The Lunar Chronicles: Winter

“Yeah, but broken isn’t the same as unfixable.”

Title: Winter

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles # 4

Publication: November 10th 2015 by Feiwel and Friends

Pages: 824

Source: Christmas bookhaul

 

Summary from Goodreads:

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?

 

My Thoughts:

ARRRGHHHHH!!! Okay, now that the incomprehensible screeching is out of the way: holy crap. This is how you end a series. This is how you write a damn book. This… this was perfection in every way, shape, and form known to man. Winter made me cry really unattractive big girl tears, practically ignore my family for three days, scream/rage/yell/rampage every other chapter, and made my fangirl heart swoon so badly I possibly have to request medical attention.

I’m having such a difficult time writing this simply for the fact that it would be easier to just say that Winter was amazing and if you haven’t read it or the Lunar Chronicles yet dishonor on you, dishonor on your family, dishonor on your cow. I cannot believe that this heart pounding, thrill-ride of a series is over. I can honestly tell you that the main emotion I am feeling right now is sadness and that all I want to do is start them all over from the beginning just so I can relive it all again. This might be one hell of a hulking book coming in at over 800 pages, but boy, those 800 pages almost aren’t enough. I could read an infinite amount of pages as long as it continued the story I have fallen so deeply in love with in such a short amount of time.

Winter, bless Marissa Meyer, picks up a little while after Cress gut punches you and abandons you in the alley way it jumped you in. But, let me tell you this, Winter is in no way a walk in the park. It is painful, it will make you feel things you don’t want to feel but at the end you’ll sit there and beg for it all to happen again and again. Compared to the others in the series, Winter is probably the most torturous. Characters do bad things to the people they love, loved ones of the main characters are nothing more than disposable pawns, and bad, bad, bad things happen to my favorite little precious baby ever and I can’t even vent about it because it is a huge spoiler. SOMEONE HELP ME GET OVER ALL THE FEELS!

On the other hand, just like the other three books, this one encompasses a retelling of a classic fairy tale: Snow White. Not only does it include the much loved aspects of the original tale, it also manages to weave the new story seamlessly into what is already happening and what will happen throughout the course of the novel. Each detail is important, say like Princess Winter’s love of Apple Tarts. Get it? Apples… Snow White… Evil Queen… purposely failed assassination attempt on Winter… Dun Dun DUN. The dwarfs were there, her true love was there (that was so cruel, if you’ve read it you know exactly what I am talking about), each and every little thing that should have been there to make the story the best it could have been, was present.

As usual and as I have come to expect in this series, the plot of this book was a masterfully choreographed waltz that flowed without a misstep during the entire number. It was full of action, surprises, suspense, awww worthy moments, and so much more. Winter was complex, adaptive, and a constant fight for survival where the tables could turn at any minute – and trust me, the tables turn quite a few times.

Not only that, but the entire book took place on Luna. Finally! I have been so curious about this planet and we finally got to see the inner workings of the system and the horrors of the Lunar court – which we got some brief glimpses of with Scarlet in Cress. This planet, our moon, was so darn interesting. I don’t even know how to describe it.

Also, we have all the ships being shipped so hard that I can’t believe it’s not butter. Did that make any sense at all? No? Good, cause I have no clue what I am trying to say other than how badly I want to squeal and faint. All of my precious little baby OTPs come together and it is GLORIOUS! Look at my babies… look at the precious little cinnamon rolls. I feel as though I should apologize for the babbling spreading across the internet right now, but oops – LOOK AT THEM!

Overall, this was a phenomenal way to end a breathtaking series that has risen up to become one of my all time favorites. Winter is a powerful tale of what it means to do the right thing, or what you think is the right thing, even at the cost of your own happiness. There is something for everyone to identify with in this series. Be it a love of machinery, a penchant for sarcasm, a favorite coat, technological savagery, or an unbelievable connection with animals – there is a little something for everyone. Despite the large size, this book didn’t last me half as long as I wanted it to. I want more, I need more. Winter is by far one of the best concluding books I have ever read – and I’ve read a lot of books.

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The Lunar Chronicles: Cress

“She dreamed of deep soul connections and passionate kisses and daring escapades. She was certain that he simply had to meet her, just once, and he would feel the same way. It would be like those epic love affairs that exploded into existence and burned white hot for all eternity. The type of love that time and distance and even death couldn’t separate.”

Title: Cress

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles # 3

Publication: February 4th 2014 by Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 550

Source: Christmas bookhaul

 

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

 

My Thoughts:

I guess the easiest way to describe my feelings about this book using the least amount of words possible would be something similar to this.

A rude wake up call.

Momentary blissful ignorance of the giant storm brewing/basking in Scarlet and Wolf feels.

Protecting my sanity while shamelessly continuing to torture myself.

Uncontrollable glee for reasons unbeknownst to the entire universe.

Extreme willingness to threaten any breathing thing getting in the way of my precious babies getting together.

And then… UNCONTROLLABLE FEELS!

As you probably noticed, I used gifs from Tangled. If you’re wondering why, it’s because – that’s right – Cress brings in Rapunzel into the fold. *happy dance*.

Cress, the third book in The Lunar Chronicles, does not disappoint as the midway/prefinale novel. It is action packed, heart breaking, and an all around thrill ride. There is so much that happens in this book. If it were any other novel, it would probably be impossible to keep track of – but Marissa Meyer once again hits the nail right on the head. This book is phenomenal.

Honestly, the best part of all of these books – besides the absolute amazingness that is this crazy ass world – are the characters. The characters are so alive, so real and relatable all the while being perfectly at home in this fictional place. When reading, you can feel their believeability to the point where you expect them to leap right out of the page and appear before your eyes (not that I’d be complaining). Each of these characters, as I’ve said before, play a key role in everything even though you might not notice it during their initial introductions. Each character as a role to play and a certain way of filling those empty spots that will leave you craving more. Even now, as I write this, I can still hear Iko blabbering away about pretty dresses and shiny things while Thorne compliments his ship. Ugh – the feels these characters bring. How much these characters make you feel almost hurts.

So, speaking of characters. This book, though not primarily about some new introductions, tells the story of Cress and Thorne being thrown together (Rapunzel and Flynn Rider from Tangled, I swear). Cress is sort of a special character – pretty much exactly like Tangled Rapunzel. She is naive, innocent, and pretty socially awkward. Though, instead of being imprisoned in a tower – Cress has been locked away in a satellite orbiting Earth while forced to be a spy for the evil Queen Levana. Cress was a very interesting narrator and I loved every second of it. It took a little getting used to, primarily her daydreams and fantasies, but I soon found myself immersed in her story and anxious to find out what happened next. Make no mistake, she is just as badass as Scarlet and Cinder – though her skill set rests more in electronics and hacking. As I have said before and will say many times again, this series is chalk full of amazing characters and each new addition is no exception.

I don’t even know what else to say about this book because it was just done so well! The plot was perfection, the characters were perfection, the writing was absolute perfection. Cress is a book that will make you feel things. It will make you scream, it will make you feel helpless (If you’ve read it, you know what scene I am talking about). Cress  will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you heart scream with happiness at certain swoon worthy moments, and it will also shatter your heart into a million little pieces. Overall, Cress left me amazed and I grow increasingly impressed with each book I devour. The Lunar Chronicles has become a favorite series of mine and I honestly cannot believe I haven’t read them until now. There really isn’t much more I can say without excessively repeating myself from my reviews of Cinder and Scarlet, so I leave you with simple advice. GO READ THESE IMMEDIATELY!!

 

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The Lunar Chronicles: Scarlet

“I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.”

Title: Scarlet

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles # 2

Publication: February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends

Pages: 452

Source: Christmas book haul

 

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

 

My Thoughts:

My inner fangirl is screaming, I repeat, my inner fangirl is screaming. HOLY CRAP! This book… I don’t even know what to say because I loved this book so much. Not only did Scarlet introduce us to a new cast of characters while simultaneously continuing Cinder’s story, it also packed one hell of a gut punch that made me want to rip my hair out. ALL THE FEELS! Ugh… Scarlet is feels central. It is the perfect squeal – both setting an even larger stage for book three and wrapping up certain loose ends from books one and two. I have to say, hands down the Lunar Chronicles is becoming one of my favorite series. I should probably apologize in advance because this review is mostly going to be me squealing/fangirling about everything and anything I can remember.

Scarlet killed me. It was beautifully written, the plot was wonderfully executed, and the new characters (Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorne) made my heart go all pitter-patter. Scarlet picks up almost immediately after Cinder with Cinder in jail and everything basically going to hell in a handbasket. We are introduced to Scarlet (who I freaken love), a young farm girl who is busy making her deliveries around town. Her grandmother has gone missing, Scarlet believing her to be kidnapped while everyone else thinks the “old bat” ran off because she was psychotic. Scarlet meets Wolf… don’t get me started on how much I love Mr. Rugged Street Fighter Who Badly Needs A Haircut. Together, Scarlet and Wolf work together to try and rescue Scarlet’s grandmother whilst Cinder tries to save the world. Needless to say, Scarlet does not lack in the action sphere of things. Actually, it isn’t lacking anywhere. Like I said, perfection.

Just like Cinder, Scarlet is an amazing, kickass, take no prisoners narrator. I loved how focused she was on saving her grandmother and protecting her – despite her feelings. She cares for her family, well – her grandmother, more than her own safety or happiness. Some might say her loyalty is stupid and her downfall, but I admire it immensely. Also, she runs around in a red hoodie with a gun in her belt and it is amazing! She is absolutely one of my favorite narrators/characters of all time now – not to mention how hard I ship her and Wolf. It almost hurts me how much I want them to be together.  It’s not just Scarlet that amazed me – among the already astounding cast of characters from book one, thrown into the mix are Wolf and Captain Carswell Thorne. Wolf, I have to say, is a very complex character that has wormed his way deep down into my heart. I loved him from the instant we meet him in the bar – even though I knew he had to be somewhat of bad news. Don’t even bring up the later half of the book, I will hurt you just like it hurt my poor, fangirl heart. Wolf is an excellent and a much needed addition to the series. He brought romance with Scarlet *swoons*, brutality, baddassery, and all sorts of goody goodies I don’t want to spoil no matter how badly I feel the need to gush right now.

Add in Thorne, basically the Adrian Ivashkov of space. Thorne is constantly cracking jokes or attempting to woo any unsuspecting females and it is absolutely hilarious.

I don’t really know how to express just how much I love this cast of characters – nor can I adequately express just how excited I am to see more of them in the next book. I have surprised myself with my restraint – I want to dive straight into Cress rather than take the time to fangirl all over the internet.

Once again, and no surprise to me, Marissa Meyer has done a brilliant job of tying all of this together, building a world, and keeping the pace at the exact place it should be. The world building is astounding! There are so many little details added in, so many itty-bitty puzzle pieces that start to fit together – it was mind blowing in the best way possible. I’ve begun to pick up on the amazing depth within these books, and I’m only on the second one. There is so much going on below the surface level. You really have to pay attention or else all your little genius light-bulbs won’t go off. It makes for a really fun reading experience if you ask me. There is a certain skill, a certain level of craftsmanship necessary to create things to the same scale that Meyer has – and for that I cannot applaud enough or give enough praise.

Overall, Scarlet was an excellent sequel to an already amazing series that made me super excited for the next book all while wrapping up certain cliff hangers from the first book. Scarlet will repeatedly hit you in the feels with a battering ram covered in pretty ribbons and bows and it will make sure you’re loving every last second of it! I find myself getting sucked in even more with each and every word I read and process. I am fully and whole-heartedly invested in these characters and their futures, and I know for a fact that there is more to come. Go read this series, seriously, it’s slowly becoming my life blood.

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The Lunar Chronicles: Cinder

 

“Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”

Title: Cinder

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles # 1

Publication: January 3rd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

Pages: 390

Source: Christmas book haul

 

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

 

My Thoughts:

I have been wanting to read these books forever! Honestly, I’m somewhat ashamed of the fact that I hadn’t started them until now. But, holy crap was it worth it. I have not felt that invested, that absorbed, into a story in a long, long time. I started this book and then I finished it within less than twenty-four hours, yupp. I don’t even know what to say about this. Cinder had all the feels. It made me scream in rage, want to pull my hair out, swoon at the stupidest things coming out of Kai’s mouth, and it made my internal princess go squealing all over the place. Cyborgs, Cinderella, and a futuristic-Star Wars-esq world? COUNT ME THE HELL IN A THOUSAND TIMES OVER.

I am incapable of truly expressing how in love I am right now. All I want to do is sit down and curl up with Scarlet, the next book, because it is sitting less than a foot away just staring at me. I guess, the easiest way to kick off the whole shebang is to say this: Cinder is an absolutely fantastic retelling of one of my all time favorite fairy tales that I will cherish for years to come. Is that simple enough for you?

Cinder is the story of a young-ish cyborg named Cinder. She is a mechanic, one of the best mechanics in Commonwealth to be exact. I loved Cinder, she has completely changed the image of Cinderella and for that I will be forever grateful. So long vapid, blonde barbie and say hello to greasy, overly sarcastic cyborg. Win, just a total win. Cinder still had all of the qualities I loved about Cinderella. She was kind, pretty selfless, but most of all – she still carried a sense of hope within her even after all of the torment forced upon her by her evil stepmother Adri. In all honesty, this adaptation of Cinderella is one of the only ones I’ve ever seen show an actual cruelty to Cinderella – it was heartbreaking. POOR IKO!! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you don’t want to know until you read it, and, if you do know, come cry with me in a corner. I’ll bring the chocolate. My joking, flippant nature aside, Cinder truly is a remarkable protagonist. She made this entire fiasco enjoyable – unputdownable to the point where my mother had to remind me to do my chores more than once (sorry about that). Is it strange that I really loved the fact that she was a cyborg? No? Good, because it was awesome. I’ve never read anything like that before in my life and I can’t wait to read it again. Cinder’s ability to compute things, download information, and process the world around her was revolutionary in my eyes. Strangely enough, it made her all the more relateable for me.

If you’re wondering, all of the other characters were just as amazing. Levana, Peony, Adri, Kai… all of them were just as phenomenal as Cinder – even the ones I hate with all my heart (I’m looking at you Levana and Adri). For a basic lowdown: Adri is Cinder’s stepmother (evil bitch), Levana is the queen of Lunar (also evil bitch, but with magical powers), Peony is Cinder’s stepsister (not evil, bless her little heart), Pearl is the other stepsister (evil bitch clone), and then there is Kai, the prince/soon to be emperor of Commonwealth. There are a lot of secondary characters also – Iko, Doctor Erland, Sybil – and all of them were just as developed and important. I guess what I am trying to say here is that Cinder holds an excellent cast of characters that you will be unable to resist within its pages.

As for the plot, HOLY CRAP! Okay, now that my unceremonious squealing is out of the way (not really) I can delve just a little bit into it for you. Cinder takes the original tale of Cinderella and turns it on its head with the wonderful additions of Lunar magical people, cyborgs, high-tech society, and a modern, semi-realistic setting. We have Cinder, a slave to Adri and her whims who wants to go to the ball. There are explicit connections between this retelling and the original fairy tale and they are very easy to recognize – which I like. Yes, Cinder gets invited to the ball. Yes, Cinder goes to the ball all dressed up. Yes, Cinder and the prince have a dance. Yes, Cinder loses a shoe ( or in this case, her foot). No, there is no fairy god mother. No, Cinder and Prince Kai are not together in any way, shape, or form. So, you see, Cinderella – but also not. *round of applause for Marissa Meyer*

Overall, Cinder is an excellent revamping of a classic fairy tale deserving of every moment of fame it can grasp. Now that the series is over, I hope it gets turned into a television show or a movie, anything really! Cinder will play with your heartstrings, it will make you rage about being fair, it will make you cry for reasons I will not say. This book is going to give you all the feels – but you’ll keep coming back for more. GO BUY THIS AND READ IT ALREADY!

Needless to say, as I mentally prepare myself for book two:

 

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