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YMMV / Lunar Chronicles

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Fans are mixed on why Pearl does not expose Cinder's secret to Kai, and instead tells him how Peony died. Some think she felt sorry for Cinder. Others think she was milking Peony's death to manipulate sympathy out of Kai, and did not expose Cinder to save face.
    • Channary....Considering she is dead, there are some fans who believe that her reputation is just Levana's propaganda. There is also the question if she would have been a loving mother to Selene.
      • This was then blown out of the water by the prequel novella "Fairest," which revealed Channary as the biggest Complete Monster in the series. However, despite her awfulness, she seemed to genuinely love Selene and actually be a somewhat decent mother, caring for her herself instead of forcing servants to the way their parents had.
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    • Levana might just want to be loved. No seriously, "Cress" implies she just wants the people of Earth to love her. It comes at the cost of nearly killing half the galaxy, so she presumably wants the love of the survivors. Fairest confirms this.
  • An Aesop: It is wrong to use petty differences to strip someone of their humanity, and to demand blind ownership of another being, especially the right to kill said being for one's own benefit.
  • Author Appeal: Marissa Meyer was a Sailor Moon fangirl, and there are many references to the series (long-lost moon princess, you say?)
  • Broken Base: Fans are really mixed on what the ethnicities of the characters are.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Konn Torin has gained popularity for being an Only Sane Man.
    • The Lunar guard Liam Kinney has also gained notice.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Levana's glamour essentially makes her the World's Most Beautiful Woman. Also the case with several other villainous Lunars.
  • Funny Moments:
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    • Kai's input on his wedding vows:
    Kai: Delete anything that has to do with love, respect, or joy, and I'll sign on the dotted line.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Shortly before dying of Letumosis, Erland makes a comment to Levana about how much she'd hate to be where he is now, gazing up at a giant mirror – an inescapable reminder of the real him. At face value, this seems like one last jab at the queen's tendency to glamour away her imperfections, which falters in the face of mirrors; we learn in the subsequent prequel that Levana's glamour is actually to hide horrific burn scars.
  • Heartwarming Moments: Virtually every scene with Kai and Cinder together, notably when he stops Pearl and Adri from beating Cinder at the ball. And when he continues to defend Cinder against Levana even when he finds out she's Lunar — while he (understandably) trades Cinder's life for his country's freedom, he still insists that she remain under his guard until Levana leaves, buying Cinder a little more time.
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  • It Was His Sled: The fact that Cinder is Princess Selene and Wolf is a Lunar Special Operative are pretty extremely well known.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Adri, who while a pretty major asshole, goes through a lot of trauma and heartbreak in the series.
  • Les Yay: Seriously, Sybil seems to have a thing for Levana.
  • Robo Ship: After Winter several fans started shipping Iko (an Android) with Liam Kinney (a Lunar). The short story "Something Old, Something New" in Stars Above contains a brief moment of Ship Tease for the pairing.
  • Tear Jerker: Cinder, after watching her younger stepsister die of letumosis minutes AFTER she arrived with the antidote, goes home to find out Adri destroyed Iko's body and sold off her parts.
    • The death of Dr. Erland. He dies in a containment room of Letumosis after introducing himself and saying goodbye to his long lost daughter.
  • Unfortunate Implications: Some view the book as racist as it homogenizes Asia, has a racially ambiguous main character, a Japanese family ruling Asia (this in particularly poor taste due to Japanese imperialism), misuse of honorifics, cliche Asian names such as "Peony" and other forms of Orientalism.
  • The Woobie: Cinder, Peony, Cress, Iko...
    • By the end of Scarlet, if not earlier, Cinder is more of an Iron Woobie. Pun not intended.
    • Evret Hayle.
  • You Should Know This Already:
    • Cinder is Princess Selene. Word of God says that the reader was supposed to figure out that Cinder was Princess Selene well before she did. The suspense with that plotline was (one assumes) supposed to come from wondering when she would find out and who else knew. Also what she would do when she did.
    • Wolf being a Lunar Special Operative is the big twist of Scarlet, and pretty much the first thing likely to be mentioned about the character's role in the two following books.
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