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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

"Fairest: The Lunar Chronicles 3.5" by Marissa Meyer (Reviewed by Cindy Hannikman)

Visit Marissa Meyer's Official Site Here
Read FBC's Review of Cinder Here
Read FBC's Review of Scarlet Here 
Read FBC's Review of Cress Here

OVERVIEW: 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.

FORMAT: Fairest is a prequel to The Lunar Chronicles. It takes place before book 1 – Cinder. It is not necessary to read it, if you are following The Lunar Chronicles, but it does add to the story.

Fairest is a YA novel with some darker elements. It stands at 220 pages and was published January 27, 2015 by Feiwel & Friends.  

ANALYSIS: I have been following the Lunar Chronicles since Marissa Meyer wrote her first book, Cinder. I wasn't a huge fan of Cinder, I felt it had a lot of flaws, didn't really make a lot of sense, and just didn't jive with me. For some reason, I kept with the series and each book gets better and better. That leads us up to the latest release – Fairest.

Fairest provides readers with the opportunity to learn the story behind Queen Levana. Up until this point, Queen Levana has been a big of a mystery. Readers have been treated to bits and pieces of her story, but we were never told how she ended up as evil or powerful as she is today. This is Queen Levana's opportunity to truly shine and get her story out there.

The backstory behind Queen Levana is dark, probably the darkest, most emotional story of the entire Lunar Chronicles. It involves a young, emotionally/physically abused and scarred individual who grows up with every intention of turning the world around, but things go bad. There are several twists, turns, and betrayals that slowly turn a once caring individual (Levana) into the scary, evil villain that everyone fears.

The goal of Fairest is to provide readers with the opportunity to bridge in the gaps of the Lunar Chronicles. One of my biggest questions was 'why'. Why was Levana bad? Why was she doing all of this? This explains it all and even sets up readers for what is to come in the next book – Winter.  

I admit there were times in Fairest where I was truly rooting for Levana. Even though I know what the end result was, I still had some shred of hope left that maybe, just maybe she'd be good. Then there was the betrayal and the need for power, and it just got worse and worse. I was crushed. I knew at that point Marissa Meyer successfully pulled me into the novel and made me a part of it. I was emotionally involved in this evil villain's quest.

When I ended the book, I could honestly say I did not like Levana, even more than before, and I want to see her taken down in the upcoming book in the Lunar Chronicles. I also understood exactly what made her so crazy.

Fairest is not a light fluffy read by any stretch of the imagination. There are some scenes that are difficult to read, not because they are poorly written. They were hard to read because they were so uncomfortable and dark. The last quarter of the book, Levana had gone so crazy that you felt bad for every other character that had to deal with her.

It is a little odd that this prequel of sorts was published in the middle of the series, but I think it fits. It added to the mystery of Levana, but didn't ruin the series. Ideally, if you are just starting the series you could read it at any point in time, but I recommend following the publication order, especially if you are looking for a bit of mystery.

Fairest is by far the best book written by Marissa Meyer to date. It is fast paced, detailed, emotional, and truly connects with the readers from the first few pages. It is amazing to think when I started reading Cinder, I  had no intention of following this series at all. Meyer has come a long, long way.
I can say I'm honestly looking forward to Winter's release and can't wait to see what happens with this series.


Darth Lolita said...

Wow. I've actually been putting off this book despite my love of the Lunar Chronicles. I'm not usually a fan of side novellas--they always feel too much like filler to me and I lose interest.

I'm hearing a lot of praise for this book, this being the most recent.

I should probably check it out then. Still got a few months left before Winter :P

Cindy said...

I really think the timing of when you read Fairest is important. If it was read before any of the Lunar Chronicles, I think it takes away from the mystery of it and really ruins both the main series and this book.

The fact that readers are familiar with the subject and gain insight into the characters with this book helps. That and it is only 225 pages so its a quick read and not really bogged down with facts.

Let me know what you think of it! :)

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