I have both exciting and disappointing news for Marissa Meyer fans. The exciting news is that the final two volumes in The Lunar Chronicles are now available and will provide you with over 1000 pages of reading time. Naturally, the disappointing news is that once you’ve read these two page-turning sequels, this fairy tale dystopian series is over.
For those of you who enjoy bad characters as leads, the fourth title is dedicated to Levana, whom fans will quickly recognize as the wicked queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. What do I like about Fairest? In a word: Levana! In Levana, Meyer has created perhaps her most complicated character. Levana wants to be loved but grows up in a poisonous family. Her rich and powerful parents don’t have time for their daughters and they soon disappear from the picture when murdered. Her older sister is not only cold but also pure evil, being the one responsible for Levana’s hideous looks. Sadly, as the relationship between Levana and a guard who shows friendship to her fails to ignite, we realize that her distant and abusive family has left Levana incapable of knowing what true love is. Mayer makes me feel both sympathy and disgust towards Levana, which shows great craftsmanship.
If Fairest left me with one wish, it would be to even better understand this family and their planet. How did Luna become an undesirable place to live? Why would Levana’s parents so distant? And why did Channery constantly torment her sister? Mayer has already written several short stories about The Lunar Chronicles and I can see fans continuing to desire more of these long after they finish the five volumes in this mesmerizing series.
My rating? Bag it: Carry it with you. Make it a top priority to read.
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The final title in The Lunar Chronicles is both a reunion party and the story of Winter, the daughter of the guard whom Levana forced to marry her. Although Winter made a brief appearance in Cress, it’s in this fifth title that we finally start to understand her. She’s an intriguing character. On one hand, she avoids corrupting herself by refusing to use her glamor but, in doing so, Winter also subjects herself to hallucinations and other chaotic behavior. In addition, at the start of the book, Winter seems quite fragile and weak, but eventually she develops inner strength as she decides for herself who to become. While none of the other characters, except perhaps Jacin, feel fully developed, this won’t bother fans who already know the majority of them from earlier volumes.
How do I feel about how Meyer wrapped up The Lunar Chronicles? I have to admit to not being completely happy. The ongoing cruelty of Levana and her allies left me nauseous. Fantasy should provide some escape from reality, but at times Winter felt no different from watching the world news. Eight hundred pages filled with battles also left me exasperated with the whole dystopian genre. Doesn’t anyone have a different vision of our future? At the same time, I appreciated how vulnerable to failure and fears our beloved characters were. Also, given how few in numbers our heroes were, I admire their gutsiness and bravery in challenging a corrupt leadership. Meyer has created a world that stirs the imagination and will long be remembered.
My rating? Read it: Borrow from your library or a friend. It’s worth your time.
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