Review: FAIREST, WINTER, and STARS ABOVE by Marissa Meyer

This post includes reviews of the final three installments of the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer.


Fairest

Reading this novella before the exciting conclusion to this series was perfectly timed. Since Cinder, Queen Levana has been a distant, evil character meant to represent the evil queen of the Snow White fairy tale. In this story, however, Meyer presents her backstory in such a way that halfway through the novella I was actually rooting for her! Though Levana is solidly back on “evil” ground by the end of the story, this three-dimensionality both deepened the tension of the final book and allowed us to mourn Levana’s downfall even as we cheered for it.

This novella also did a great job of fleshing out the world-building of Luna: the environment, locations, and details of the Lunar gift.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.


Winter

After meeting the character of Winter at the end of Cress, I was a bit worried about her being the major hero of the final book to what had so far been an impressive series. Luckily, Meyer spread the point of view scenes around based on who would be most effective at telling the portion of the story that needed to be told. Seeing this ragtag crew continue to work together even under the most dire of straights was a ton of fun.

That being said, I did really enjoy seeing the scenes from Winter’s perspective. A mentally disabled fantasy hero is a departure from the norm, and I admired Winter’s dedication to both her internal goals and her new friendships.

But I was most happy to see the adventure started in Cinder come full circle. Though Cinder’s decision regarding her throne at the end of the story felt a bit heavy-handed, it aligned with the characterization and goals that had been established over the course of the series.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.


Stars Above

Favorite story: Seeing a completely separate part of this world in “The Little Android” was a great treat. I even could have done without Cinder’s cameo. I didn’t even realize that this was a retelling of “The Little Mermaid” until I started to write this review, but now it’s completely obvious. This shows how deftly Meyer wove her story.

Story I want expanded into a novel: The hints revealed about Scarlet’s grandmother’s past in “The Keeper” drew me in so much that I crave more of Michelle Benoit’s life and adventures.

Honorable mention: I’m really glad that the wedding readers finally get is between Scarlet and Wolf, rather than Cinder and Kai. Despite this being a young adult series, Meyer does an excellent job of portraying the fact that there is no happily ever after. It’s a work in progress, and the story doesn’t end on the last page of the book.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.


Currently reading: Home Birth (Kaiju Revisited #2) by Jessica McHugh

Currently writing: 82,349/90k words

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (www.jlgribble.com), on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jlgribblewriter), and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

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