The Lunar Chronicles
by Marissa Meyer
Back when I started reading Marissa Meyer’s Cinder, my initial impression of Book 1 boiled down to: the action is very impelling; so much happens in the first few chapters that I was hard-pressed to put it down.
Now what does that mean to me as a writer?
To this day, what has remained with me the most about Cinder is how the first chapters quickly set up Cinder’s situation (a cyborg Cinderella), that situation needed to be changed (i.e. why the story had to happen), and a problem (the virus). Other problems also arise as the story went on, such as the Lunars and Levana, but what stands out is how immediate the set-up felt to me.
As a reader, it drew me in and had me reading avidly and longer than I had intended. It was also very obvious where the plot was going; it wasn’t that much of a surprise as to who the lost princess Serene was, but rather how the plot got us there.
I think my favorite part was the way Meyer took the “classic” symbols of different fairy tales and put them into a more science/modern settling. This was most prominent with the Lunars ability to influence how humans see them via brainwaves, but how mirrors reflect their true selves. Plus, the Lunar Queen despises mirrors and she has a new stepdaughter. Snow White anyone? And a Rapunzel character has already been introduced!
It was active, forward-moving, and clearly inspired by fairy tales. It was also very easy to read, although I’m not sure if that was just because it was teen fantasy, a new genre I hadn’t really read by that point.