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: CINDER (Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer

Dear Bookworms,

You came back! Not that I was worried or anything, I knew you would...

So as you know, the first in the series The Lunar Chronicles, is Cinder, affectionately named for our cyborg heroine. First let me just take a minute to talk about the cover art. I really love how the classic symbol of Cinderella, "dainty foot in pretty high heel" is meshed with the futuristic sci-fi-ness (yes I know that's not technically a word, but it should be and I like it) of the cyborg leg. Perfection. Ok, back to the book. Cinder was adopted at age 11 after what was told to her to be a horrific hovercraft accident which killed both her parents and left her so damaged, the only way to save her life was with the use of cybernetics. Fitted with complex internal wiring, a computer mainframe, and a couple of mechanical appendages she has always felt different, ashamed of her cyborg status. Her adoptive father died of the plague shortly after bringing her home leaving her with his disgruntled wife and two children. Fast forward and Cinder is 16, a gifted mechanic and a despised member of the family. Her only joy comes from tinkering with anything mechanical, her trusted android friend, Iko, and the few and far between stolen moments of fun with her younger sister, Peony. Due to her stellar reputation as a mechanic, Cinder is commissioned by the handsome Prince Kai to fix his childhood android. (Insert instant sparks and fan-girling- Prince Kai definitely lives up to his "charming" predecessor).

Through a series of tragic events,Cinder is sold by her stepmother (yeah remember how cyborgs are treated like second class citizens?) for lab research at the royal lab to study the plague (which consequently is a death sentence). Meanwhile, Prince Kai is mourning the loss of his father, yet another victim of the plague while attempting to handle diplomatic relations with Queen Levana of Luna. Levana has threatened war on Earth unless her demands are met, mainly a marriage alliance with Prince (now Emperor) Kai.

"Why is this such a bad thing?" you may ask. Good question, I'll go ahead and tell you. Levana is pretty ruthless. She is a merciless dictator on Lunar, filled with delusions of grandeur and Earthien domination.  It is also widely rumored that Levana had her niece, Princess Selene murdered when she was only 3 years old in order to assume power of the throne (sounds like a peach huh?).

There are murmurings amongst both the Lunars and Earthiens that Selene escaped her attempted murder and was smuggled to Earth to be kept safe until she was old/strong enough to overthrow her aunt and assume her rightful place as Queen. You can understand Kai's hesitation to enter into a holy union with this woman right? To sweeten the deal, Queen Levana offers Kai something he can't refuse, a cure for the letumosis, the plague ravaging the world, if and only if he consents to marriage. In secret, Kai is desperately searching for Selene, the lost princess, in what seems a futile attempt to dethrone Levana. While being held in the royal lab, Cinder meets the enigmatic Dr. Erland, head of letumosis research who quickly becomes an ally, perhaps not fully trusted, but an ally none the less (which is pretty useful considering her mother just sold her off as a lab rat). With the help of Dr. Erland, Cinder begins to uncover frightening revelations from her mysterious past, challenging not just her self view, but her view of the world.

Can Cinder overcome the shock of learning her true identity, falling in love, and the murderous rage of Levana all while assuming the mantel she must wear to save the world?

Well I could tell you but I won't, I'm going to insist you read for yourself and find out.

I promise you won't be disappointed. Marissa keeps you enthralled from beginning to end with vivid imagery, action packed fight scenes, and the tummy fluttering feelings of new love. D

on't be fooled by the YA genre, the plot is solid and the characters thoughtfully well written. You will be rooting for Cinder from page one, cheering for her triumphs, biting your nails when she comes under fire (sometimes literally), and heavy hearted with her losses. Come back next week to read my review of the next installment of The Lunar Chronicles, Scarlet.






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!