Ok so while my main intent for this blog is to discuss my writing and publishing journey (as well as keep you up to date with what I’m doing) from time to time I’m going to discuss other things as well; mostly books. I’m starting with books today because I really want to talk to someone about how much I’m loving The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I’m four books in and if you check out the reviews for Fairest on Goodreads you’ll notice that I used part of this post for my review.
I’ll start with a confession; Science Fiction really isn’t my genre. I don’t mind television Sci-fi (I can’t escape it either because my husband loves it) but I’ve never really been interested in Sci-fi novels; with exceptions for Frankenstein as well as Nylon Angel by Marianne de Pierres. Towards the end of last year I walked into my local library to return a book and I saw the cover for Cinder. I was instantly drawn to pick it up and read the blurb (it’s an excellent argument for judging a book by its cover by the way). The impression of futuristic re-tellings of fairy tales had me checking the book out to give it a go. I read it in two days. It was fantastic.
I’m going to segue here for a moment to say that it was literally the fact that these books were based off fairy tales that made me pick up Cinder. I adore myths, legends, and folk and fairy tales. When I was doing my degree I minored in Children’s Literature simply because that’s where all the units studying these stories were. So that was really the only reason I loaned out the book. It exceeded my expectations a thousand fold.
Over the first three books we’re introduced to Cinder (a cyborg mechanic in Cinder), Scarlet (a farmer/produce delivery person in Scarlet) and Cress (who is essentially a spy in, you guessed it, Cress). From the names you can probably guess which fairy tale the novel/character has been based off. Or I should say loosely based off because these stories, barring archetypes, show little resemblance to their originals. The main character is definitely Cinder but Meyer focuses each book on the sub-plot of the titular character just as much as progressing Cinder’s story until they all meld into one. The character growth of each is impressive and excellently written. Meyer really knows her craft and is a pleasure to read. The male characters are just as well crafted but the female characters are undeniably the stars of the show, and for the most part, the female characters don’t rely on their male counterparts to save the day. They are their own heroes.
As with all fairy tales there is of course the Evil Queen and in The Lunar Chronicles that evil queen is the Lunar Queen Levana. In The Lunar Chronicles the action and the first two books predominately take place on Earth and posture the Lunar Kingdom, that is the inhabitants of the Moon, as running a sort of cold war against Earth. They aren’t typical Sci-Fi aliens as much as they were originally a colony from Earth that over time evolved due to the change in their environment until they possess abilities akin to magical powers. This is explained in the story and I couldn’t explain it as well as Meyer does. Fairest explains Levana’s back story from her childhood through to several years before the events of Cinder.
Marissa Meyer has a talent for writing really strong female characters that it’s hard not to love. Even Cress, who starts her journey as a unempowered Damsel In Distress, really grows into a strong character. After three novels based on the fallout of the evil Lunar Queen Levana’s actions, I wasn’t expecting to get so emotionally invested in a character I’d grown to detest; especially knowing where the story would end up. Queen Levana’s story does not make her any less deplorable nor does it excuse her actions. It does however explain them. I felt sympathy for young Levana, I will not say more than this for fear of spoilers, and while she definitely makes bad choices you can see what drove her to do so. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!
Meyer is quickly gaining a spot on my favourite authors list and I’m waiting for my local library to get in Winter for me. I doubt that this is the last time you’ll hear about this series from me. I highly recommend fans of Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy and Fairy Tales check this series out because I find it difficult to believe you’ll be disappointed.