Did anybody else think of Queen Beryl from Sailor Moon when Queen Levana was described? And the moon princess? Princess Selene sounds a lot like Princess Serene. But that is just a side note :)
I loved the fact that even though this is supposed to be a retelling, about 90 percent of the material was original.
I enjoyed reading Cinder a lot. I did feel like there should have been more explanation about Lunars, why they are on the moon and why they are not friendly with Earthens, but since this is only a first book of the series, I am sure that more answers will come with time.
I enjoyed Cinder as a protagonist. She was funny, she was strong, and most importantly she was not whiny (as for some reason a lot of teenage protagonists are). Iko was a nice little addition as well.
I dodn't really trust Torin.
And if Cinder is "the moon princess" then Kai is Darien?
Lots of Sailor Moon parallels!
And I was very sad when (view spoiler) I liked her.
I also wish for something horrible to happen to Adri. Like get hit by a hover, or I don't know...burn in hell!!
There were few very nice plot turns and the ending obviously left me wanting more.
I forgot to take a nice picture of Scarlet (it was library's copy) so internet one will have to do.
I know that Scarlet was supposed to be about Scarlet and her story, but Thorne and Cinder's dorky friendship made this book!
Also in the second book the parallels with Sailor moon are less obvious, as the story takes a very nice and original turn.
I loved Cinder in this book and I have a feeling that she will come even further in her character development in the next two books.
"Once, people had looked at her with revulsion. Now, people were terrified of her.
She wasn't sure which was worse.
She wanted to scream to the world that it wasn't her fault she was this way. She'd had nothing to do with it."
Thorne is my favorite. I want to give him all the hugs because he is so precious.
I enjoyed Scarlet a lot. I really liked her farm girl wibe - all about peace, quiet and growing vegetables.
"Who knows? tomorrow you might learn about broccoli. By next week, you could know the difference between summer squash and zucchini."
Her aggressive side was also quite enjoyable. But most important thing about Scarlet is that she gives everybody a chance. She is not quick to judge and is not afraid to forgive and trust somebody again. I especially loved how she was defending Cinder, without even knowing her.
"People are so quick to accuse and criticize, but they don't know what she's been through or what led her to do the things she did. Do we even know for sure that she did anything?"
Normally a guy like Wolf would have swept me off my feet, but for some reason he was just okay for me. Maybe because of the lies he kept telling Scarlet. Or maybe he just felt too robotic and monotone (granted that is explainable by him being under the thaumaturge's power) but still.
I wasn't too thrilled about their insta-love, but at least Scarlet herself questioned it too. I loved the dynamic Scarlet and Wolf had though, their conversations were awesome:
"You'll want to aim for the head. That usually makes a fatal shot. Or, if you're feeling shaky, the torso. It's a larger target"
"Your head looks pretty big from here."
There was an obnoxious overuse of words "gulp" , "glare" and "prone", but I will let it slide, because it was still very enjoyable.
I cannot wait to dig into Cress, as am I really enjoying this series.
This is where the story gets very involved, intense and action packed. And it's pure awesomeness! With Cinder and Scarlet I knew that I really liked The Lunar Chronicles, but now with Cress, I LOVE it.
I cannot even begin to express how much I love that all of the characters in The Lunar Chronicles represent something, be it a race, a skin color, a disability or a mental issue.
Let's start with Cinder. Cinder to me embodies all of people who ever been outcasted because of them not being "normal" (the reason honestly doesn't matter - it can be a bodily disability, a sexuality or anything that doesn't fit into a mold of "normal" (which I don't know who came up with the definition of "normal" ? It's stupid, we all are beautiful, but that is an issue for another time).
Cinder came a long way as a character - she now has a whole world depending on her, and it was so nice to see her finally break down and admit that she don't know what she is doing, and that she is scared. I only wish that she was friendlier to Cress in this book, but I can understand her being distant I guess, with all that's going on.
The moment that really broke me was when she was talking to Audrey.
'Sometimes I do think that maybe she was misunderstood. she was so young when we adopted her. she must have been afraid...perhaps she could have belonged here. you understand...if only she had been normal.'
I have mentioned this before but I hope that Audrey burns in hell! I know she's fictional and all, but I hate her even more than Levana.
Cress, little precious Cressent Moon, I love her to pieces. I have to admit that I am biased though, as Rapunzel is my favorite, so I was already predisposed to love Cress no matter what. Cress represents all of the people with social anxieties. When she had to put herself on the spot and her face would get red and she would stumble over her words. When her panic attacks made her head spin and her breathing to catch. Her every fear, every hyperventilation, every sob of helplessness - I felt it. It felt amazing to have your favorite character to go through what you go through .
'Her head swam. Suddenly dizzy, Cress stumbled backward. crashing into Thorner...She tried to swallow down the rising panic, this sensation that her existence was as small and unimportant as the tiniest fleck of sand blowing against her shins.'
'She pulled on her hair, wishing there was more of it to toy with, to twist and knot and take out her fluttering nerves on. But it was short now. Short and light, and freeing, and everyone was still staring at her. Goose bumps raced down her ams.'
But Cress was also brave and strong, and very, vey resourceful.
'If only they'd know it was a worthless shell causing them so much trouble.'
I loved her direct honestly when it came to Thorne. she wasn't afraid to put herself out there, and even when she got tricked and hurt, she din't abandon her beliefs.
Scarlet was largely absent from this book, but there were still few precious moments with her.
'Awwwwww' sealed Iko. 'Did Wolf just say that he loves Scarlet? that's so cute!'...
'Is she blushing? she sounds like she's blushing.'
It's honestly very hard to judge Scarlet's character from this book, as she took a backseat in this one, so I will have to wait to form my full opinion on her in book 4.
!!! Spoiler ahead!!!
'Cress cocked her head 'I... I don't understand.'
For the briefest moment he seemed annoyed. 'It would help if we could see.'
His eyes were open, but he was staring blankly past Cress's shoulder...
'Captain? It isn't dark. I can see just fine.'
Marissa Meyer why would you do this to me?? I literally gasped out loud! And just like that Thorne was blind, and representing the blind community. You could see his struggle when he was trying to come to terms with it. How he didn't want to seem a burden, or be helpless or be treated like a triple. He was always determined and he always tried to be strong (even if he was scared to death himself) for Cress.
If you are looking for a book-boyfriend, look no further. Thorne is here for you. I also loved how he was always so understanding. When he first met Cinder he never even batted an eyelash because she was a cyborg, she just took it as a fact and became her friend. When he met Wolf he wasn't prejudiced against him. He never laughed or judged Cress when she told him she loved him after they barely just met, or that she used to talk to a computer for years.
When he and Cress were stranded he was still thinking of his friends, and he got a present for Iko - how sweet was that?
'Are you squeamish, Mr. Thorne?'
'Eye stuff weirds me out. As do any surgery regarding pelvic bone.'
Me too Thorne, me too!
Thorne might just be the best male character ever written.
While I didn't care much for Wolf in the second book, I didn't like him at all in this one. He has completely fallen apart, and put all of the crew in danger. I understand his despair and his grief, but instead of moping around he should have been doing something. He should have been planning, helping, eager to save her. He was a trained soldier, those should have been his instincts. Yes, the genetic modifications messed him up, but still I didn't think it was a good reason for him to act as he was. Thorne lost his eye sight, and he ran to save Cress, at the first notion of her being kidnapped (and they weren't even an item, as much as Scarlet and wolf were). For now I am going to say that Wolf is pretty useless without his alpha.
Wolf represents a broken man, stifled by grief and I hope that he comes through in the fourth book.
We only got to see a little bit of Jacin, and I don't know what to make out of him, yet. I can appreciate him being all silent and mean though. Those are marks of self-preservation of people who had been hurt. A lot. So I am excited for his story. Also I hope that he didn't stray them.
And we saw even less of Winter, the last main character, I assume. But from what I saw to me she is representing the mental illnesses community. And I CANNOT WAIT to read her story.
Sadly this conclusion to a pretty great series was my least favorite of all the books. It's not that it was bad, I just found too many problems with it for my liking. I still enjoyed the series very much overall.
“She was prettier than a bouquet of roses and crazier than a headless chicken. Fitting in was not an option.”
First and foremost, there was not nearly enough Winter in this book, for it being HER book and all. Winter was an amazing character, and even if I didn't understand the reasons for some of the things she did I applaud her bravely and selflessness. And Jacin's unshakable love for her was one of the most beautiful things in the book.
He loved her in the good times, and he loved her even more in the bad times.
Altogether, Jacin was a pretty bland character, but his devotion and love for Winter made for it a little bit.
“She would be brave. She would be heroic. She would make her own destiny.”
I have said this before and I will say it again, Cress was my absolute favorite. Sadly, there was not nearly enough of her in this book too, but that is warranted since it wasn't her book. I think the reason that I resonate with Cress is because of her anxieties, I can relate to that, and it makes me love her so much. For me, Cress, was perfect the moment she appeared on the pages and till the very end.
She couldn't not say it, although she realized he was right.It was sort of scary. Much scarier than it had been the first time she'd told him, out in the desert. It was different now. It was real. "I'm in love with you."
And their love story? Swoon worthy. It's not insta-love, it's not ridiculously unbelievable. It's just VERY VERY good.
“She was trapped. Thorne was captured. But they had been heroic.”
“Thorne, on the aisle, held out his hand as Cinder passed. She snorted and accepted the high five before floating up the stairs.”
I think I have proclaimed my love for Thorne enough over the reviews of the past books so I will just go and swoon over him in a corner.
I think I liked Cinder the least in this book, which was weird, because she had made some very nice character progression over the past three books. There was something cruel in Cinder in this book. Her ability to sacrifice other people just so she could get to the throne just didn't sit well with me. I know she was doing it for the people, but still. And when did she become so determined to be on the throne? It happened too suddenly. One minute she didn't want to believe in her destiny, and the next she was marching to take her crown.
Ike was like a beam of sunshine through the darkness.
There was one instance in the book that brought me much grief. I didn't write the page of the quote but it went something like this:
Winter telling Scarlet about the girl she saved by making her believe that she was happy, so the girl won't commit a suicide. The girl did later anyway, and Winter realized that she had no right to manipulate the girl and not let her do what the girl wanted to do in the first place.
Basically, what I gathered from it is this:
Don't try to talk people out of suicide because it's not your business, and if they decide to kill themselves is totally their choice - and that made me very, very mad.
I might have understood it wrong, or read too much between the lines. But if I did there's a chance that somebody else would too.
Suicide is definitely something you should and must talk people out of!
This is always talked about. People are encouraged to talk to suicidal people, to monitor them, to be there for them, to help them though their tough times. NOT TO JUST LEAVE THEM ALONE.
I do hope that I understood it wrong. But in any case, I think that was a horrible, horrible message to put in a book.
I also didn't like how Cinder always focused on Levant's ugliness, and used that to expose her in front of all of the people. Yes, Levana was delusional and cruel, and did horrid things. But it doesn't mean that you have to use one thing that she is the most insecure about and use it against her. I thought that it was a very, very low blow.
From what I gathered Levana didn't have a happy childhood, and was tortured. She is a product of her environment. So on some deep level, I had some sympathy for her too.
When Wolf was turned into more wolf-like creature I was expecting a big showdown between him and Scarlet, but it all ended very anticlimactically. To be honest the whole ending was anticlimactic.
All in all, I think that Cress, Thorne, Iko and Winter were delights of this book. There were many cute moments and amazing quotes, but there were also some problems and plot holes.
Also this book could have been at least 200 pages shorter. It felt way too drawn out.
After I have finished the whole series here is a complete list of Sailor Moon parallels. This should have been called SM retelling, tbh.
Cinder - Serena (in her destiny) and Sailor Jupiter in her looks.
Iko - Luna (sidekick!)
Scarlet - Sailor Mars, because of fiery attitude
Cress - Sailor Mercury (smart, tech, and short hair)
Kai - Darien / Taxedo Mask.
Levana - Queen Nehellenia (since she wanted to be the prettiest one. And her sister had Serene as her daughter, just as Cinder was Levana's niece.)
Can't find a SM double for Winter though.
Freelance BETA reader.