Read if you like: Grimm’s fairy tales, cyberpunk, The Hunger Games
Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles is a YA series that takes traditional fairy tales and turns them into grim cyberpunk. Our Cinderella (Cinder) is a cyborg, our Little Red Riding Hood (Scarlet) a badass spaceship pilot, Rapunzel (Cress) a genius computer hacker, and Snow White (Winter) a psychic, slowly driven insane as she tries not to use her powers. Of course, every fairy tale needs an evil queen, and Queen Levana is as scary as she is sadistic–capable of making anyone fall helplessly in love with her using her psychic powers, ruling her kingdom on the moon, but always looking with jealousy towards Earth …
The Lunar Chronicles is an incredible combination of whimsy and action. You’ll chuckle when you recognise the fairy tale references, and cringe when you read Levana’s callous acts of cruelty. Also necessary to any good fairy tale is a touch of romance, and these books have it in abundance. What starts as a poor cyborg girl trying to escape her cruel family quickly escalates into a full-blown Hunger Games-style revolution as our heroes fight to overthrow Queen Levana.
(This book may not be for you if you avoid the following)
- Predictability: the plot twists can be quite easy to guess, although this doesn’t necessarily ruin the fast pace of the plot.
- POV Switching: the first book, Cinder, focuses on just Cinder and Prince Kai, but the sequel, Scarlet, switches to a new protagonist for most of the book. After Scarlet, more characters are introduced, but the point-of-view swaps are more steady, with the characters taking just a few chapters each at time.
- Long Saga: although not as long as other fantasy series, The Lunar Chronicles takes up four books (with some short stories as well), and the books get thicker as they continue.