Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Book Review: Fairest

Fairest:  The Lunar Chronicles
By Marissa Meyer
Fewiel and Friends, 2015
Reviewed from eBook
Audience: Grades 8 to 12
ISBN:  9781250060556
Publication Date: January 27, 2015

There is more to the evil Queen Levana than what meets the eye.  After the death of her parents, she bristled at her lower position to her sister Channery, whose lax attitude toward her rule annoyed Levana to no end.  Levana was actually interested in her country, as well as the experiment being run to create a deadly biological weapon and superhuman soldiers.  In her opinion, the only way to deal with the dwindling resources on Luna was to take them forcibly from Earth.  But ruling Luna wasn't the only thing on her mind.  She falls in love with a place guard named Jacin, but learns that he has a beautiful, if fragile, wife who is with child.  After his wife's death, Levana uses her glamour to seduce Jacin and make him hers, even going so far as to manipulate his mind.  Meanwhile, Channery is pregnant as well and gives birth to an heir, another hurdle to Levana's rise to power.  But this little child will not stand in her way, and the whole story begins to come together and show the reader the Queen Levana readers have known all along.

What was supposed to be a short background story spun into a novel all it's own.  I've read other reviews say that it's not as rich as the other books, and while that is true, it's very detailed in the creation of Levana.  Like all villains, she was not born evil, rather she was made that way, mostly by her own sister.  Her actions are not excusable, but become understandable, which makes you see the danger to Cinder and Winter even more.  

Levana is very shrewd and cunning in this story, a side of her that has always been apparent in the other books but was never explored.  This type of intelligence combined with a thirst for power and acceptance have made for a very deadly combination.  

Other lesser characters are also introduced like Thurmatage Sybil, but most importantly, Winter.  Very little is ever said about Winter in the other books, even though she will be the focus of the final book.  In Fairest at least the reader learns about her difficult childhood, which will very likely effect the events in the next book.

I loved it personally.  I didn't miss the action and adventure of the previous novels.  I found myself absorbed in Levana's struggle for power and presence.  

On a side note, I heard that the musician Sia didn't want her face to be shown during the Grammy's, which got me to thinking about other artists who disguise themselves during live performances like Daft Punk and the Gorillaz.  Are all of these artists really just Lunars in disguise?  Are they among us already?  Likely not, but fun to think about none the less.

Only eight long months until Winter.  I can't decide if I'm anxious to read the final book, or sad to see it come to a close.

Happy Reading!

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