I love a good genre mashup. One of the best TV shows of all time was a mix of sci-fi and western. (I’ll always love you, Firefly!) Spaceships and horses and bar fights and technology, all blended into the perfect setting for the perfect TV show.
Now, Merissa Meyer puts a new type of mashup on the line by taking classic fairy tales and giving them a sci-fi flare.
For example, Cinder(ella) is a cyborg mechanic. Instead of losing a glass slipper, she loses her mechanical foot. In fact, throughout the book there are several clever twists on the classic story elements. Then add in a whole new world, brand new characters, a deadly plague sweeping across the land. Oh, and also an evil Lunar queen (yes, from the moon) and you’re in for a wild ride.
The first book, Cinder, is about Cinderella as a cyborg. The next three books feature Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White. I love the way the stories draw off of different pieces of the traditional fairy tales, and also how they weave together with each other. It pulls you in more and more with each chapter.
Pros and Cons? I love the concept of this world. The characters are quite fun, the writing is pretty good (it gets better), although the plot was a little predictable in the first book. But the series DEFINITELY improves with each book (which is always a good thing), and I enjoyed the rest of the series a TON. (The fourth book is a little long, but the 2nd and 3rd are pretty much flawless). This series isn’t perfect, but it’s doing a lot of things right. It reminded me a lot of the way the Eragon series was done.
So if you’re a young person wanting a Firefly-Disney conglomeration, go check out the Lunar Chronicles (Cinder is the first book). They’re delightful. And if you’re like me, you’ll leave wanting to go re-watch Firefly.