Saturday, November 1, 2014

‘The Lunar Chronicles’ by Marissa Meyer

Book cover: Cinder by Marissa Meyer. The cover image is the side view of a woman's calf and foot in a high-heeled red shoe. A metallic structure, reminiscent of joints and bones, is faintly visible inside her leg.
Related to my class discussion of fairy tales (and their heroines) this week, I recommend reading The Lunar Chronicles, a series of Young Adult science fiction novels by author Marissa Meyer.

Each book in the series is modeled after a fairy tale, and centers upon a heroine and her “prince.”

With my longstanding interest in “fractured” fairy tales, reading this series was natural for me. And because my comments address the story mid-series, they may unavoidably contain “spoilers.”

Cinder is the first volume in The Lunar Chronicles. It envisions a future in which the Earth’s population is threatened by a warring kingdom that inhabits the moon.

(Originally human, the Lunar inhabitants have the ability to cast a “glamor” that alters their appearance. They also have the ability to take control of humans’ minds.)

Cinder (Meyer’s take on the character of Cinderella) is a cyborg and mechanic. She meets Prince Kaito, ruling head of the Commonwealth (formed from combined earth governments), when he needs an android repaired.

The Lunar Queen, Levana, is pressuring Prince Kaito to marry her; she demands their union as a price to prevent her kingdom attacking Earth, but her plan is to use the wedding to seize power on Earth.

In the second book, the title character, Scarlet, is looking for her missing grandmother.

Scarlet’s “prince” is Wolf, a human who, as a child, was genetically modified to have wolfen characteristics: fierce fighting ability and unquestioning loyalty to the alpha, or leader, of his pack.

The third book, Cress, offers Meyer’s take on the story of Rapunzel. And the fourth book, Winter, is due for publication in November 2015. It centers upon a character who is modeled after Snow White.

Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles is exciting science fiction that maintains a compelling overall story while expanding its cast in each volume with another fairy tale heroine.

Meyer also plans Fairest, centered around the character Levana, for publication in January 2015. She is essentially the evil queen of “Mirror, Mirror” fame; the book’s cover image on Meyer’s website depicts a veiled figure’s reflection in glass surrounded by an ornate frame.

This reader enjoyed Meyer’s creative take on traditional fairy tales in The Lunar Chronicles, and looks forward to continuing the experience with her upcoming books.

Cross-posted to an online discussion board for a class in children’s literature

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