Scarlet: This sure isn’t your typical Little Red Riding Hood retelling (My thoughts on book #2 in The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer)
Now that I’ve finished reading and reviewing Emma Chase’s Legal Briefs series (Overruled, Sustained, Appealed), I’ve decided to read and review the rest of the Lunar Chronicles basically back-to-back-to-back. Admittedly, I originally thought about doing that when I read and reviewed Cinder back in January, but I ultimately decided to hold off on doing that since I wanted to do the same thing with the Legal Briefs series; that being said, here are my thoughts on Scarlet.
Right off the bat, I have to admit that while I loved Scarlet, this book ended up being very different from the way I was expecting it to be. I was really expecting the titular Scarlet Benoit to be featured in this book front and center with her being the protagonist of the book, and Wolf basically being the co-lead character of the book. However, this book ultimately ended up feeling like more of an ensemble piece than anything else. That definitely really took me by surprise as I was reading it.
While I’ve always thought that three of the most important tasks that the first book in a series is supposed to accomplish is to introduce the main characters, introduce the premise of the series, as well as establish the status quo for the series; I feel like this book did a much better job of establishing what I can expect from the Lunar Chronicles as a whole. Sure, Cinder did a great job of introducing the characters Cinder, Kai and Queen Levana, as well as various aspects of the series such as how the characters are dealing with the threat of the letumosis plague; but as I said, I was originally expecting each book in the series to focus primarily on a different character, with the characters from the previous books being featured in a rather reduced capacity. However, Scarlet really ended up coming across as an ensemble novel that focused on a variety of characters instead of focusing primarily on Scarlet, along with Wolf.
Cinder: Get ready to see the story of Cinderella like you’ve never seen it before (My thoughts on book #1 of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer)
Let me start off this review by saying that much like Veronica Roth’s Divergent, Cinder is a book that I’ve wanted to read for a very long time. Thankfully, it didn’t completely disappoint me like Divergent did. I’d even say that Cinder actually exceeded my expectations. That being said, I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t aware of the fact that Cinder is the first book in a series called The Lunar Chronicles until very recently when I saw reviews for the third book in the series, Cress, and a review for the fifth and final book in the series, Winter, on one of my favorite book review channels on YouTube, Bookables. With that said, here are my thoughts on Cinder.
One of the reasons why I’ve always wanted to read Cinder is because I’ve always been a huge fan of retellings or “reimaginings” of fairy tales. I love the movie Hoodwinked, but admittedly I still need to see Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil. I’m also a huge fan of the TV shows Once Upon a Time and Grimm. Much like those examples of fairytale retellings, Cinder is an awesome new take on the story of Cinderella. Another reason why I love this book so much is because I’m also a fan of science fiction books, TV shows, and movies. This story definitely contains some elements of science fiction given the fact that the character Cinder is a cyborg and people apparently live on the moon in the Lunar Chronicles world.
Linh Cinder, who’s usually simply referred to as “Cinder” in the book, is a very fun and likable character. I love how she really has a tendency to be sarcastic. At the same time, she’s definitely a character that has a lot of heart and compassion for others, despite the fact that her stepmother, Linh Adri, and her stepsister, Linh Pearl, are both quite mean to her. Cinder clearly cares a lot about her other stepsister, Linh Peony, who was also a great character. I was definitely very sad about the fact that Peony died after she contracted the letumosis plague.
The interaction between Cinder and Dr. Erland as they worked together throughout the book to try and find a cure for the letumosis plague was a lot of fun to read, and one of my favorite aspects of the book. I’m really hoping that Dr. Erland will be featured in the other books in The Lunar Chronicles series in some capacity. The fact that the citizens of New Bejing were dealing with the threat of a plague definitely added a really interesting element to the story and created some very compelling drama in the story as well, with Peony and Prince Kai’s father, Emperor Rikan, sadly both dying from the plague.