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  1. #1

    The Lunar Chronicles

    Hey all, searched but didn't see a thread on this. Its a really popular YA series, the next Hunger Games/Divergent I predict. I got it for my daughter, but ended up reading and enjoying it a lot so I'll start a thread on it.

    Its sort of a technological future (complete) reimagining of Cindarella, with a bit of Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel thrown in for good measure. Its charming how well the fairy tale elements are interwoven with the story. Like The Princess Bride, the Lunar Chronicles feels like a fairy tale -- a new and original one, albeit with fan service to Cindarella and other tales -- and is just vastly more likable than one would think. Just as it would be hard to explain why The Princess Bride is likable and charming in a review, I'll likely fail here, but I'll try.

    Cinder is a teen cyborg mechanic, with a robotic foot and hand, whose stepmother and one of two step sisters hates her merely because her cybernetic parts make her not "normal". Cinder is a gifted mechanic thanks to her implants, and earns all the money for the family. When the prince first showed up asking Cinder to fix an android that may hold critical secrets, and there was talk of the ball, I wasn't too sure this would be my cup of tea, but pretty soon there is a plague, evil "Lunars" with psionic powers led by a monstrous queen, genetically altered soldiers with wolf DNA, a lost lunar princess and much more. And it all just works.

    What is amazing about the series is that the fairy tail tie-ins are there, but only add to the story. Sure, Cinder loses her cybernetic foot at the ball -- but its sure as heck not in any way you would expect -- its after a fight when she is running for her life. Similarly, when we first meet Scarlet, she is delivering vegetables from her farm, stressed out about her missing grandmother who the police believe simply ran off. Wolf, the handsome street fighter, might know something about Scarlet's grandmother, but is he what he seems? In other words, the fairy tail tie ins really amount to something like fan service -- they are there, and its neat how many there are without ruining the totally different and new fairy tail being spun by Ms. Mayer.

    Although this is a truly excellent series for kids reading at the Harry Potter level or higher, the books are lengthy and well written, and not overly YA. In other words, they are easy to enjoy by adults.

    Strong recommendation.

    P.S. Posting this here rather than in sci-fi because despite androids and genetic engineering the series has a fairy tale fantasy, and not a particularly sci-fi, feel to me.
    Last edited by ArtNJ; May 28th, 2014 at 03:11 PM.

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