Cinder is a reinterpretation of Cinderella where Cinder is a cyborg mechanic, the best in New Bejing!
Scarlet is a reinterpretation of red riding hood where Scarlet is a farmer in futuristic rural France
Cress is a reinterpretation of Rapunzel, where Cress is the best hacker in the world, prisoner on a satellite in space
Winter is a reinterpretation of Snow White taking place on the moon
All four stories eventually intertwine together in one of the best spun plots I have read in a while. Every single detail is accounted for, the plethora of characters is not confusing at all, each one has well defined personality of incredible depth. The humor is pervasive and the world well developed and incredible. I loved that the books take place in different places (China, France, Africa, space, the moon...) and that the characters are very diverse :)
I also enjoyed the writing style and vocabulary :)
Book 2, Scarlet, was my least favorite. Although I loved Scarlet as a character, the plot seemed quite thin and woven around a cheesy, unlikely, and predictable romance. That said, I still rushed to get book 3, so it must have been not so bad after all ;)
Book 3, Cress: I liked book 3 and had no particular criticism :)
Book 4: my favorite BUT oh my merciful grace, this was a LONG READ! Although the plot is amazing and gripping, this book drags for EVER in endless descriptions. Nothing is implied, everything (settings, clothing, traveling) is described at length and I found myself skipping through some of the slower sections that in my opinion added nothing to the story or the characters. This 800 pages book would have been a lot better, in my opinion, after a “revolution” hacking at least 300 pages out. You know that feeling of loss when you finish a book you loved?
General criticisms: if you are a writer you want to be careful to avoid overusing some sentences. For example, how often can a character chew the inside of their cheek? Or suck their teeth? These seem strange, uncommon ticks that maybe one character could, but everyone in these books chews the inside of their cheeks and sucks on their teeth ALL THE TIME. I understand “show don’t tell” and the need to communicate anxiety, but there ought to be some other way to express that. Unfortunately I have the same problem on my own books, where I have to watch for people rolling their eyes a bit too often...
That said, the series is AWESOME and the overall ending was super rewarding. The books are very well written! 5 stars! I recommend reading for sure to anyone who likes adventure, sci-fi, and dystopian with a touch of romance ^_^