Series: The Lunar Chronicles

Book Review – Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa Meyer

April 3, 2015 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2015, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) by Marissa MeyerFairest by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 27th 2015
Pages: 272
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Sci-fi
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress

four-half-stars

In this stunning bridge book between CRESS and WINTER in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana's story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her "glamour" to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

The Lunar Chronicles series

Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.5)  {Online Free Read}
The Little Android (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.6) {Online Free Read}
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer {PurchaseMy Review}
The Queen’s Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5) by Marissa Meyer {Online Free Read}
Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer {PurchaseMy Review}
Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer {Purchase – My Review}

‘Levana had not seen the bodies, but she had seen the bedrooms the next morning, and her first thought was that all that blood would make for a very pretty rouge on her lips.’

Fairest opens on disaster from the very start with Princess Levana and her older sister Channary attending the funeral of her recently murdered parents. Channary being the older sister ascends the throne despite the fact that Levana would be the far superior ruler. It could be said that the beginning of Levana’s mental breakdown happened after a childhood tragedy left her scarred and disfigured. Levana became obsessed with physical beauty which she can only personally obtain by using her Lunar glamour to change how others see her. Whether this knowledge of her past allows you to forgive Levana her actions or not, her story is full of shocking revelations that will nonetheless change everything you thought you knew about her.

We all knew Levana was psychotic before we got her full story, but finally we find out why. We also find out that Levana wasn’t always this way, that particular circumstances set her on this path of madness and it’s far more sad than I ever would have expected. Taking us back to a time before Cinder even existed, Meyer gives us a spin on the story of the Wicked Queen from Snow White: the story of Levana and the path that led her who she became. I’m not sure what it says about me exactly, but this story of the villain we’ve all come to despise has been my absolute favorite installment in the series. What I found most impressive was how Meyers introduced Levana as a good character and in just 222 pages had her character arc come so far as to make her transformation to the Evil Queen one of complete authenticity. The focus on character development lessened the amount of ongoing action but it was still a moving story. Also, in terms of the plot originality we’ve come to expect from other installments, there was less variation from the original fairy tale but while the conclusion seemed far from unexpected it still managed to leave me astonished.

It’s always an exciting switch to be inside the mind of the villain and Meyer doesn’t disappoint. We may be more informed as far as Levana is concerned, but her methods of ruling are still drastic and often extreme yet having this knowledge of her will certainly have me looking at her with a closer eye when we see her again in Winter.

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Book Review – Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

April 2, 2015 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2015, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa MeyerCress by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 4th 2014
Pages: 560
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Sci-fi
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Cinder, Scarlet, Fairest

three-half-stars

The third book in Marissa Meyer’s New York Times/USA Today-bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, inspired by Rapunzel.

In this third book in Marissa Meyer's bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

The Lunar Chronicles series

Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.5)  {Online Free Read}
The Little Android (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.6) {Online Free Read}
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer {PurchaseMy Review}
The Queen’s Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5) by Marissa Meyer {Online Free Read}
Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer {PurchaseMy Review}

Picking up where Scarlet left off, we return to Cinder, Captain Thorne, Scarlet, Wolf, and Iko all attempting to culminate a plan to stop Queen Levana before she marries Emperor Kai. Cress, imprisoned by Queen Levana on a satellite orbiting Earth, is an expert hacker and when she’s given orders to track down Cinder she does it with ease. Instead of turning this information over, she decides to help the group anyway she can. After a botched rescue attempt lands Cress and Thorne in the African desert and the rest of the group scattered, everyone has to survive long enough to find each other once again. The clock is quickly ticking down to the wedding that will give Queen Levana control of the universe unless Cinder can successfully stop her.

Scarlet shared page-time between Cinder and Scarlet’s storylines but with Cress we have even more storylines to follow not only with the addition of Cress as a character but because the group has been scattered. I really, really loved Cress’ storyline and how much it delved into her backstory and everything about her family and how she got to where she is was wonderfully done. There were some rather slow moments when Cress and Throne were plodding through the African desert that was a bit hard to get through but it helped us learn more about Cress and even a little it more about Thorne that really helped you to appreciate their characters even more. Scarlet wasn’t present as much as I would have liked but Meyer pushed her to the limit putting her on a nail-biting path that I believe will lead to her having a major role in the final installment, Winter.

This series continues to impress. I love the intricacies of the political system and the details of the ongoing strife, the evolution of the plague that lurks dangerously in the background and the fact that while these manage to be authentic and impressive you can still identify the well-known fairy tales these are built around. This penultimate installment will leave you waiting with bated breath for Winter, Meyer’s twist on the story of Snow White, the conclusion to this thrilling series.

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Book Review – Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

December 12, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2014, YA 4 Comments

Book Review – Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa MeyerScarlet by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 5th 2013
Pages: 452
Genres: Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Romance, Steampunk
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Cinder, Cress, Fairest

four-stars

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of Marissa Meyer's bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

The Lunar Chronicles series

Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.5) by Marissa Meyer {Online Free Read}
The Little Android (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.6) by Marissa Meyer {Online Free Read}
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer {PurchaseMy Review}

From Cinder as cyborg Cinderella to Scarlet as Little Red Riding Hood (or hoodie, rather). Cinder has joined up with fellow inmate Thorne to bust out of prison in order to escape the wrath of Queen Levana. Scarlet is in search of her grandmother who has been missing for two weeks and the only one that seems to know anything is a guy who only goes by the name of “Wolf”.

I’ve always been a huge fan of fairytale retellings but the idea of steampunk/sci-fi/fairy tales blended together never inspired me to pick up these books and as more and more installments released the surer I was that these weren’t books I would ever enjoy. Not only do those same elements continue but the incorporation of multiple fairy tales all in one universe sounded like a big hot mess. I finally caved and read Cinder just to try to see what all the fuss was about… so. much. fun. I loved Cinder’s Cinderella story and all of the steampunk and sci-fi elements were done so, so well. But then came the end of Cinder’s tale and I was under the impression that the next story focused on an entirely different character which bummed me out so I didn’t end up picking it up immediately. Don’t make the same mistake I did because I was pleasantly surprised to find that Cinder gets plenty of page time. But also don’t be surprised if you manage to like Scarlet just as much if not more (serious, the girl even packs a gun for protection). That is hands down the best thing about these books and the main characters are that each of these female leads is imbued with some serious badass-ness that you can’t help but love.

The time spent on both Scarlet and Cinder’s stories was well-balanced and inevitably blended together rather seamlessly. The thing with fairy-tales and their re-tellings is you can’t help but not be surprised at the typical turn of events because we already know what’s going to happen. Meyer has managed to inject The Lunar Chronicles with an entertaining level of originality that continues to keep those pages turning. I have sky high expectations at this point and I won’t be wasting any time before picking up Cress.

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Book Review – Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

August 30, 2014 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2014, YA 4 Comments

Book Review – Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #1
Published by Feiwel & Friends on January 3rd 2012
Pages: 400
Genres: Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic, Fairy-Tales/Retellings, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Scarlet, Cress, Fairest

four-stars

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. 

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

The Lunar Chronicles series

Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.5)  {Online Free Read}
The Little Android (The Lunar Chronicles, #0.6) {Online Free Read}

“Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time”

In New Beijing, humans, androids, and cyborgs live amongst each other in a world ravaged by a plague called letumosis. Cinder became a cyborg at an early age after surviving a car crash that killed both her parents and now works as a mechanic to earn money for her self-absorbed and hateful adoptive mother. When her sister becomes sick and Cinder is blamed, her mother volunteers her for a medical testing group for cyborgs where the survival rate is non-existent. She inevitably stumbles upon information about her past that she had been unable to remember and it manages to turn her entire life upside down.

A sci-fi retelling of Cinderella as a cyborg“. That blurb had me skeptical for years, avoiding this book and insisting it wasn’t going to be for me. And then I read Glitches, the short story prequel to Cinder and it convinced me to finally pick it up. Boy, am I glad I did. In retrospect, it still astounds me that a book with so many various genres still managed to work as well as it did. I mean it’s sci-fi, a retelling, sorta steampunk-ish, and even dystopian. AND Cinderella is a total badass and even a mechanic. It shouldn’t work in theory but it definitely does. The world was brilliantly drawn and I loved just how well the Cinderella story was incorporated.

Cinder’s perseverance made her an extremely likable heroine and the romance between her and Prince Kai was completely charming (plus no instalove here folks!). Her horrendous stepmother was par for the course for the original Cinderella tale but good grief, that woman was the very definition of awful. In Cinderella, the wicked stepmother made Cinderella stay home from the ball and clean the house. Oh, woe is her. But in Cinder, her wicked adoptive mother sold her to a medical testing group where not a single person has survived. Now THAT is wicked. Cinderella didn’t know how good she had it. Even though everyone knows the story of Cinderella, there were enough alterations done to this story to keep it suspenseful. The ending will leave you yearning for the next book, Scarlet, with the author tackling another well-known fairy tale: Little Red Riding Hood.

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