Cinder & Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #1 & 2)

In honor of today’s release of Cress, the third book in this series, here is a review double-feature!

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What I’d pay for both: $20+

To sum them up: Cinder introduces us to a future world where cyborgs and androids are common and a race that has been secretly living on the moon, the Lunars, threaten earth’s security with their special mental abilities.  Scarlet picks up where Cinder leaves off while introducing us to a host of new characters and their fight against the Lunar takeover.

This is one of the best series I have ever read.

Both books are a creative take on the tales of Cinderella and Red Riding Hood, but while elements of the fairy tales are clear in these books, they are far and away from being mere modern re-tellings. The stories take place in a believable future world where human cyborgs and intelligent personal androids are commonplace, but treated as second class citizens to humans. The Lunars are a race that has evolved in secret, apart from humans on the moon, and as a result have unique mental abilities to alter human perception. In the first book, we meet Cinder, Prince Kai, and the evil Lunar queen. I loved their characters and story so much that I was apprehensive about a second book focused mostly on new characters, Scarlet and Wolf. However, possibly the best aspect of this series is the fact that each book is absolutely fantastic on it’s own and really builds on the plot of the previous book. I loved the new characters introduced in the second book, in fact it’s actually my favorite book of the two, and the seamless interweaving of each characters’ backstory into the overall plot of the series is very impressive.  Plus, the main characters introduced in the first book are the main players in the overarching plot, so their presence doesn’t go away in the second book. Be forewarned, there are cliffhanger endings in these books so the wait for the next installment is all that more excruciating. But totally worth it.

Bottomline: Lots of action, adventure, humor, and some romance. If you like fairy tales, scif-fi, or just really great books, you should read this. Each book is great and the series as a whole is just fantastic. I actually bought both of these books, and they are some of the best book purchases I’ve made in quite a while. So, don’t deprive yourself of these gems another minute, go read them! Seriously do it. Now.

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