This Lunar Chronicles Book Series Review has been a work-in-progress for the last few years now. And I mean this literally, because I finished reading the entire series, and all the related novellas about 2-3 years back.
And yet, it’s taken me all this time to finally write a book / series review. Mostly because I couldn’t figure out a way to review these books without gushing all over them and basically sounding like a blithering idiot. But now here I am, trying to write the one review I have procrastinated on for years!
Though just so you know, I don’t think I still have found the non-gushy way to review these books. It’s just that, after all these years, of re-reading these books, and loving them as much as I have loved them – I couldn’t NOT share them with you guys! So here we are.
What is The Lunar Chronicles About?
The Lunar Chronicles is a futuristic sci-fi series, which is set far into the future, and yet is (loosely) based on age old fairy-tales.
The 4 main books of this series – Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter – all draw inspiration from classic fairy-tales like Cinderella (Cinder), Little Red Riding Hood (Scarlet), Rapunzel (Cress), and Snow White (Winter).
And yet it’s a futuristic story set in a world as far removed from these fairy tales as possible. A world which is inhabited with humans and cyborgs alike, who basically are part human, part machine.
And most of the mindless / repetitive / routine tasks are outsourced to robotic talking androids (this particularly doesn’t seem to be that far into our future, don’t you think?).
Though to be completely honest, these particular androids do a lot more than mindless tasks. Depending upon their programming, they can replace house help, assistants / secretaries, and even medical staff.
Oh and how can I forget.. in this world there is an entire Lunar kingdom on the moon, ruled by an evil Queen no less. Who is essentially the main antagonist of this series, and a threat to the entire Earth!
Which then brings us to the plot of this series – and it basically revolves around how an interesting, unlikely group of ‘revolutionaries’ (using this term very lightly, and in a broad sense, so as to not give away spoilers) come together, stand up to the evil Queen, and save the world, as they know it. 😀
How Many Books Does The Series Have in All?
The Lunar Chronicles Series is essentially a quartet of 4 main books
There is a bridge book – Fairest, which can be considered as the prequel to this entire series, but is meant to be read between Cress and Winter.
I have explained why in my spoiler free review of Fairest here on Goodreads. But essentially, Fairest can be considered to be Book #3.5.
Though it’s best not to read these short stories one after the other, and instead read them at strategic places, mostly between (and in one case after) the main quartet.
I will share the reading order (along with my reasons why) in my next post on the blog, so stay tuned. 🙂 [ UPDATE: It’s LIVE now! Check it out HERE!]
The Lunar Chronicles (Spoiler Free) – Guide to Series + Reading Order
The Lunar Chronicles Series – My Thoughts / Obsession
I rarely ever compare a book series with the Harry Potter series. Partly because to be entirely honest, at this point, the Harry Potter books are so mixed up with childhood nostalgia (for me anyway), that I can’t separate the two or objectively look at the books, much less rate them.
But mostly because I worry that drawing parallels with the iconic series will set up the new book / series for sure-shot failure, because of impossible standards & unrealistic expectations.
That being said, The Lunar Chronicles is my absolute favorite young adult fantasy series. And in my mind, I club it with / or at-least right after the Harry Potter series, which is saying a lot.
Mostly because there is just so much that I love about these books – right from the concept of pairing futuristic sci-fi with classic fairy tales to the diverse characterization and setting, and very feminist and progressive themes.
But most importantly, I loved the protagonists. All 8 of them. They had such unique personalities, backgrounds, and story arcs, and yet, they were all really compelling and very lovable in different ways.
Not unlike, Harry, Ron & Hermoine, though they were a tad bit more special, because we literally see them grow up (and so many of us were growing up right along with them!). But then again, the very fact that I am drawing parallels with the trio says a lot, doesn’t it?
So basically what I am saying is that there is a lot to love here.
This series is like hot chocolate fudge topped with vanilla ice-cream & sprinkled with marshmallows. Awesomeness piled on top of awesomeness and sprinkled with more awesomeness.
The Lunar Chronicles Audiobooks
When I first read this series, I read through the physical copies of the books. Since then, I have revisited the series twice. Both times via listening to the audiobooks.
And since I have now listened to all of the audiobooks, multiple times at that, I can certainly vouch for them. The narrator is one of the best, and she does a really good job.
Though if you are new to audiobooks, I’d recommend not starting with these books, because it’s usually easier to start with non-fiction, or re-visiting a familiar story. Maybe even some contemporary fiction, fantasy is just usually not the best bet to start with.
That being said, if you are already into audiobooks, I highly recommend you pick up these books.
If you are looking to get into a fantasy series that is captivating, engaging, and immersive with compelling, lovable characters and a world you will not forget anytime soon – look no further.
Get the Lunar Chronicles box set, I’d say, and you’l be set for a long while. Though if you are unsure, then start with Book #1 Cinder.
But consider this fair-warning, it is a tad slower than the other books as it has to focus on introducing the Lunar Chronicles universe, and also setting up the foundation of the series, which it does a fantastic job of, by the way.
Oh and it also ends on a cliff-hanger of sorts, as the story continues in Book#2.
Essentially The Lunar Chronicles Series is one mega saga, broken into 4 main books, 1 bridge book, and 1 novella.
In my next post, I’ll share the recommended reading order I promised earlier, so stay tuned. And pick up Cinder in the meanwhile.
Until I see you again, happy reading! 🙂
PIN THIS POST!