BOOK REVIEW: Fairest by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles)

Dear Bookworms,

Sadly it seems that we have ended our journey with The Lunar Chronicles (insert book hangover here). This last book, which is actually a prequel, titled Fairest, is Levenas backstory.

This book is more of a novella at only 288 pages. It begins with Levena as a young princess growing up in Artemisia, the capital city of Luna. Levena is forever in the shadow of her beautiful (no glamour needed), wickedly cruel older sister Channary.

This novella follows Levena through her twisted spiral into evil witch-dom, culminating in the assassinating egotistical maniac we all love to hate throughout the series.

I am really glad Meyer decided to give the readers a little glimpse into the making of our loathsome villain. As much as I hate to admit it, at times I really felt sorry for the girl. Now don't get me wrong, she's a bad mamba-jama who you really love to hate, but there are times, glimpses, into this pitiful, insecure, emotionally stunted young women who makes your heart kinda hurt for her. Her intense desire to feel loved, coupled with her horrific physical scars (thanks to Channary- she's a real gem that one) really drives her to do some pretty heinous things.

Obsessive, unrequited love, irrational jealousy of her stepdaughter Winter, murderous disdain for her niece Princess Selene, are just a few of the very dysfunctional relationships that turn Levena into such a great villain. If you've been following along with the Lunar Chronicles series, I highly recommend reading this prequel. I love a good backstory and more insight into how our villains came to be so, ummm, villainous. 

Make sure to come back next Tuesday so you don't miss out on my next book review and as always if you have any great selections you want to recommend, let me know in the comments!  

**** Read my other reviews of the entire Lunar Chronicles here!***



BOOK REVIEW: Winter by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #4)

Dear Bookworms, 

Welcome back! We are on the last (insert sob here) installment of The Lunar Chronicles, Winter.

Having all been united (except for Scarlet- shes still imprisoned on Luna), the team has successful derailed the marriage between Emperor Kai and queen Levena by kidnapping Kai and escaping off in the Rampion to plot their next moves; head to Luna, rescue Scarlet, and overthrow Levena while instating the true Lunar Queen in her place, none other than our beloved Cinder (or Princess Selene as is her true birth name). Jacin has betrayed them, selling them out to Sybil and almost foiling their whole plan. He returns to Luna where he is reunited with his Princess Winter. 

Meanwhile, Scarlet is imprisoned on Luna, the plaything of the mentally fragile Princess of Luna, Winter. Scarlet feels defeated, having been tortured by the Lunar Court, she now only has Winter for company. Caged and alone she fears she may never see her friends again. Winter is the step daughter of Levena, kept alive and (mostly unharmed) by Levena due to a dying wish from her late husband, Winters father. Winter despises the royal court, their cruelty and disdain for shells and humans, the cruel ways they use their Lunar gift to manipulate others. She saves Scarlet by asking to keep her as a pet in her menagerie of animals. Winter is psychologically fragile, damaged even. She refuses to use her lunar gift, hates to see how easy it is to manipulate others free will, and staunchly refuses to manipulate anyone which results in her, ahem, insanity. It is a clearly documented side affect of not using the Lunar gift, that it eventually drives the person mad. She is thrilled with the return of her best friend Jacin after the kidnapping of the Queens betrothed and through him eventually learns of the plan by the others to overthrow Levena and instate Cinder (Selene) as Queen. 

Having always been jealous of her beauty and the way in which the people of Luna love her, Levena (becoming more and more unhinged as the book wears on) orders the assassination of Winter, by none other than Jacin (she is so twisted that Levena). Jacin, unable to follow through on orders (hello, its SO obvious they love each other- just say it already!), arranges for Winter and Scarlet's escape into the outer sectors of Luna.

Cinder and her gang eventually put into motion their plan which involves returning Kai to resume his marriage to Levena, arriving (semi)undetected to Luna, rescuing Scarlet. staging a coup, assuming control of the throne, and gaining access to the cure for the plague. Of course, nothing goes quite to plan (when does it ever?!).

Overall, I was very satisfied with how this series turned out. Watching the evolution of all the characters, who all not only were involved in the journey of establishing interplanetary peace, but also individual journeys of identity was very gratifying.  There were enough twists and turns to keep the story line interesting and fresh. I have to say, my most favorite story line to follow was the evolution of the relationship between Cress and Thorne ( I know, I know, I've said it like a million times, but I seriously LOVE  these two together, the way they bring to the surface parts of themselves not shown to anyone). 

Do yourselves a favor and pick up this series (if you haven't already) and give it a read, If you have been reading along with me, what did you guys think? Love it? Hate it? Tell me your thoughts in the comments and we can totally fan-girl! 

Come back next week for the prequel to this series, Fairest. 

***Read my other reviews of the Lunar Chronicles here!***




BOOK REVIEW: Cress by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #3)

Dear Bookworms, 


We are back with the third installment of The Lunar Chronicles, Cress. These books just keep getting better and better people. So Cress picks right back up where Scarlet left off, our ragtag crew of outlaws, Cinder, Scarlet, Thorne, and Wolf are aboard the Rampion, trying to avoid capture being that they are all wanted enemy #1 (and 2, and 3, and 4 for that matter). Cinder is trying to harness her new found Lunar abilities and has been training relentlessness in combat techniques (both mental and physical) with Wolf.

Our beloved android Iko's personality chip has been installed into the Rampions mainframe and she is loyally (and hilariously) serving aboard the ship ensuring all ship systems are functioning correctly and acting as navigation. Prince Kai has reluctantly accepted Levenas marriage proposal to obtain the leutomosis cure and is planning the nuptials for 2 weeks time. Professor Erland is continuing his plague research in Africa, anxiously awaiting word from Cinder.

 We are also more thoroughly introduced to our next heroine, Cress (we met her briefly in Cinder as she warned of a plot to assassinate Prince Kai if he accepted Levenas marriage proposal- after they tied the knot.)

Cress, a shell (a Lunar born without the Lunar gift)and also an insanely talented computer hacker, lives aboard a satellite orbiting the Earth and acts as the eyes and ears for Queen Levena on all the goings on with Earth. So basically, she's a pretty gnarly spy. But there is a drawback, Cress loves the Earthians. Looking down on them from the sky, pouring over their culture and customs from afar, she dreams of escape (or more accurately- of being saved by a dashing, handsome man come to her rescue- our Cress has a bit of a romantic side). She's been secretly shielding the Rampion from detection (despite her strict orders to locate it at all costs). 

Cinder reaches out to Cress via the comm chip in which Cress first made contact in book one and arranges a rendezvous; the team will rescue her, and use her hacking skills to expose Levenas nefarious intentions to the world. Sounds simple right? Wrong. The plan goes awry, the team is separated, and the everyone is thrown into a state of confusion. Scarlet is kidnapped by Levenas right hand woman, Sybil and taken to Luna. Thorne and Cress crash land the satellite...somewhere...and Cinder and Wolf barely escape capture aboard the Rampion, Wolf sustaining grave injuries. They also pick up a royal Lunar guard in the mayhem who they are uncertain whether they can trust or not, Jacin. 

With the team disbanded, each group sets off on their own journeys to find their friends, and continue with the plan, stop the wedding between Emperor Kai and Levena, and start a civil war on Luna to hopefully dethrone the maniacal Queen. 

This book is pretty action packed from page one. I particularly enjoyed watching the relationship evolve between Thorne and Cress. Cress' naivety (can you blame her, shes been locked in satellite almost her whole life) and Thorne's projected carefree nonchalance is a cute match-up. We also get the impression that perhaps there is more depth to Thorne that he shows, and that Cress seems to be the one adding chinks to that armor.  

As with the other two, this book left me DYING for the next (and last) in the installment (lucky for me I had it on hand). I was desperate for the team to get back together (poor Wolf has a rough time adjusting to Scarlets capture). 

Thoroughly enjoyable read with tons of action, heartbreak, and nail biting moments (seriously don't even bother with a manicure before you start this book- heck this whole series)

See ya next week for the last (tear!) installment of this series, Winter. 






BOOK REVIEW: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #2)

Dear Bookworms,

On to the next installment of The Lunar Chronicles, Scarlet.

The second book in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer introduces us to several more key players in the series (one of which is my favorite, seriously I love this guy) and also some major revelations about Cinders backstory. The book opens with Scarlet, red headed, hot tempered young woman from France who lives and works with her grandmother on a family run farm. Well, she did live with her grandmother, until her grandmother mysteriously disappeared weeks ago. Police have since given up hope and declared the missing persons case closed.

Scarlet refuses to accept that her grandmother would run off and leave her and is determined to find her at any cost. As she attempts to hunt down clues, her estranged father shows up at the farm having obviously been tortured, babbling about finding something very precious her grandmother had hidden, and how he has been tasked to find it. She also has a run-in with a mysterious new guy in town who goes by Wolf (imagine that?!).

Wolf is a street fighter, ruthless and predatory, but Scarlet senses there is more to him than meets the eye. With the help of Wolf, Scarlet follows a string of clues to Paris where she does find her grandmother, but also a whole lotta trouble and heartache. Meanwhile, Cinder, with the help of the dashing, charismatic, good-natured, Carswell Thorne (wait how'd you guess? He is  my favorite), break out of prison, commander a spacecraft, become international fugitives, battle a terrifying group of lunar lupine hybrids, and eventually make their way to Paris where our heroines stories unite.

Our growing band of fugitives barely escape capture and death as Levena wages war on Earth with her army of hybrid Lunars. Safety aboard their stolen spacecraft, the Rampion (clever name- you bookworms will understand) the team begins outlining rudimentary plans.

Cinder must learn to train with her newly discovered lunar gift as well as learn defense tactics from Wolf, find Dr. Erland, learn as much as they can about the enemy, and ultimately make their stand against Levena. T

his book does not disappoint people. I loved the alternating storylines between Cinder and Scarlet until the two finally come together in Paris.

The new characters are well written and instantly likable for their various different personalities, and their stories blend seamlessly together. I seriously can't get enough of Thornes carefree nonchalance, the guy could be staring down the barrel of a gun and still be flashing a million dollar smile. Cinders backstory is revealed in a well paced manner that felt very natural to the story progression. Another win in my book for Meyer, can't wait to see what she has in store for us in the third installment of series, Cress!   

Come back next week!





First Book Review! The Lunar Chronicles By Marissa Meyer

Yaaaay first book review! So I have been reading the Lunar Chronicles by Marsisa Meyer (thanks Mom for an awesome Christmas gift).

(Sidenote: if any of you are wondering what to get me for my birthday/Christmas/Easter/Valentines/Memorial Day- books are always at the top of my list). This series is comprised of four books, Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter, with a prequel entitled Fairest.

These boks are YA dystopian fantasy with a dash of sci-fi. Marrisa did an amazing job breathing life into some age-old classic fairytales. Can you tell who our main stars are from the titles? If you guessed Cinder (Cinderella), Scarlet (Little Red Riding Hood), Cress (Rapunzel), and Winter (Snow White) then you are totally correct. If you didn't, its ok I'll cut you some slack (but seriously if you didn't at least guess Cinder was Cinderella then we need to work on your deductive reasoning skills). So the books take place on a futuristic Earth (think hover transportation, androids, and cyborgs). A killer epidemic, leutmosis, is ravaging the world with no cure, and Earthens are threatened by their not so friendly neighbors in the sky, a colony of people called "Lunars" that inhabit the moon, known as Luna. Androids are commonplace and cyborgs are treated like second class citizens. What I really love about this series is how all of our heroines stories are interwoven throughout the four main books.

Each book introduces us to our a leading lady and her backstory while seamlessly weaving it in with the overarching plot of the series. Each character faces their own unique set of trials and tribulations which, book by book, bring this rag-tag group of misfits together in their fight to save the world (literally) while desperately trying to keep the ones they love safe.

The characters are all well written with personalities mirroring their classic counterparts but with some interesting and inventive twists. And what YA fantasy book would be complete without some good, fan girl worthy, teenage swooning love thrown in the mix? You won't be disappointed with these heroines counterparts: the charming Prince Kai of the Eastern Commonwealth (see what I did there? "charming"); the brooding, predatory Wolf, Lunar solider (I'd like to point out that he is not actually a wolf although he may have much in common with the lupine species...); Captain Thorne, goofy former American Republic military pilot turned international thief; and Jacin, stoic and mechanical head guard for none other than the Queen of Luna, Levena.

If these books sound like they are up your ally, tune back in for my review of the first in the series, Cinder, next week!