I definitely think The Lunar Chronicles has a lot of great things going for it. Taken collectively, it's one of my favorite fairytale retellings. But there's certain things that set it apart from other retellings I've read - and even from the original source material. It's safe to say fairytales are getting updated, keeping the core of the fairytale but modernizing for the younger generations. And I think The Lunar Chronicles is at the forefront of that wave.
Disclaimer: there is totally romance in these books. Now that we got that out of the way, these are strong young women. They don't need a man to step in and rescue them. They can hold their own in many situations. They're strong physically and emotionally. I get so tired of 'strong' women simply meaning they're good fighters. That's not the only way for strength to be demonstrated - and physical strength doesn't necessarily equate to a strong person. These young women show physical strength, mental strength, emotional fortitude and strength of character. A far cry from the damsel in distress fairytale girls used to be depicted as. And each one has separate skills and abilities and they work together really well.
If I tried to list all the racial diversity in these books, I'm sure to forget someone. We have Asians, someone from the Middle East and, I'm pretty sure, a character that would be Italian. But the best part, in my humble opinion? Snow White has been reimagined as a black. That's right. The 'fairest of them all'. The 'white as snow'. I love this. Marissa Meyer has taken a character that is, classically, about as white as you can get, and made a wonderful decision. And, I gotta add, the welcoming fan response for this has been great!
Classically when fairytales are retold, they're in a fantasy setting. Occasionally it'll be contemporary. But this series grabs up the magic of fairytales and quite happily sets the story down in a future science fiction world. There are spaceships, a colony on the moon, (that's been there long enough to have it's own mutations) and androids. Certainly can't forget the wonderful fact that our very own Cinder is a cyborg. If that's not awesome right there, I don't know what is.
So, there you have probably my three favorite things about the series - besides the awesome characters, of course!