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

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

TITLE: Fairest
SERIES: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
AUTHOR: Marissa Meyer
NARRATOR: Rebecca Soler
PUBLICATION DATE: Jaunary 27, 2015 / January 27, 2015
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan Audio
PAGES: 272 pages / 6 hours 36 minutes
FORMAT: Hardback / Audio
SOURCE: GoodReads First Reads Program / borrowed
RATING: 3 bows

***PLEASE EXCUSE ANY SPELLING ERRORS. I LISTENED TO THIS WHOLE THING ON AUDIO, SO I’M NOT SURE HOW EVERYTHING IS SUPPOSED TO BE SPELLED.***

We all know Queen Levana as the evil dictator who is trying to take over Earth, but here is her past. In this novel, we get to back things up and see the teen years that shaped Levana into the Queen we all love to hate. We get to see her overcome her sister’s taunts and rise to power. It’s an interesting journey, to say the least!

From the moment this book was announced, I knew I’d have to read it. I adore the Lunar Chronicles and it’s still quite a few months before Winter finally arrives, so I needed something to tide me over. I was also very apprehensive. I hate Levana. I want the bitch to die and die bloody. I want to watch as they torment her and kill her slowly. I want that, really I do. I was worried that we’d get redeeming charactaristics here, worried that I’d start to sympathize with her, maybe even feel sorry for her and I did not want that to happen. For all of those with the same fear, that will not happen. Yes, Levana has a sad childhood, being tormented by Channary, her elder sister, but that doesn’t really gain her sympathy because she is already well on her way to being a psychopath from page one of this. And her actions get increasingly disturbing as the novel continues. She is obsessed with her guard, Evret, and she takes that obsession to the extreme. She isn’t initially obsessed with ruling the kingdom, but it eventually shows up and once her mind latches onto that idea, nothing will deter her. The woman tries to murder her own niece, a goddamn toddler.

The rest of the cast is really insignificant. We get brief glimpses of Selene and just a few moments with Winter, the only two besides Levana that really play a role in the rest of the series. The only two I really care about. I felt bad for Evret because he is forced into a terrible situation and he has no way out. Levana will never let him leave and have his life with Winter. That is never a possibility, so he soldiers on with his life and tries to make due with what he has.

I think I was doomed to feel mediocre about this from the start. I am very (VERY) character driven and since I just want Levana to die, I wasn’t really invested in her life or what she did. There were a few tense moments with Evret or the moment when she “kills” Selene that I did want to keep going, but for the most part, this wasn’t something that held my attention. Again, this isn’t due to a lack of awesomeness on Meyer’s part, just a lack of interest on mine.

I originally won a copy of this gorgeous hardback from GoodReads and planned to read through it, but then I saw that Rebecca Soler was doing the audio edition and I’d have to listen to it. I’ve been listening to the prior books with my husband anyway, so why not enjoy this together as well? To really show how little of my interest this held, let me just put it this way. This audiobook is tiny, less than 7 hours and it took us 2 months to finish it because we just had no interest in getting through it.

It gets three stars because it isn’t bad. It had it’s interesting moments and I did like learning a bit more of Levana’s backstory, but I just didn’t care enough overall to love it like I have with the rest of the series.

Audio Notes:
Rebecca Soler is now my husband’s favorite narrator. She has done a wonderful job with this series in particular. My lack of enthusiasm here is not due to her performance. Though she doesn’t really get to stretch her vocal muscles as much as I’d like here because it’s mostly Levana’s narration and her voice is the only one needed, I still think she does an excellent job.

***Thank you to Goodreads and Feiwel & Friends for providing me with a hardcover copy of this in exchange for an honest review.***

3 bows
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Review The Lunar Chronicles Novellas by Marissa Meyer

All the novellas for the Lunar Chronicles are super short. I usually just do novella reviews and post them like normal ones, but I wanted to post all of these together because my thoughts are just as short as the stories themselves! I can’t wait for the final installment of this series!

Glitches by Marissa Meyer

TITLE: Glitches
SERIES: The Lunar Chronicles #0.5
AUTHOR: Marissa Meyer
PUBLICATION DATE: December 5, 2011
PAGES: 32 pages
FORMAT: Ebook
SOURCE: Free on Wattpad (go here to read it)
RATING: 5 bows

This is the story of Garan bringing Cinder home for the first time. It was heart-breaking to watch Cinder try to fit into a family that obviously doesn’t want her. You actually get small glimpses of Garan before he is taken away because he has the plague. It’s obvious he loves his wife and his children and that he was working on perfecting the technology he used on Cinder, but he didn’t get the time required to finish it. Iko and Peony are as cool as ever, Adri is still a bitch and so is Pearl.

5 bows

The Little Android by Marissa Meyer

TITLE: The Little Android
SERIES: The Lunar Chronicles #0.6
AUTHOR: Marissa Meyer
PUBLICATION DATE: January 27, 2014
PAGES: 35 pages
FORMAT: Ebook
SOURCE: Free on Wattpad (go here to read it)
RATING: 4 bows

This is a wholly depressing story. It is about an android that saves a human’s life and then falls in love with him. She goes to great lengths to be with him and help him, but it doesn’t end up happily ever after for her. It made me want to cry. It’s still well written and I recommend it to all who enjoyed this series, but it isn’t going to be a happy go lucky story.

4 bows

The Little Android by Marissa Meyer

TITLE: The Queen’s Army
SERIES: The Lunar Chronicles #1.5
AUTHOR: Marissa Meyer
PUBLICATION DATE: November 3, 2012
PAGES: 18 pages
FORMAT: Ebook
SOURCE: Free on Wattpad (go here to read it)
RATING: 5 bows

A glimpse at Wolf’s home life before he became Wolf. Let me just say that Wolf has never been my favorite character. I like him well enough, but I like the rest of the cast more. After reading this, I might just like him a lot more. You get to see first hand what he goes through to get to where he is and why he makes the decisions he did. It’s hard not to sympathize with him because you know he really didn’t have much of a choice.

5 bows

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

Cress by Marissa Meyer

TITLE: Cress
SERIES: The Lunar Chronicles #3
AUTHOR: Marissa Meyer
NARRATOR: Rebecca Soler
PUBLICATION DATE: February 4, 2014 / February 4, 2014
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan Audio
PAGES: 550 pages / 15 hours 40 minutes
FORMAT: Hardback / Audio
SOURCE: Gift from my husband / borrowed
RATING: 5 bows

***PLEASE EXCUSE ANY SPELLING ERRORS. I LISTENED TO THIS WHOLE THING ON AUDIO, SO I’M NOT SURE HOW EVERYTHING IS SUPPOSED TO BE SPELLED.***

Cress has spent most of her life orbited Earth in a satellite. She has been alone with only netscreens for company and has become a rather talented hacker. She has mastered anything with net access. She dreams of being rescued and going to Earth. Seeing the beautiful world and all it’s treasures up close. But when Cinder’s band of misfits tries to rescue her, things go horribly wrong and the group gets separated. Now, in addition to trying to save 2 worlds, they must also find their way back to each other. Plus, each character has their own troubles and turmoil to deal with. One thing is certain, they will stop Levana or die trying.

What can I say about Cress? It might possibly be my favorite of the series yet. I loved Cinder and I really enjoyed Scarlet, but Cress may just have topped both of them. It was excited and intense. It was that book that you ignored the world for just one more chapter because you had to know what happened next. Does Cress get Thorne to like her? Can Cinder stop Kai’s impending nuptials? Will she ever tell him that she is Princess Selene? Can they rescue Scarlet? And, most importantly of all, does Iko ever get a real android body?!?!?

Cinder, Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorne are all present and accounted for, with the new additions of Cress and Jacin. Cress, I must say, is a character I immediately adored. She reminded me a bit of Iko because of her enthusiasm for certain things. She’s smart and sweet and completely obsessed with Thorn in the most adorable way. Thorn, by the way, really shows his swoon-worthy side here. I already loved Thorne he’s smart and cocky and sarcastic, but he’s even better here. We really get to see him fight to protect Cress and that was a sight to behold.

I’m still unsure about Jacin. On one hand, I like him and I know we are setting up to give Winter a love interest for the final book, but I’m not sure I trust him. Though he is loyal to his Princess, that doesn’t necessarily mean he is loyal to Cinder and her cause. I feel like he might just throw a wrench in things and fuck the plans up if it suits his needs or desires. I guess only time will tell. I’m pretty anxious to get my hands on Winter. Why does it have to be so much longer until it releases?

Levana just needs to die. That bitch needs to die bloody and she needs to die now. I’m a little apprehensive to read Fairest because I know it’s going to try to shed a sympathetic light on Levana and I don’t want to have any sympathy for her. I want to continue hating her as I do now. I don’t think Fairest will truly change my opinion of her, but I think it will try.

If I could only use one word to describe this novel, it would be intense. This thing is jam packed with action and adventure and danger and tension. From the moment you start this and get inside Cress’ mind, you just want to continue. As with the rest of this series, I have listened to it with my husband, which means that we have only listened when we were together and neither one of us had anything pressing that needed to be done. We would use any excuse to get into his car and go on a trip, driving slow and going to long way around just to get in a few extra minutes. We would get home and sit in the car trying to find just a minute more time to get more of this compelling story. Because once we go into the house, real life kicks in and I have reviews to write and he has work to do and we can’t just sit and listen anymore. Anyone who has enjoyed the series thus far will fall in love with Cress. Anyone who read Cinder and loved it, but didn’t love Scarlet the same way, will fall back in love with the series here. I highly recommend it to everyone.

Audio Notes:
In Cinder, I was okay with Rebecca Soler. In Scarlet, I liked her a bit more. Here, I almost loved her. The more I listen, the more I like her. She does an excellent job of differentiating voices here, which is quite a feat considering that there are six characters I would describe as main characters and a handful more that are a bit more than minor. Her pacing is just a touch fast at moments. There was more than one time I had to skip 30 seconds back and relisten to discover what I had missed. And she still says Nancy weird. I can’t help but snicker every time she says it. Still, I enjoyed her narration and will be looking to sample more of her work.

5 bows
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Review for Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

TITLE: Scarlet
SERIES: The Lunar Chronicles #2
AUTHOR: Marissa Meyer
NARRATOR: Rebecca Soler
PUBLICATION DATE: February 5, 2013 / February 5, 2013
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends / Macmillan Audio
PAGES: 452 pages / 11 hours 19 minutes
FORMAT: Hardback / Audio
SOURCE: Gift from my husband / borrowed
RATING: 5 bows

Cinder is in a bit of a mess. She’s in prison awaiting transport to Luna, where Queen Levana will surely execute her. Given that she just learned that she is the lost princess Selene, she cannot allow this to happen and busts out of jail, using another prisoner to help. Now they are on the run and Cinder tries to determine her next move and avoid recapture. Everyone assumes that if they can just discover the identity of the lost princess and find her, all will be saved. Cinder doesn’t know how to save everyone, but the worse things get in the kingdom, the more she realizes she will need to find a way. On the other side of the world, Scarlet Benoit is searching for her grandmother. Everyone assumes the old woman ran away, but Scarlet knows she’d never abandon her like that. When she finds Wolf, a fighter with information on her grandmother’s whereabouts, she’ll stop at nothing to rescue the old woman, even if it costs her life. Meanwhile, Prince Kai is trying to find a way to avoid marrying Queen Levana and that may lead to more problems than any of them are ready to handle.

I was a little nervous to start this. I adored Cinder (both the novel and the character) and I wasn’t very keen on the idea of changing perspectives. I’ve read books before where that has went disastrously. Shifts in perspective have caused me to abandon series before or make it very difficult to finish because I hate the new voice. The forth Vampire Diaries book by LJ Smith is the best example of that. I had a very difficult time getting through that because, regardless of how much I loved the characters and the story, Bonnie’s voice was dull. Luckily, that is NOT the case here. Scarlet voice is strong and clear and intense. She’s a very different character than Cinder, but just as enjoyable.

Cinder is the same character we remember from the novel of the same name. She’s smart and snarky and determined to stay out of Levana’s grasp. Her cyborg/lunar combination makes her a very unique character. She’s very interesting to watch and easy sympathize with. How can you not? She’s been forced into servitude her entire life and now that she is finally out from underneath her Step-Mom’s thumb, she is on the run, and learns that she must find a way to save the planet from her evil aunt. As if having an evil step-mom and step-sister wasn’t bad enough, she has to deal with evil blood relatives. And the loss of Peony still weighs heavy on her mind, as does the loss of Iko. Never fear, though, because she finds a new “body” for Iko. Iko, by the way, is probably my favorite character. The “malfunctioning” operating chip has such spunk and personality that you cannot help but love her. Her obsession with Prince Kai is comical all around, as is her desire to be pretty.

Kai is another character that I cannot help by feel sorry for. He’s caught in a no win situation. If he marries Levana, he knows he’ll basically be handing her the Common Wealth on a platter and that she’ll assassinate him quickly after her coronation. But the longer he refuses, the angry she gets and that could lead to a slaughter that no one is ready for. Not to mention the fact that she has the antidote to Letimoses (spelling? I listened to this entire thing on audio) and that could say billions of people with the terminal illness. Then he learns that he girl he likes is actually a cyborg? A Lunar cyborg? Was she lying to him the whole time? What, if anything, of their interactions was real? The doubt swirling around his head and her and his own ability to lead this country had me wanting to hug the poor guy.

We get quite a few new characters in this installment. My favorite new addition is Carswell Thorne. He is the prisoner Cinder escapes with. He might remind me just a bit of a certain pirate.
Captain Jack Sparrow Gif
He’s very cocky and sarcastic and maybe a bit more heroic than he wants to let on. Carswell and Iko are definitely the two comic relief characters and, as such, they both have a special place in my heart. I thought for a moment a love triangle would be set up between him and Cinder and Kai, but Meyer steers clear of that, thank goodness.

Then we have Scarlet and Wolf. I was unsure of both characters initially, but they grow on your. Scarlet is so feisty and determined to save her grandma that you cannot help but root for here. Even if you know her cause isn’t going to go how she plans, you want her to succeed. Wolf was harder to pin down. It’s pretty clear that he is hiding something and I was hoping my gut was wrong on that that was. It wasn’t, but things still turn out well enough for them.

In this adventurous installment of The Lunar Chronicles, we get everything we feel in love with in Cinder plus much more. I was more than a little irritated when I learned that Scarlet would be told via a new perspective. Can’t we just stay with Cinder? WHY CAN’T WE JUST STAY WITH CINDER? And I’ll admit that for first 100 pages or so, I was happier when the focus shifted back to Cinder, but Scarlet’s journey was just as interesting. Meyer gives us what we didn’t know we needed, a fuller, more rounded story that I couldn’t help but love as much as the first one.

It took me a while to get through this. I forced encouraged my husband to listen with me as I revived my memory of what happened in Cinder. He quickly become addicted and wouldn’t let me listen to any of Cinder without his presence. The instant it was over, he demanded we start Scarlet. My normal plan of listening my way through my audiobooks during my lunch hour and occasionally at breakfast went out the window quickly. Every time we were in a car for more than 10 minutes, it was Scarlet. We made excuses to run extra errands or take unnecessary trips just to get a few more minutes of the story. It is as addictive as Cinder was, if not more so, and I cannot wait to get started on Cress!

Audio Notes:
Rebecca Soler does a pretty awesome job of narrating this. Though her name sounds familiar, I don’t think I’ve listened to her work before. She does a wonderful job of creating new voices for each characters, even giving Scarlet the proper French accent she should have. Sometimes the male characters can get confusing, but Rebecca does a good job of cluing us in on who is speaking. I only had one issue with her. She says the name Nancy weird. It almost feels like she has a natural southern accent and it shines through on that one word, despite her efforts. Every time she said the name, I couldn’t help but snicker.

5 bows
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Review for Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

TITLE: Cinder
SERIES: Lunar Chronicles #1
AUTHOR: Marissa Meyer
PUBLICATION DATE: January 3, 2012
PUBLISHER: Fewel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan
PAGES: 387 pages
FORMAT: Ebook
SOURCE: Borrowed
RATING: 5 stars

I was actually planning of waiting to read this until after at least the second novel came out because I was sure it would have a cliffhanger, but when a friend won an ebook copy and sent it to me, I couldn’t say no. I was right though, it does have a cliffhanger. Don’t ask me how bad of a cliffhanger it is because I honestly don’t know. When I was about midway through, I started looking at reviews online and almost all of them said that it had one of the worst cliffhangers they had ever read. I really didn’t think it was that bad. I don’t know if it is because I was preparing for the worst or if I am just (sadly) getting more accustomed to cliffhangers, but I thought the ending could have been way worse. I guess I could see how people would think it is so bad, but I didn’t think it was nearly as bad as the ending of Nevermore or Daughter Of Smoke And Bone. This one just ends with (for a not too spoiler-y explanation) ****SPOILER***the heroine in prison trying to figure out a way to escape and the hero in shock after finally learning what Cinder is.****END SPOILER*** Then again, I didn’t think the ending of The Hunger Games was too bad and I had friends who were completely outraged. All in all, though I am really excited to read the next novel, it isn’t one that I am willing to murder my own parents to get my hands on at this very moment.

I would summarize, but I really suck at it, so if you want a summary, please refer to other reviews or the book blurb. Thank you for your cooperation. I really loved this book. I swear, the more dystopian I read, the more I find to love. The only way I can really describe this book is take the Disney film Cinderella, combine it with the 20th Century Fox film Anastasia and set it in iRobot. Except the robots are called androids and they don’t try to take over the human race. My only real complaint is that it was a bit predictable. ****SPOILER****I knew the minute they mention the missing Princess Selene that Cinder was her. In fact, you can check my reading updates and there is a prediction for it. I also knew that the moment Cinder got home after being basically dragged out of the medical center that Iko would be dismantled already. ****END SPOILER****

Things I loved:
-The fact that it was love triangle free.
-I loved the characters. Cinder, Iko, Kai, and Peony especially. Cinder was completely believable and even though her actions weren’t always the right ones, I could always see where she was coming from. Iko was probably my favorite character. Come on, how do you not love a sarcastic android?!?! Peony was a sweet girl who doesn’t deserve her fate. And then there was Kai. He just didn’t come off as the typical prince character to me. He was charming and flirty and sarcastic and incredible resentful of the position he was in. But he also loved his people deeply and spent a good deal of his time worrying about them and was willing to sacrifice everything for them. That description sounds like a typical prince, but he just doesn’t feel like one to me.
-The world. This is a book I would love to see turned into a film just to see the atmosphere it occurs in. Maybe it is just me, but I love sinking into a world completely different than my own…maybe that is why I love romance novels so much. The buildings and the hovercrafts and the androids and geez, I wanna live there!

Things I wasn’t so fond of:
-The cliffhanger. Even though I didn’t think it was too bad, I think cliffhangers in general are bad and shouldn’t be allowed in stories.
-The predictability of the story. I didn’t see everything coming, but the main plot points, I saw them coming a mile away.

This really is an amazing novel. I am truly blown away by it and I recommend it to everyone. Great story, amazing writing, good characters. It really has it all.