Winter is coming. The book that is. I don’t know if it’s ever going to get cold outside-well, not for awhile. I thought rather than doing a review of each of the books (again). During my reread, I’d just make some general notes about what I thought about this series. Consider this an abbreviate guide should you not want to sit down and reread all of the previously titles. Also, I’m making some Winter predictions at the end-I’m probably mostly wrong, but hey it was fun guessing what is going to happen next.
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.
So, I did a full review of Fairest when it came out earlier this year. Upon reread, I was surprised at how compact and put together it was. The thing is barely two hundred pages long, but nothing was really scrimped when it came to this short of novel.
I decided to read this one first, rather than last in my reread, because I wanted to have the series in chronological order. Not sure if that was exactly wise since it alludes to a lot of things in future installments. But we’ll see how it goes.
This book is really character driven. That became even more apparent to me on reread. I can basically sum up the book in a couple of sentences: Watch how Levana becomes a complete sociopath and basically mind rapes a guy. That in the gist is what the book is about. And normally I would hate reading this sort of thing becuase…well, do I really need to go into because the whole premises just seems gross.
But what works about it is Meyer never tries to justify Levana’s actions. If she tried to justify them I would’v e hated it. As it stands, I loved the book.
If You Don’t Want to Re-Read the Book What You Need to Know:
- Cinder’s mother is partially responsible for Levana being crazy and it’s probably good she’s dead.
- Levana is really truly hideous her greatest weakness is her reflection (i.e. all Cinder would need to defeat her is one really big mirror).
- Baby Winter, Cinder, and Jacin are too cute. And I’m already shipping Winter and Jacin.
- Levana is a nasty piece of work, who you can’t help but feel slightly sorry for. But not in the I want you to find a happily ever, more like I want you to be locked up in the pysch ward type of way.
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.
When I read Cinder for the first time I was an incomprehensible fan girl. Reading it again, I could see faults that weren’t so noticeable for the read around. I still enjoyed the heck out of it though. But Cinder and Kai, by OTP of this series felt a little forced for me the second time around. Sure, they just fit, later in the series, but their introduction to each other reeked insta love and appeared very forced.
It doesn’t mean I don’t like Cinder and Kai, far from it. They are still my favorite pairing in the series, it’s just that they didn’t start out magical. Then again, if you think about it NONE of the couples in this series really have great starts.
There was also some change in the backstory from the one that we were given in Fairest. I’m thinking this was probably POV oriented, but reading Fairest before this it seemed a little disjointed to me.
Anyway, here’s the down and dirty about Cinder should you be on a reread crunch:
- Cinder and Kai do suffer from insta love.
- Kai needs to reform Cyborg laws.
- Levana is bat shit insane from the start.
- Peony is very forgettable, I almost forgot about her existence.
- Iko is still the best.
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.
To be honest I was never a huge fan of Scarlet because I always thought it was a bridge book. It’s true you could argue that Cress is a bridge book too, but I feel like in Cress stuff that I want to happen starts to happen. Scarlet is really building things in the novel.
However, upon reread I actually like it a lot better. It’s not like there’s nothing happening in Scarlet. Lots of stuff happens. And after seeing how some of the pieces fit together in Fairest and Cress the book works a lot better.
Plus, I was a lot more interested in Wolf and Scarlet this time around. I think the first time I read it I was more interested in reading about Kai and Cinder, but now that I knew these characters better I wanted to spend more time in their world.
I am still not a huge fan of that ship though. Mainly because there are traces of what one might consider to be an abusive relationship in it.
Though, that could easily be argued that there were complications and that Wolf eventually decided to do the right thing.
It always kind of rubbed me a little the wrong way, even though I get it.
Once again, here’s the quick and dirty guide:
- Wolf and Scarlet not so much at first, but I totally get their relationship even though it’s not my favorite.
- Kai tries to immolate Kevin Spacey from House of Cards but just can’t pull it off since Levana embodies Claire Underwood and Regina from Once Upon a Time.
- Cinder and Kai have lots of angst and not so much fluff.
- Thorne is awesome but slightly slimy.
- Again, Iko is awesome.
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, 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 her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned 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 just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
Cress is probably my favorite book out of the series so far. I think it’s because a lot of things happen in this book. And I’m a little partial to Thorne even though he has jerk tendencies.
Surprisingly, I liked Cress too even though she has a huge naive streak and that’s usually something I’m not usually a fan of. She has this weird inner strength and spunk that makes me like her. Plus, I see a lot of my younger self in her.
The other characters are great too. There is far less Wolf and Scarlet in this one which is sort of a disappointment, because on reread I’ve grown to love them a lot more than the original read threw.
I really love how this series is told in multiple point of views. I think it makes it stronger.
My favorite scenes in this one is still the whole kidnap Kai scenes. I love that part of the book. How everything comes together. I feel like there is some resolution-even though it’s anything but.
I also like how this book goes deeper into Lunar history/politics/power. The next book is actually set there, so that’s going to be fun.
Also, the fairytale allusions get smarter as the series progresses. There were several allusions to different versions of Rapunzel.
Finally, here’s the quick and dirty guide for Cress:
- While Cinder might have Iron Man’s equipment, Thorne acts like Tony Stark.
- And speaking of The Avengers, Wolf kind of reminds me of the Hulk and Scarlet sort of has a Black Widow thing going.
- Oh, and Iko could be Jarvis and…I’ll shut up on The Avengers allusions. Though, I sort of imagine Jacin looking like Thor. And Levana sort of has a Loki complex.
- Obviously, Cress never played Oregon Trail 2 when in captivity, otherwise she would’ve known how to survive the desert.
- Thorne might be more like Dare Devil though since he can fight blind….hm, that sort of ruins my Avengers thing, but still fits in with the Marvel thing.
- I want to read Winter’s POV. She seems crazy in the best way possible.
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.
Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?
Random Predictions That Probably Aren’t Remotely Likely:
- Levana will be dethroned and be tortured into looking at herself in the mirror for the rest of eternity. Or watching the sad version of her star on Once Upon a Time-seriously, I hate what they’ve done to the Evil Queen character on that show.
- Cinder and Kai will have a happily ever after and unite the two kingdoms and have World and Lunar peace. Adri and Pearl will desperately try to suck up, but the best they’ll get is some royal wedding napkins. Probably Cinder will have a near death experience when defeating Levana/or Levana might try to get her to hurt Kai or something but it will all work out-hopefully.
- Scarlet will escape with a little help from Winter and get a replacement cyborg pinkie which will also work as a gun. She and Wolf will reunite. I’m betting that one of them will come in near peril, but I’m hoping that they’ll survive.
- Jacin will become the new recast of Jason Morgan on General Hospital. Playing a mob hit man won’t be that huge of a stretch for him. With his earnings, he’ll pay for Earthen med school and take up Cinder’s stepfather’s work on those Lunar power control chips.
- Cress will become the head of Cinder’s cyber security team. Thorne will actually become a captain-albeit an honorary one- and do a series of info commercials for hair gel.
- As for Winter, I’m hoping she’ll survive. But poison apples, you know. I actually think that it’s likely that the chip thingimabob is going to play a role in “saving” her. But I really don’t know how that’s going to happen. In my fantasy world, she does survive and becomes Cinder’s right hand woman.