Tag Archives: The Lunar Chronicles

L is for Levana (Fairest by Marissa Meyer)

A-to-Z Blogging Challenge--LSince I’ve already mentioned my deep love of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series, it should come as no surprise that I pre-ordered her latest installment and pretty much devoured it as soon as it was available. Fairest is a considered a novella, though the page count is actually pretty close to standard novel length for YA–222 pages for the hardcover–and tells the story of Queen Levana’s rise to power. Oh, and it has one of the best covers I’ve seen in ages, teasing at the fact that we’ll finally get to know who Levana is underneath her veils and glamours.

This is such a different book from the rest of the series that I felt it definitely merited a separate review. Fairest is really the story of descent into madness by someone who truly believes she is right and justified in her actions. Through the course of this book, we understand some of how Levana came to be the way she is, but she is NOT a sympathetic character. This isn’t the story of a misunderstood woman who we know will redeem herself in the end. Rather, it shows us just how a psychopath is developed. Yes, I felt some sympathy for her early on, but she makes conscious decisions throughout that show her lack of empathy for others, and her utter selfishness. It’s the story of a woman driven by obsession, desperate to be loved, but not understanding that love is not the same as desire or possession.

This is a dark venture into the mind of a villain. You won’t find the lighthearted humor of the other Lunar Chronicles books. But for me, it helped me understand the motivations of this mysterious woman, and I’m certainly even more eager to read Winter when it comes out this fall–especially since there were teaser chapters at the back. We got a lot of Winter’s backstory in Fairest as well, so it will be interesting to compare her more obvious insanity, caused by refusing to use her glamour, to that of Levana, who believes herself sane and the rest of the world to be villainous. I cannot wait for the conclusion to this series!

Do you have a favorite literary villain? Let me know in the comments!

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C is for Cinder and Cress (The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer)

CThere is a new gold standard for me in YA, and it is Marissa Meyer’s incredible Lunar Chronicles series. These sci-fi retellings of fairy tales feature a cast of characters that defy your expectations in the best ways.

The first installment, Cinder, is the story of a cyborg Cinderella. Scarlet is a bad-ass Red Riding Hood character with a pretty amazing rebel grandmother.

Cress, the third story, finds the characters from the earlier books needing help from a girl with ridiculously long hair who has spent nearly all her life in a satellite in orbit around the Earth. This Rapunzel retelling is far from the norm, with Cress being a genius-level computer hacker who has seen the world through only the vid streams she watches, making her incredibly naive and socially awkward.

All of this is set in a future Earth that is battling a deadly plague with no cure, whose best hope is a treaty between Earth and the Lunars, who possess incredible telepathic gifts and the ability to glamour themselves. (I’ll touch on the Lunar queen, Levana, later in the month.)

While there is a big reveal at the end of Cinder that I figured out around 20 pages in, that didn’t detract from the experience of the book for me. I finished it in the middle of the night right after Scarlet came out, and I couldn’t wait until morning to go to the bookstore, so I bought the e-book and dove right into it. I seriously can’t remember the last time I’ve been this excited about a series. Each book improves on the last, so much so that I think I’ll need to take time off when the final installment, Winter, comes out this fall. Read them all, you won’t be sorry!

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