- Wire & Nerve
- Wire & Nerve: Gone Rogue
- Stars Above
Well, the majority of my May reading was spent in the Lunar Chronicles universe. These books had been on my radar for quite some time, but I still went into them with low expectations because I’ve become cynical as a person haha However, I ended up absolutely loving this series, with all of these books rating 4 or 4.5* from me.
I was gifted Cinder a while back, and actually read it in April. I enjoyed it so completely that I decided to go ahead and purchase the rest of the series (used – have you guys checked out Pango Books yet?? I am IN LOVE with that app and have sold several books there so far – my favorite part is that it’s like eBay used to be, where you actually see photos of the book you’re purchasing, so I was able to make sure I was buying the new-cover editions, which I love), and when they finally arrived in May I absolutely devoured them!! Conveniently, we went on vacation in May as well, which gave me some extra reading time.
So basically these books are set in the future, and Cinder is about a cyborg girl – someone who has had human parts replaced with machinery/computer parts. Following the basic outline of Cinderella, Cinder is an orphan whose adoptive father has died, leaving her with a stepmother who despises her (cyborgs are considered barely human and can be bought and sold as slaves) and two stepsisters. Cinder spends her day working as an android mechanic, and it is there that the prince visits her with a special android that he needs repaired.
In this world, the moon was settled at one point, but Lunars have developed a special ability that enables them to manipulate other’s feelings and even what they see. Lunars are distrusted and hated, and Earth is on the brink of war with them. Meanwhile, a horrible plague is breaking out all around the world. Scientists are racing to try and find a cure or a vaccine, to no avail. I wasn’t surprised to find out that Cinder is more important than anyone knows (including herself), but the way the story unwinds through the series is fantastic.
I loved the way new characters were introduced throughout the series. It can be difficult to balance a lot of different characters going a lot of different directions, but for the most part, Meyer pulled it off. I was genuinely invested in everyone, even the evil Lunar queen. Each of the main books is a different fairytale retelling (Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Snow White) and honestly, that aspect was also done incredibly well. Meyer rings true to the original story while adding her own twists. These were some of the best revisited fairytales I’ve ever read. I especially loved her interpretation of Rapunzel in Cress.
Other things I loved – the love stories! I shipped each of these couples and there were NO LOVE TRIANGLES! There was also no sex! It was fantastic! Each couple had there own issues and difficulties to overcome, but I was rooting for all of them to succeed. Cress really was my favorite of the series, partially because I absolutely love her love interest – he’s totally my fave.
I read these books in the author’s recommended order, including inserting various short stories from Stars Above at various points between the main novels. My biggest complaint is that she has a recommended reading order for the short stories but DIDN’T PUBLISH THEM IN THAT ORDER IN THE BOOK! What’s the point of creating a certain order and then publishing them all together in the same book, if you aren’t going to use the order in the book!?!? It made zero sense and aggravated me way more than it should have.
I wasn’t sure about reading Fairest. After finishing Cress I really wanted to see how everything came together, not read the evil queen’s backstory. However, while that wasn’t anywhere close to my favorite book or anything, I actually enjoyed it way more than I anticipated. Meyer did a great job giving Levana a believable background that explained many of her actions and motives, but still emphasizing that her choices were her own – she had many opportunities to do the right thing, but instead found ways to convince herself to do what she knew, deep down, was wrong. It meant Levana was somewhat explained as a character, but still didn’t become too sympathetic.
The grand finale in Winter was done pretty well. It did somewhat feel like there was a lot more build-up than there was action, but overall Meyer pulled together the many threads and gave me an ending that I found satisfying. While it’s the technical conclusion of the series, the two Wires and Nerve graphic novels, plus a short story occur chronologically after this book. Those were all super fun to see how things went on with the entire gang. I wasn’t sure if I would like the graphic novels since the main character is an android who has basically morphed into human understanding, but it ended up working for me after all.
Overall, I really loved this series. With a total of 3363 pages, I’m not sure if I’ll read this series again anytime SOON, but I can definitely see myself rereading it at some point, as I really liked these characters a lot and would love to revisit them. If you like fairytale retellings and some scifi, these are definitely worth picking up!!