Tag Archives: Cinder

Review: Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)  Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles, Books 1 & 2)
My Cinder Rating: 3 of 5 stars
My Scarlet Rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.”

Since the whole series is Cinder’s story as much as anyone else’s, I’m having a hard time separating my reviews for these two books. Hence, this spoiler-light paired review.

I’ll admit, it took me AGES to get through Cinder. While the general premise was intriguing, I felt like the story was dragging by at a snail’s pace, and I kept putting it down in favor of other books on my TBR pile. Eventually, the audiobook saved the day, allowing me to finish the series as I worked through chores, like folding laundry or cooking dinner. Not the most exciting way to get through a book, but it worked!

I have very mixed feelings about this series so far, so I’m going to break it down into the good, the meh, and the bad…

The Good: As I said, the premise was really intriguing – enough to bump each book up one star in my rating. I loved the idea of Lunars, glamours, and the futuristic setting. I also liked the idea of a Cinderella cyborg retelling. As a side note, the audiobook reading by Rebecca Soler is also great!

The Meh: Somehow I went into this expecting a steampunk setting, which is probably my favorite fantasy subgenre. The Lunar Chronicles are definitely not steampunk, though, so I’m not sure where that idea came from. While not necessarily a bad thing, I think this unfounded expectation set me up for disappointment. This brings me to another “meh” point: this is really a science fiction retelling. While that’s great for sci fi lovers, I’m not really one of them :-/

Another aspect that left me underwhelmed was the romance, particularly between Cinder and Prince Kai. I’m pretty sure they spent less than a cumulative hour in each other’s presence. I know it’s a Cinderella retelling, but even in the moments they spent together, it felt more like they were building an intriguing friendship together rather than a romance. I like my romance to have a little more spark. The relationship between Scarlet and Wolf was a little more sparky, though, and since all of the characters persist as mains throughout the series, I have hope that this aspect of the story might improve.

The Bad: I wanted so much more world-building and vibrancy! The concept is fascinating but I felt like the world was more of a Lunar glamour than a fully developed fantasy land. I wanted it to be more defined and explored than it was, in both New Beijing and the French countryside.

The one other thing that drove me nuts was the occasional lack of protagonist common sense. Without getting into spoilers, I would just like to say that, presumably, Cinder and Scarlet are smart people, with both intelligence and life skills. There were a few times (in Cinder more than Scarlet) when I wanted to ring their necks in frustration. I HATE when characters are purportedly capable of something, only to fail as a means of creating a plot device.

The Bottom Line: This is an interesting series, and I can see why so many people have fallen in love with it. I just don’t think it’s for me. If I hadn’t already invested time, energy, and money into the books, I probably wouldn’t continue with the series. As it is, though, I will be working my way through Cress and Winter via audiobooks. At the very least, it’s a fine way to pass the time while doing chores, and at best, I’ll get to find out how things work out for some of the characters that I’ve come to enjoy.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Completed Series that I Have Yet to Finish

TTT 1.0

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in! (Note: all book cover images in this post link to that book’s Goodreads page.)

Today’s Theme: Ten Completed Series that I Have Yet to Finish

I am including a few series in this list that are not technically completed – they are far along, or have new, previously unexpected books coming out. Either way, I am woefully behind in all of them! Most of my unfinished series fall into three categories: 1) I loved it so much that I want to make the “first read” experience last, 2) It is one of my new discoveries and I just haven’t had time, and 3) Something frustrated me enough to stall my progress.

Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1)  Kindling the Moon (Arcadia Bell, #1)  Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)

My “Make it Last” Picks:

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas – Starting the list with a bang, the first book of the Throne of Glass series blew me away! I already have book two, but I’m saving it for the perfect day, which will likely be an afternoon when I’m feeling bogged down by school and want to read about some badassery… Here’s a link to my review of book one.

Arcadia Bell by Jenn Bennett – This one is mostly a “Make it last” out of necessity. While I love the world and characters, they require me to be in a certain frame of mind. It isn’t a series that I would be able to rush through and still enjoy as much. Here’s a link to my review of book one.

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I read and loved the first two books in this series, and I actually own Kindle copies of the whole kit and caboodle. This is definitely one that I’ve tried to stretch out.

Poison Study (Study, #1)  Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

My “Newly Discovered” Picks:

Study by Maria V. Snyder – Much like Throne of Glass, the first book in this series knocked my socks off. I immediately bought book two and I can’t wait to start it! I have a feeling this is going to turn into a “Make it Last” series. Here’s a link to my review of book one.

Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – This is another relatively new discovery for me. To be honest, though, I’m a little stalled on book one. It’s very good, and I’m expecting to love the whole series – something is just taking me a little longer than usual to finish book one.

Splintered (Splintered, #1)  Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)  City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia, #2)

My “Frustrated” Picks:

Splintered by A.G. Howard – This one is really fresh for me, since I just finished the first book. The world was amazing, so I’ll probably read the rest of the trilogy eventually, but the characters drove me crazy! Here’s a link to my review.

Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger – So far, I’ve made it as far as the end of book two. Without giving away spoilers, let me just say that I got so frustrated with Lord Maccon that I had to put the series down for a while. I’m saving book three for a day when I can just sit down and race through it.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare – This series was more of a “fizzle out” situation than a “frustrated”one. I raced through the series when I should have stretched it out, and my stamina finally gave out halfway through book six. I remember thinking I would just take a break for a day or so, but then I never picked it back up. Now I feel like I’d have to reread the whole series to get all of the context back…

If I Stay by Gayle Forman – This one may be a bit of a cheat since it’s only a duology, but I really liked If I Stay as a standalone. The ending felt so somber and final that I felt weird about reading on. If you’ve read and liked book two, let me know!

Chronicles of Narnia  by C.S. Lewis – I read most of this series as a kid, but the farther I got the less interest the stories held for me. Maybe that would be different if I reread them as an adult.

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I know a lot of these series are really popular. If you’ve read them, let me know which of my “frustrated” picks I should definitely continue with! Also, let me know about your own top ten in the comments!

Top Ten Tuesday: Fairytale Retellings

TTT 1.0

For those who don’t know, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new theme and everyone is invited to join in!

Today’s Theme: Ten Fairytale Retellings I’ve Read (Or Want to Read)

If there’s one thing I’ve discovered from this week’s TTT, it’s that there are an awful lot of Cinderella retellings! That and the fact that I haven’t read nearly enough of these books yet… Note: all book cover images link to that book’s Goodreads page.

Ella Enchanted  Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)  A Scorching Dilemma (The Rue Alliance, #2)  Mechanica

Cinderella:

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine – This is very loosely based on Cinderella, and it’s one of the books that I OBSESSED over as a middle grader. It will forever have a soft spot in my heart.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – I have to confess, I haven’t read this one yet. But I JUST got my Kindle copy from the library, so it won’t be long, I promise!

A Scorching Dilemma by Shereen Vedam – I haven’t read this one yet, either, though I’ve read the preceding book (see below). I’m really excited about this because it’s about a man named Daniel Trenton, fondly known as the Cinder Fella.

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell – This is an arc I received through Net Galley, and it’s set to be released in just a few weeks. It’s described as a steampunky Cinderella retelling. Hopefully I’ll have a review coming soon!

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)  Entwined  A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

Little Red Riding Hood: Scarlet by Marisa Meyer – The sequel to Cinder, this one’s also a fairytale retelling. The first two books of the series made my list because I own the hard copies, but I haven’t read either, yet. Reviews to hopefully come soon!

The Twelve Dancing Princesses: Entwined by Heather Dixon – I loved this book. I wasn’t familiar with the story of The Twelve Dancing Princesses before reading it, but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment. Here’s a link to my review.

Beauty and the Beast: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – This is another that I haven’t read yet. I’ve heard it’s a loose fairytale retelling. Just waiting for my library queue to pop!

The Little Android (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.6)  A Devilish Slumber (The Rue Alliance, #1)

The Little Mermaid: The Little Android by Marissa Meyer – I actually came across this by accident while digging through potential books for this list. The Little Mermaid was my absolute favorite Disney movie as a young child so I KNEW I had to read this when I stumbled on it. It’s a short story available to read for free on Wattpad, and it’s set in the same world as the rest of the The Lunar Chronicles series.

Sleeping Beauty: A Devilish Slumber by Shereen Vedam – This is the first book in Vedam’s Rue Alliance series. It’s inspired by Sleeping Beauty and I really enjoyed it. Here’s  a link to my review.

The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1)  The Princess Bride

To make up for only having 9 fairytale retellings, here are two more stories I’ve really been wanting to read that are sort of in a sister category:

The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer – This is the first book in Chris Colfer’s childern’s series, The Land of Stories. I’ve read that it’s reminiscent of traditional fairytales, and I’ve been wanting to read it for a while.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman – I’ve heard from several friends that the book is amazing and I should read it. I’ll get to it eventually, I promise!

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Did you have a hard time thinking of your own list? Let me know about your top ten in the comments!