Hello humans! Yes, months ago I told you all I wanted to read The Lunar Chronicles after being told to do so by so many people both online and in person. I finally got round to it back in October and I’m ready to share my thoughts with you. I have a feeling this might include a few spoilers for at least the first few books so if you haven’t read them all yet and you don’t want to be surprised then please stop reading now, go and read the books, then come back and see if your thoughts align with mine.
Thought #1 : Fairytales in Space
Firstly I want to talk about the choice of fairytales retold in this series. What I appreciated was not only the attention to the details in the original stories but also the way Meyer links these details to the futuristic world she has created. My favourite example is when Thorne is blinded. This is a detail that’s left out of a lot of the children’s versions of Rapunzel, the way Meyer solves it, not with tears but with stem cell technology is a nice parallel. It’s like the first series of Sherlock where they set up the links between the original books and the modern setting. It’s fun when you spot the hints.
Thought #2 : Women in tech
Other thing I loved, main characters are not useless damsels in distress (even though they are in distress a lot) but are in fact an engineer and a top computer hacker. That’s a welcome representation of women in those fields. The fact that it’s never brought up as ‘odd’ that women might pursue those professions (is hacker a profession?) is also so satisfying, if you’re going to make an alternative reality why not remove pointless prejudice?
Thought #3 : Why so heteronormative?
It’s my one problem. It’s so heteronormative. Literally every time a male and a female character meet you can work out which of them are going to fall in love and live happily ever after. I will mention that Meyer’s latest book Renegades is slightly better so clearly she is working on this element. But I would have loved one character to end up at least happy and single.
Thought #4: How a series ends
I can understand why this series is predictable. In their nature fairy tales follow a pattern, from the beginning you can work out that everything is going to end fine and our main characters are going to make it through. But I feel like these books would have packed so much more of a punch if they had defied that tradition – it’s a retelling after all. I think a truly dark ending that still had a ray of hope within it would have been more powerful. But I do see how the source material necessitated the ending as it was.
I thoroughly enjoyed binge reading this series (four books in five days…) and if you’re on the fence about reading them then I’d say they live up to the hype.
What say you? I know so many of you have already read The Lunar Chronicles so let me know your favourite character (and why) in the comments.