Source/Format: borrowed the e-book from the library
Series: Lunar Chronicles #3.5 (reading books 1-3 is definitely recommended before reading this one!)
Genre: YA Sci-Fi Fairy Tale Re-telling
What It’s About:
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.
What I Thought:
I was super-excited when I found out there was going to be a Lunar Chronicles novella, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to read it after the series was finished (which is the norm for reading novellas- at least in my case) or now. And I decided I couldn’t wait that long, and I really liked it!
We don’t really get much with Queen Levana, and she’s this mysterious, ominous villain that we didn’t really see a lot of in the series so far. Understandable, since it’s Cinder’s story, and how it connects to Scarlet, Cress, and Winter (well, that’s what I’m assuming, given the series so far). But there’s quite the connection between Levana and Cinder, and I really liked seeing why she hates Cinder, and the connection to both Cress and Winter.
I really liked seeing how Levana become the person she is, and I actually felt really bad for her. She’s done some very horrible things that are not okay, but I do understand why she did those things, and it makes me really excited to read Winter- we definitely see Winter a little bit in this one, and I want to know more about her! It also sheds a little more light on the Lunar people, so I’m definitely glad we get to see it way before things go down.
Another really interesting thing about it is that while it’s a prequel, taking place before the events of Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter, I would also recommend reading it after Cinder, Scarlet and Cress, if you haven’t already read them. It’s definitely easy to figure out at least one plot twist that I can think of.
Since I read the e-book, I didn’t get to see any of the artwork that’s supposed to be included in the print copies- which is unfortunate, because if they’re anything like that cover, I feel like I really missed out, and that the artwork is what would have pushed it from really liking Fairest to loving it. At the same time, though, if it is as stunning as the cover (I mean, look at that cover, it’s gorgeous, and I want a print of that hanging up on my wall), it’s something I’d want to see in front of me, and not on a screen, you know?
Random Update: I was doing some book shopping at Mysterious Galaxy on Friday to avoid traffic, and I happened to see a copy of Fairest. Knowing there was supposed to be artwork included, I flipped through, and was quite disappointed that the artwork was a drawing of Levana’s castle on the inside cover, and was the same image on both sides. Granted, the summary doesn’t really specify, but something about it really made it seem like there was going to be all this beautiful artwork. So you’re really not missing out on anything if you go for the digital or audio (assuming there is an audio, of course).
4 stars. I really liked Fairest, and I loved seeing how Levana got to be the way we see her in the books.