I played catch-up this summer with the Lunar Chronicles and read both Scarlet and Cress with my ears. I read Cinder with my ears as well, but unfortunately never got around to reviewing it. I thought it was a clever twist on the Cinderella motif and a very impressive debut novel. Here's a double review of Scarlet and Cress.
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. The Lunar Chronicles #2. Unabridged audiobook on 9 compact discs. 11 hours. Read by Rebecca Soler. Macmillan Audio, February, 2014. 9781427229649. (Purchased.)
No sequel sag here. While Cinder is imprisoned, facing deportation to Lunar where a death sentence awaits her, readers are introduced to Scarlet Benoit, the granddaughter of a farmer in France. Scarlet is frantic because her grandmother went missing two weeks earlier, leaving her ID chip behind. Authorities assume that she left on her own but Scarlet knows better. She warily enlists the aid of Wolf, a street fighter of sorts, to help her find Grandmere. Big mistake. No spoilers here despite the fact that the book has been out for awhile. Let's just call this romance a bit star-crossed.
Meanwhile, Cinder gets some help escaping but ends up teaming up with her cellmate, Captain Carswell Thorne, a sort of Han Solo-type, swashbuckling hero in his own mind kind of guy.
The double narrative takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride of an adventure. Thank goodness I read this after Cress was published as the only wait I endured was waiting for the one library that owned the audiobook of Cress to ILL it to my library.
Cress by Marissa Meyer. The Lunar Chronicles #3. Unabridged audiobook on one self-contained Playaway. 16 hours. Read by Rebecca Soler. 9781427236373. (Borrowed from public library.)
Cress, a Lunar shell and gifted hacker has been orbiting Earth in a satellite, ordered by Sybil Mira to first spy on Kai and other government officials and, most recently, to find the Rampion, Thorne's stolen spaceship. Cress, who has a bit of a crush on Thorne has not only found it, she's using her skills to keep the ship cloaked. She has a bit of a rescue fantasy going involving Thorne. Wolf is training Cinder to hone her mind controlling skills and Kai is reluctantly planning a wedding. When Cinder and Cress finally make contact, Cress can't believe her good luck. Unfortunately, Sybel decides to make a surprise visit and thwarts Cress' plans for escape. Cress and Thorne end up plummeting to Earth in the satellite; Scarlet becomes a prisoner of Sybil; and Cinder and Wolf reunite with Dr. Erland in Africa.
Oh my, what an epic story! I just love the pacing, the humor, the action and the romance. Everything fits together so well, so seamlessly. And the sci-fi spin on the fairy tale motifs is just thrilling. The Rampion, Thorne's blindness, Wolf and Scarlet, Cinder and Kai. Oh, this series just tickles me.
For some reason, I thought this was a trilogy. When I realized that the end of the story was near and no resolution seemed to be imminent, I realized that there would be another installment. Winter is due out November of 2015! Yikes! However, there will be a prequel, called Fairest, that is due to drop in January. It is Levana's story.
I must say that I find Rebecca Soler's performance in all three audiobooks absolutely amazing. Perfectly paced, amazing accents, I have enjoyed all three recordings. I actually thought that the narrator had changed because she inhabits the characters so well. I highly recommend this series in both the print and audio versions. My students just love the series - both boys and girls.