The Lunar Chronicles

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Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) – Marissa Meyer

Published November 11, 2017 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

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.

What did I think?:

The Lunar Chronicles is one of my arguments for giving a series another shot. I wasn’t particularly enamoured with the first book in the series, Cinder but I was persuaded to carry on and after Scarlet and Cress, I became quite the fan. Fairest is another fantastic addition to the world that Marissa Meyer has created and is in fact, a novella that should ideally be read between the third book, Cress and just before the final book in the series, Winter. I don’t think you should feel obligated to read this short tale (I know not everyone loves novellas) and you won’t miss out on anything important but personally, I thought it really brought something special to the series as a whole and if you have the opportunity and the inclination to read it you definitely should!

I say you won’t miss anything if you choose not to read it because in Fairest we actually travel back to the past, more specifically the past of Queen Levana, following her childhood and adolescence with absent, cold parents and the events that precipitated the horrific accident she had which leads her to hide her true self away from others by using glamour. I don’t really want to say too much about what happens in her life but the reader certainly comes to understand why she has become such a wicked, calculating villain in the most recent novels. Levana certainly goes through some harrowing experiences which may even lead to you feeling some sympathy for her as a character but in fact, it is the way that she deals with these issues and wreaks her revenge that leaves you with little hope for her redemption.

This was such a fascinating insight into the heart and mind of the Lunar Chronicles’ most despised villain and even though it is brief, at merely 222 pages, it packs an almighty lot of action, intrigue and emotion into those pages making it feel much “meatier,” as a result. I love to hate Queen Levana in this series but I was so impressed how Marissa Meyer managed to elicit my pity and sympathy at points in the narrative when she faced certain trials in her life. Not for long, mind you. By the end, she was completely back to the mean, nasty and despicable character that we know and appreciate from the full-length novels in the series. I just have to mention the cover art as well for this series which is truly magnificent and was a huge factor in me picking up these books in the first place. The Lunar Chronicles is due to finish with the final novel, Winter which I’m eagerly anticipating but have to admit to feeling a bit sad realising this is soon all going to be over! Until the re-read that is.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

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Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) – Marissa Meyer

Published October 21, 2016 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

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.

What did I think?:

Isn’t it strange how your opinion on a series can change so much from the first book? Mine certainly has. Not saying I didn’t enjoy Cinder, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles but it wasn’t a series I saw myself continuing. If it wasn’t for my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads assuring me how great the second book, Scarlet was, I probably wouldn’t have carried on! I’m ever so glad I did, because the world that Marissa Meyer has created is truly magical and each book in the series just keeps getting better and better.

Each book is loosely based on a fairy tale (and has the most fabulous covers known to man). So, with the first book it was Cinderella quite obviously, the second Little Red Riding Hood and in this third offering, Cress could otherwise be known as Rapunzel. She is an employee of Queen Levana, villain extraordinaire and a talented hacker for Luna. Levana has kept her isolated on a satellite for her entire life with her only point of human contact being Sybil, Levana’s head thaumaturge/flunkey. As a result, Cress is incredibly naive, quite socially awkward and desperately in need of friends and her freedom.

See where I’m going with this? Cinder, Captain Thorne, Scarlet, Wolf and Iko are all rattling around in a spaceship on the run from the evil Queen Levana and her dastardly plans (which I’m not saying anything about for fear of spoiling the series for anyone who hasn’t started it yet!). They immediately mount a mission to rescue Cress from her lonely, humdrum existence, guessing that her talents with I.T. could make her quite valuable to them in the future… Of course, this wouldn’t be an adventure if things didn’t go slightly haywire along the way and they do, for a number of our characters which could affect the whole game plan of overthrowing Queen Levana, preventing her hideous marriage to the wonderful Prince Kai and clearing the way for the rightful ruler of Luna to take the throne.

This book is quite a hefty, meaty read at nearly 600 pages but please don’t let the size put you off, it was so action-packed that I seemed to read it in no time at all. I’m loving the mixture of characters that the author is producing, they’re all so endearing in their own ways and I’m beginning to appreciate each one for what they bring to the narrative: Cinder and her burgeoning leadership skills, Thorne with his wicked sense of humour, Scarlet for her fiesty attitude and Cress for her sweet innocence. Then BAM! right at the end, we get introduced to a new character that will play a prominent role in the next novel – Princess Winter who appears to be all kinds of crazy but utterly bewitching. I literally cannot wait to see how this series is going to pan out.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

 

June 2016 – Chrissi Cupboard Month #5

Published June 2, 2016 by bibliobeth

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It’s June. And that means….(drumroll please) it’s Chrissi Cupboard Month!

Hi everyone! Things have been a bit crazy for me for the past few weeks health wise and I haven’t been posting much. Hopefully I’m back on track for a while and here’s what I’ll be reading out of my special Chrissi Cupboard this month:

The Next Together – Lauren James

Through The Ever Night (Under The Never Sky #2) – Veronica Rossi

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5) – Marissa Meyer

Belle Epoque – Elizabeth Ross

Six Of Crows (Six Of Crows #1) – Leigh Bardugo

Winter – Marissa Meyer

The Heart Of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) – Mary E. Pearson

The Haunting – Alex Bell

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) – Jessica Spotswood

If You Find Me – Emily Murdoch

Very very excited for all of these books, especially Leigh Bardugo’s Six Of Crows after loving her Grisha series and the second book in The Remnant Chronicles after falling head over heels for the first. I’m also looking forward to Alex Bell’s second novel after the wonderful Frozen Charlotte and of course, continuing the Lunar Chronicles with a “meaty” read like Winter. The Next Together comes highly recommended by Chrissi and looks like my sort of book – clearly there is too much wonderful on this list?!

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) – Marissa Meyer

Published September 10, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the 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.

What did I think?:

This is the second novel in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, which I was very excited to get to as my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads has been quite enthusiastic in her praise for it. And yes in my opinion it’s even better than the first, Cinder, with another kick-ass heroine to get excited about. And this is a feisty, fierce and incredibly likeable character called Scarlet who has swapped her little red cape for a little red hoodie and her wicker basket for a handgun – just for protection, and only to be used in dire circumstances, you understand! When we first meet Scarlet, she is devastated as her beloved grandmother who has raised her from a child has gone missing, later we find out she was abducted so Scarlet immediately goes on a mission to find her, damning any consequences. On her journey, Scarlet meets the enigmatic Wolf, a lone fighter who makes money at brawls which he rarely loses, but his back story will prove vitally important for Scarlet so he may be a handy man to have around.

Meanwhile, our heroine from the previous novel, the cyborg mechanic Cinder is languishing in prison. Not for long. With (not much help really) from fellow convict and first-class flirt Captain Thorne, Cinder manages to escape from prison and the two hop aboard Thorne’s ship and now must fight to escape detection from the authorities as a certain someone, Queen Levana, our villain of the piece is not a happy bunny and is looking for Cinder’s head on a plate. Cinder’s history is also a little complicated, and it turns out she’s actually someone quite important, the fact of which could also see her dead, if uncovered by the wrong people. Fortunately, she has lots of lovely new Lunar powers to keep her occupied before Scarlet and Cinder meet for the first time and the connection between them is fully explored. Meanwhile poor Prince Kai, the ruler of New Beijing, has a terrible decision to make. Will he think of himself or of his people?

Comparing both novels in The Lunar Chronicles so far, Scarlet has the edge for me. Not that I didn’t enjoy Cinder, as I have most fond memories of it and would probably re-read it, but I just loved Scarlet as a character. Marissa Meyer has written such a spirited, independent and strong female that also has a soft and vulnerable side, so that she does not come across as too hard. This came across very vividly in the way she cares about her family, her relationship with Wolf, and what she is prepared to sacrifice for someone she loves. It’s great to see the return of old characters like Cinder, Prince Kai and even baddie Queen Levana, who were welcomed into my imagination like old friends/enemies you love to hate. As a bit of a fairy-tale junkie, I have a bit of an obsession for fairy-tale re-tellings at the moment, and the author does a mighty fine job of digging up those classic childhood stories and blending them with a mixture of science fiction and adventure. It seems to be the perfect recipe for success at the moment in my opinion. If you don’t believe me, just ask her legion of fans.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0