I might have said this before but I love series and reading the whole series back to back. This summer my project has been the Lunar Chronicles and now I have finally finished it. I'm still reading Stars Above, the collection of short stories about the different characters featured in the Lunar Chronicles, but I don't consider it a necessity. It's a nice bonus after finishing the actual series when you don't wanna move on from that world just yet.
The first book in the series, Cinder, got me hook right from the start. Very original idea, though it is a fairytale retelling. That didn't play a big role but when there were allusions to the original fairytale it was fun to notice them and they had nice twists. I've read some dystopian novels but this was the first with cyborgs in it and it was interesting, and the whole future world felt realistic and well-planned. Some plot twists I guessed, like the fact that Cinder is Selene, but some were total surprises like Dr. Erland's role.
The second book, Scarlet, is probably the weakest of the four, mainly because I'm not a big fan of Scarlet. I don't know what it is about her, perhaps I've had enough of these strong, independent, outspoken female characters. Also the relationship between her and Wolf is a bit too weird for me. The chapters with Cinder and Thorne in them were way more interesting and fun. Still it's a four star read, maybe 4- if you have to compare with the other three books.
The third book, Cress, was again better than the previous. I liked that we had met Cress already, so we didn't get a totally new character out of the blue. Saving Cress kicked the story off with speed, only to slow down a little in the middle. Again I guessed some things like they all ending up in the same place eventually, but the journey there was interesting enough for it not bothering me. At times the Rampion crew reminded me of Firefly and the crew of Serenity, which I love. Probably the funniest part of the whole series was the kidnapping of Kai, in all its craziness and scrambling.
The last book, Winter, was quite different from the other three, mainly because it takes place on Luna and Levana's palace. The Lunar society felt very much like Panem from the Hunger Games with the sectors and dictatorship and the rich taking advantage of the poor. Again, a new main character was introduced in the previous book, which I liked. There were a lot more twists and turns than I expected, sometimes I had no idea how the characters were going to survive the dangerous situations they got themselves in. I expected at least one major death, other than the obvious Levana death, but it never came. The ending was maybe a little too happy, but I'm not complaining, it's good to have some positivity in literature for change.
My favorite characters are Cinder and Kai. They break a lot of stereotypes, Cinder being the handy mechanic and Kai the soft and sweet prince. I can identify with Cinder and I like that she's not the typical beautiful and quick-witted heroine. I thought I would not like the playboy Thorne, but his brother-sister relationship with Cinder was very amusing. Cress and Thorne were a cute couple, but I would have liked it more if Thorne actually wasn't that into her and she would have gotten a wake up call after dreaming all the fantasies. I could have done without Winter but I guess she had her role in the story and her struggling with the Lunar sickness was interesting and raised an important issue. Lastly, I have to mention Iko, she always managed to fill her role as comic relief.
All in all this is one of the best series I've ever read even with some of its faults. The characters and the world are well-built and the plot takes you to places you never could have guessed. I will definitely reread this someday.