For What It's Worth

Thursday, September 3, 2015

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


22489107In 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. ~
Goodreads


Source: Finished copy provided by the publisher via BEA15

Review: I enjoy Meyer’s Lunar Chronicle series, but I’m not a huge fan of it, as so many others are. It’s wildly hit or miss for me so I wasn’t super excited to read this. I believe it came out not too long after the movie Maleficent, and while I loved that movie, I didn’t want to see Queen Levana humanized to the point of pity or sympathy, as Maleficent was. Sometimes I like my villains to stay - villains. Reviews started to trickle in that it wasn’t that kind of story so I decided to give it a try.

This is considered a novella (I think – it’s shorter – 220 pages - but feels like a full length story) and a companion novel to the Lunar Chronicle series and while I suppose you don’t need to read it, you really should. It explains SO much. About Levana, Cinder and it’s a crazy good introduction to Winter’s story (the next and final book of the series).

So did Fairest soften Levana? God no! If anything I like her even less. That woman is diabolical. Sure you see how different things shaped her, but it’s clear that she was never going to be a nice person, no matter what.

I felt empathy for how alone she must have felt in the palace, for things that happened to her at the hands of her (beautiful) sister, for being raised by neglectful parents, but she hits a level of cruelty that can’t be explained away.

She does a lot of horrible things – both physically and psychologically - but when she crossed the line of taking away a certain characters free will, I felt ill. I wonder how much of this would have even made it to print if there was a man doing some of the things she does. I mean, I was just horrified by her. She is straight up delusional.

As a character study, it was both fascinating and horrifying. Levana garnered no sympathy from me but it was an excellent addition to the series and leaves you breathless with anticipation for Winter – which I wasn’t even looking forward to before.

21 comments:

  1. I tried listening to book 2 but gave up, I must try the book instead, the library's audiobooks can be tiresome

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    1. I can't do audio books lol

      I did like Scarlett but the other two were meh for me.

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  2. Nice, I did love Cinder, but hit a bad YA slump (which I'm still battling to date) and never picked up the rest of the books. I think I can get away with reading this as standalone? I do love that it sounds dark and just angry! lol

    p.s. I'll send the book to you next week, after labor day. I hope that's okay :)

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    1. I think you could read this one. It's mostly concerning Cinder & you already know about that & WInter (which is the next book) so it should all make sense to you.

      It's a kind of chilling story.

      No worries about the book - whenever!

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  3. Getting a more in depth look at the characters is always nice, and this one sounds wild with fascinating and horrifying

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    1. It was really different - especially for YA.

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  4. ohmy, I should really start reading this one soon. So glad it's not something that makes Levana look like some really nice kid-who-suddently-start-getting-bitter-with-life. It's sounds so nice to get deeper into Levana. I'm definitely placing this above my tbr list now :)

    czai @ the Blacksheep Project

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    1. Not. At. All. lol You may understand her a bit more, feel sorry for a split second but no - she's not nice and never was going to be.

      It's such an interesting character study though. I don't recall ever reading something that diabolical in YA before.

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  5. So glad to hear that this doesn't paint Levana in a better light! This series is good but not amazing for me too...but I really should make time to pull this one off my shelf.

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    1. It's a very character focused story so I don't think you even have to have read any of the other books but it sure explains a lot.

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  6. I haven't read it, yet, but I was wondering if it would make me feel sorry for Levana...

    Kate @ Ex Libris


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  7. That's awesome this made you more excited for Winter. I've had my copy for awhile now, so I need to read it. I like that it keeps Levana a villain, even if you CAN feel a bit of empathy for some of what she went through.

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    1. You feel bad for how lonely she must have been but that's about it. Nothing can let her off the hook for how she behaves.

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  8. YES! I was worried that Meyer was going to try to explain why Levana was so evil, and while she did, I was happy that Meyer didn't try to make us sympathize with us. That entire family is MESSED UP.

    Winter! WINTER!

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  9. I am behind and need to read this. I have really been enjoying the series, but am more interested in reading Winter.

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    1. You should really read this one before Winter. It explains SO much - about Cinder & WInter.

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  10. Awesome when they can make a short one feel like a full length. I still have book one on my tablet waiting for me. lol

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    1. It didn't feel like a novella at all. It was kind of perfect - in a diabolical way lol

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  11. I have to admit, I wasn't as much of a fan of the first book as the others were but I want to continue the series. I think I like that this one is short but has a lot of information that you wanted about the character. I think that I like that you still don't like her. Makes her a "good" villain. :D

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  12. Whoops! So that would be #3.5 and not #35. I was thinking it an awful long series but then that's what I get for even beginning to imagine I can see well without my glasses.

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