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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Cress

Cress (Lunar Chronicles, #3)
by Marissa Meyer

Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.

In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only 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 goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can. (goodreads.com)

Release date: February 4, 2014

I don’t normally like to post too early about soon to be published books, but I figure a month and half (ish) isn’t too bad… Also I need to just be able to read and blog when I am able to these days. So you’re getting an early review of Cress. I shall try not to spoil anything, but I suggest you continue reading at your own risk. 😉

My gosh. I started this post a week ago…but I’m just not feeling the book blogging mood anymore. Ugh.

I might be in the minority, but I found Cress started off really slow and I wasn’t entirely certain I was going to like the book in the end. Turns out I started liking the story a lot more by the second half, which made me happy.

With each book being about a different main character, it’s bound to happen that a reader might not connect much with a specific story. This is how I felt about Cress. I didn’t particularly like her. There was nothing special about her personality that I can blame on my dislike of her. Maybe it’s that I felt she didn’t actually have any personality. She seemed sort of one dimensional and bland. Can’t say I blame her for it. I gather her circumstances lead to her blandness, but maybe she could have been written a little more endearingly or something.

I didn’t hate her. I just didn’t care anything about her. That actually makes me sad because I’d much rather hate a character than be indifferent to one. With the hatred I know they have been portrayed in a way that makes them more realistic and well-rounded.

On the flip side, this book had a lot of Captain Thorne and I adore his character. He always makes me laugh. I like that he got to expand from his side-kick, comic relief role a little and we get to know more about him. Even if it’s with Cress.

And really, I liked Cress slightly more by the end of the story. But I still like the other characters more. Heck, I even adore Iko more and she’s a robot.

However I am seriously looking forward to the fourth and final book – Winter. Because the brief glimpse we have of that character was enough to make me exclaim, “ooo, this is going to be GOOD!” when I was done reading.

Even though I received an ARC of this book (not for review, as gift) I am going to purchase the hard cover when it comes out in February because I do love this series. I love this sci-fi, fantasy take on Fairy Tales I know and love so well. The writing is excellent and the stories are captivating. The cover art for these books is just beautiful as well and they are books I will be happy to have in my collection for ever and ever.

The Lunar Chronicles

  1. Cinder
  2. Scarlet
  3. Cress
  4. Winter – 2015

Scarlet

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)
by Marissa Meyer

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-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 and 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 has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner. (goodreads.com)

Hey! This book comes out today! Totally didn’t plan that when I sat down to write this post. I read Scarlet on Sunday and loved every second of it. I didn’t think I could love this second book as much as I did Cinder, but I did! I was a little thrown by the new perspective in the book, even though I had known this was going to be a book about a different character. That thought was in the back of my mind while I started the story and had to get accustomed to a new character – Scarlet!

Have any of you out there seen the movie Looper? If you have, you know the farmhouse and fields that much of the movie takes place on? Well, that’s exactly how I pictured Scarlet’s farm. I kept seeing scenes from that movie whenever the story was set in Grandmother’s House. I don’t know why you’d care about this, but I just needed to tell someone. That someone, Internet, is you.

So, trying to not spoil anyone on the book (but in case I do, feel free to skip this post), I will say that there are three new characters introduced in Scarlet (with Scarlet being one of them) and I enjoyed them all. Fear not for fans of Cinder, because she is in the story, as well. There are chapters devoted to her story mixed in with Scarlet’s story and if anything the pacing of the story is so wonderful and fast that you’re at the end WAY TOO QUICKLY for my liking and now must suffer 12 long months until Cress is released. Ugh. Stupid waiting game.

I think my favourite of the new characters is Captain Thorne. The way he was written kept me giggling the entire time he was on the page. Seriously. He’s such a fun character and I was surprised by him in the end, too. I love when characters are more than they seem to be (in a good way, and not in a mysterious way). It was towards the end that I knew he was my favourite character BECAUSE of the surprising part and he became a much fuller character to me, too. (Trying to explain this without spoiling things is really hard. So I’m being intentionally vague, even though what I am telling you about isn’t like a mysterious part of the plot, it’s just about character development, as in character-character, and not a person character… ugh.. I give up.)

Anyhow, my point is that I loved Thorne, ok?

I also loved the Scarlet and Wolf story, which is good because most of this book is about them. I will tell you that there’s a scene in this book between them that was so full of heat and tension that I thought “ok, so this is a perfect example of how this is done. Not graphic, not over-the-top, but full on emotional commitment and hotness and it WORKS!” and nothing seemed forced or fake and I was swooning, people. SWOONING! I was shocked to realize that I found a fictional character from a book, HOT. This has happened in the past on occasion, but normally I don’t feel actual attraction to characters from books. Not this time though. Wolf. Yum. It’s attraction like this I find fascinating because I don’t have a physical description to ogle over. In fact, I’m attracted to his personality and actions really. Isn’t that how attraction should work in real life? Not focus on the physical?

So, yeah… I like Wolf. But mostly I like Scarlet and Wolf as a team. That works for me.

A lot about this book worked for me and I loved that. I know I was sort of having an eye-roll moment at the end of Cinder as much as I adored it, but this book didn’t have the same Captain Obvious parts. At least none that stuck out and annoyed me anyhow. I actually found Scarlet to be a more well-rounded story and a slightly stronger book than the first. If the writing, characters and story are just going to get progressively better with each book, I am super stoked about this. Also, I am even more annoyed that I have to wait a year between books. Impatient is my middle name. (Not really.) (But it should have been.)

So, this fantastical, science-fictiony, fairy tale retelling series is one for the history books, my friends. It’s fun, exciting, funny, thrilling and just well done. Pick it up and enjoy it. We’ve met Cinderella (Cinder), Red Riding Hood (Scarlet) so far and we’ve got two more to go! Cress and Winter… not sure about Cress though. I saw online that it’s Rapunzel? And I’d guess Winter is a Snow White retelling? I’m curious now and I’m extra curious as to how they will all tie together, because I really didn’t make the connection between Cinder and Scarlet until it was right in front of me. Not sure if it was because of the year between books and my Old Person Memory or what.. but I liked that I had that “Ohhh!” moment when the connection was made in my brain. 😉

Enough of my rambling. Read this series. That is all.

The Lunar Chronicles

  1. Cinder
  2. Scarlet
  3. Cress
  4. Winter – 2015

Cinder

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)
by Marissa Meyer

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. (goodreads.com)

Internet, you will be seeing posts about this book in abundance right now. That’s likely because Tuesday was release day for Cinder, the debut YA novel by Marissa Meyer. BUT I BEG YOU! Do NOT turn away from my blog post! You might be tired of seeing people blog about it, but I promise you, IT IS WORTH IT!

It’s rare I have books read and reviewed on their release date unless I am actually reviewing them for someone. This is not the case in this instance. In fact, this book was sent to me as a gift back in…er.. November? And I purposely put it aside to read closer to when it was coming out. However, I thought it was out in February. Apparently not. Oddly the timing worked out in the book’s favour, I think.

Though I had seen this cover bounced around on various blogs, pine for posts, Waiting on Wednesday posts, I have to admit that I was ignoring it myself. I do like a good fairytale retelling, but something about this one was making me think nothing of it. Maybe it was the foot on the cover (I hate, hate, hate feet! Yuck! *shudder*). Maybe it was the “android” part of the summary, but something wasn’t connecting with me.

Until I saw a friend of mine post about it on Facebook. This same friend is the one who sent me the book as a surprise. Since I trust her opinion of many things implicitly (she shares my deep love of Muppets and all things Joss Whedon) I asked her if she thought I would like this. She said yes.

So I started it today (er, yesterday, by the time this goes up) and despite my migraine and sick day I finished it in one afternoon.

It was THAT GOOD!

This book ended up being nothing that I was expecting. Nothing. I thought it was dystopian, but I don’t think it is, really. I guess it’s more Sci-Fi with Fantasy and Fairytale? I can’t quite categorize it.

What I can tell you is that this book has excellent world building, character development and dialogue. There’s even a romance in here that was just so wonderfully woven into the story that it puts so many other YA and some adult paranormal ones to shame. There’s a genuine connection between Cinder and Kai and you can actually see a relationship (and I don’t mean a romantic one) build from the bottom up.

Cinder herself was a brilliant protagonist. I loved her. I loved her android Iko to pieces as well (er, sort of literally and no pun intended). Cinder was a character that I felt like I needed to know in real life and befriend. I don’t feel this way about many fictional characters, so that’s saying a lot.

Cinder’s step-mother was deliciously dislikable. I felt my stomach clench and my blood start to boil whenever she was in a scene. The relationships that Cinder had with each of her step-sisters were well done as well. They were both frustrating and heartbreaking.

The one thing that bothered me in the story wasn’t about this particular book itself, but it’s more something that bothers me about a specific plot line. The tension between Earth and the Queen of the Lunar people had my hair on end. I HATE that feeling of powerlessness that is all over the place as the Queen threatens war if she doesn’t get her own way. The way the Lunar Queen has her claws in everything and Earth seems to have no way to stand up to her.

I guess it’s sort of a bully situation, but it’s something I hate in story lines. I just don’t get why every bloody non-earth creature is always the one with the power. I mean, you see it in movies, TV, books. Are we really that powerless and useless here on Earth that we wouldn’t be able to stand up to some alien invasion? Why is it always assumed that aliens (I say alien as an example) are always going to be light years ahead of us and will want to conquer us. WHY ARE WE ALWAYS CONQUERED? Why are we always the weak ones?

In the case of this story, with all the technology and advancement that’s apparently happened in this future world, why are the people of earth STILL abysmally behind those people on the moon (and who knows where they came from, because if it’s OUR future, there’s no one there now). It just bugs me. This has nothing to do with the story, I’m sorry, just ignore me. It’s something that makes me really agitated, this entire concept of always being conquered. Jeez.

Um, but I digress. A lot.

The storytelling in Cinder is just bloody fantastic. You will be gripped from the first page to the last and NOT want to put it down. You might even go so far as to walk around the house with the book and take it into the bathroom with you each time you have to pee because you have started drinking green tea because it’s supposed to be healthy for you and yet all it does is make you have to pee every fricken 5 seconds. And it tastes like seaweed. The tea, I mean, not the book. I have no idea what the book tastes like because I didn’t nibble it while I was reading. I don’t nibble books, I sniff them. The book didn’t smell like seaweed either, in case you are curious.

Er… so yes. This book is FANFRICKENTASTIC and if you like YA literature and you like whimsy and great character development and gripping mysteries and future stuff – then get your hands (be they human or cyborg) on a copy of this book right away!

Or, wait 11 months to read it because if you enjoyed it as much as I and other bloggers have you will realize that the 12 month (or more?) wait for the sequel may just make you go mad.

The end.

The Lunar Chronicles

  1. Cinder
  2. Scarlet
  3. Cress
  4. Winter – 2015

 

In My Mailbox #50 – The Thwarting my Arch Nemesis Edition!

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

All my IMM posts can be found here!

Welcome to my 50th In My Mailbox! I feel like this is some sort of fancy milestone and it amuses me that though I am only at 50 posts for IMM, Kristi herself is at her 100th IMM *VIDEO* and last week was her 150th IMM post. She’s a rock star, yo!

So this week was crazy fun for me and the mail! I got a book for review, books I bought and a surprise box of books from a friend. I think this week was a lovely way to end my 2 month sick leave. I’ve got a book high going on!

For Review:

Bought:

Surprise:

Various other paper products:

I’ve already devoured Touch of FrostThe Faerie Ring and Prized. Those links will bring you to my reviews if you haven’t seen them already. (er, except for Prized, because I haven’t written it yet.) All other book-related links go to Goodreads.

I only got one bill this week, too! So I think that makes for a super excellent mailbox week – all stuff that makes me happy and nothing much that I have to dish out stupid money for. (I am so tired of the mortgage and utilities companies expecting me to pay them every month! Nags, the lot of ’em.)