things going on. However, it just feels like a general set up for an explosive final book. This one felt like a new level of crazy stuff but then there’s still that final battle (I hope). Another thing that I really enjoy is the way this ‘romance’ developed. It kind of didn’t haha. Cress is kind of like an over the moon in love kind of girl and yet there’s no insta love. Thorne doesn’t really reciprocate and kind of thinks of her as a cute teen in love with a rock star. That was awesome haha. Cress was also not what I expected at all. She’s really naive and sheltered. She’s pretty much a product of her environment but she’s also really determined and kind. I really liked her personality and I loved her growth throughout the book. I enjoyed being able to see a different side to Thorne’s personality. He’s much more vulnerable in this one and has to depend on people a lot more than he’s comfortable with and yet he never loses his humor or his charmed. I really liked being able to see that and to see him be protective yet vulnerable and still funny. I really liked the side characters, I’m such a fan of the whole crew now. They just hit my heart now that they’re all so freaking great and supportive of each other. They feel for each other and try to stay together and just let them win okay?!
While I have to say that I’m never going to be the biggest fan of this series, I’ve enjoyed reading it and this fourth book was an amazing finale. The plot is intense. The gang have one last plan to finally take down Levana and stop her from conquering Earth. We meet Winter and learn about her struggles as well as how the whole cast intertwines and kicks butt. I had a hard time getting into this series in the beginning but this book is definitely my favorite book. However, the book was really freaking long, way too long, and it made the book drag even though the plot was action packed and intense. I was engaged and interested but it took me so long to read! There were so many things going on and it was driving me crazy! Every time I thought they were getting close and things were going well, something bad would happen and set them back a whole bunch and I just wanted to scream to the heavens! The characters got constantly separated which wrecked havoc on my anxiety. Nothing good happens when you’re away from your freaking crew, it’s the law of YA and of like books okay, so seeing how many times and in how many different freaking combinations all these characters got separated and divided and like freaking lost was awful! I just wanted to know what was going to happen and I didn’t want it to take 800 pages. I really didn’t, that was the only thing that managed to make it onto my negatives for this book is that it took so freaking long to read. Do you know how hard it is to control your anxiety when YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN?! I have to say that I was a bit skeptical over whether or not the ending would feel realistic and plausible but I honestly think that it was a great conclusion to the series. I definitely want to know more about what happened after the end though! I’m gonna briefly mention my thoughts on each of the main characters. Cinder was an all around badass in this book. She had her moments where she was unsure and worried about whether she’d pull it off but all in all, she was a really smart and capable leader. Kai was a kind of stand out in this book. He’s never been my favorite character in this series and I always felt like he was kind of bland. However, in this book, he was proactive, he was defiant, he was SARCASTIC and it made my freaking day all the time haha. Scarlet is just her amazing self, strong and resilient and loving. Wolf had my heart in his hands and he is now my cinnamon roll. He’s vulnerable and fierce and just a freaking Alpha, damnit! Cress and Thorne are just adorable now, it progressed and it was cute and I am a fan now. IKO IS STILL MY FREAKING FAVE! Winter is really just so precious and kind and I kind of felt bad for her but was also super impressed by her resilience. Jacin is definitely kind of annoying. Since he showed up on page he got on my nerves but I also really appreciate how devoted and protective he is of Winter so I guess it’s cool dude.
Overall, I don’t think this series should be as hyped as it is but I still really enjoyed reading it. The first book was really predictable but they all just got better and better, more action packed, more entertaining and I think the last book was the best finale possible. I am now a fan of this crazy cast of characters and I really like how they all grew and developed as people throughout their whole ordeal. Will definitely think of checking out more of Meyer’s books.
So that’s it for this post! Guys, you have no idea how long it’s taken me to write this. DAYS, I’m telling you, freaking days to get this done. Please read it, at least a little bit. Also I’ve read Stars Above, the collection of short stories and I have a review on Goodreads if you’d like to check it out as well. Goodreads link to my profile on the right hand side at the top of this blog. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!