“Winter” by Marissa Meyer: Book Review

“She’s our lost princess. And she’s coming home.”

Cinderella vs. The Evil Queen – The Final Showdown | Winter by Marissa Meyer [Book Review]

★★★★☆ • 4 / 5 stars

The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Note: I’ve read and reviewed the first three books in The Lunar Chronicles. You can read them here: Cinder Review | Scarlet Review | Cress Review

What an incredible end to an incredible series. It wasn’t my favorite book in The Lunar Chronicles, but I still really enjoyed it.

Winter is a 2015 novel by Marissa Meyer, published by Feiwel & Friends. It’s 827 pages in length, and is the conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles. And the genres, as per usual with this series, are YA fantasy and science fiction.

Stuff I Liked

I really loved how all the characters finally came together, and were reunited with one another. The Rampion crew has been separated into different duos and trio since Scarlet, and I was honestly getting a little tired of it.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the book was, as usual with TLC, the characters themselves. Thorne and Iko are always joys to follow, even when not in their POVs, and I really liked the “new” characters as well.

“I fear tomorrow will be even more difficult for you, Sir Clay. Do try to think of me when you can.”

“Try, Princess?” He smirked, meeting her gaze again. “I can’t seem to think of much else.”

I really liked Winter. She’s my favorite protagonist after Scarlet, and I wish that she would’ve had more screentime. She was an extremely interesting person, and her relationship with Jacin was adorable. (I would’ve also liked to see a little more of that, but it’s not something that really irritated me either.) I understand that this was the grand finale and that it was time to wrap the story up – not to mention the book was 800+ freaking pages already – so I completely get why there wasn’t more time for some character moments with these two.

Speaking of Scarlet, it was also really awesome to see her kicking ass and taking names again. She didn’t really do much in Cress, which kind of gave me a little whiplash after how important she was in her debut novel. It mostly felt like Meyer was setting the stage with her for Winter.

But the stage had been set, and she was back in an active role here, which I loved. Her reunion with Wolf was also everything I had hoped for.

I also loved seeing Cinder’s character arc finally complete itself. It was amazing to watch her grow and change as a character, and it made me glad that I finally finished this series.

“I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t fight like this, or start a revolution, or be a queen. I can’t do anything like this. I’m broken. I’m literally broken.”

Iko settled a hand on Cinder’s shoulder. “Yeah, but broken isn’t the same as unfixable.”

And before I forget and move on to the cons, I really should mention the plot. And the writing in general.

The plot was fast-paced and engaging as all of the other books were (though there were a few things I didn’t care for – we’ll get to that). And there were some nods to Snow White this time because… Winter was essentially sci-fi Snow White. I also really liked the theme that the book focused on: how beauty is what is inside and has nothing to do with one’s appearance.

Meyer’s writing was wonderful as always. I love her lush, but not overly detailed, descriptions. I adore her dialogue between her characters – it just reads as so natural. Just. She’s a fantastic author.

And Now, For the Stuff I Didn’t Like

As I mentioned above, I would’ve liked Winter to have more screentime. But that isn’t what I wanted to complain about. The thing that I wanted to complain about was how the Snow White retelling was pretty much glossed over here.

And I get it, Meyer had a whole plot to resolve. But after three books that heavily referenced and borrowed from the fairytales they were based on, it felt like there was just so much less of that in Winter.

I also didn’t like all of the fridging going on here. I won’t mention any names or scenes, so as not to spoil anything, but there was fridging here and I didn’t appreciate how it was handled.

And, last but not least, I think that the main cast has gotten a little bit too bloated. Don’t get me wrong – I love the characters that Marissa Meyer has created, but there were just a few too many.

But yeah, I think that’s it for my criticisms. There wasn’t really much that I didn’t like about it.

Final Thoughts

And they all lived happily to the end of their days.

I really enjoyed my time with Winter, despite some of the stuff that bugged me, and I really liked The Lunar Chronicles as a whole. The beginning was good, the middle was even better, and the end of the series was satisfying.

I recommend this to fans of other books of Meyer’s, fairytale retellings (and retellings in general), fantasy, sci-fi, and YA. It has a lot to offer a lot of different people, and is very well written.

Thanks for reading and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar

WWW Wednesday #4

I’ve really made a habit of this, haven’t I? It’s a good thing, I hope. WWW Wednesday post number four, here we go!

WWW Wednesday is a meme that used to be hosted at A Daily Rhythm, but has been taken over by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Now, without further ado, let’s get into the 3 Ws!

The 3 Ws of WWW Wednesday are…

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


The Thing(s) I’m Currently Reading:

Winter (WWW Wednesday)

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer

Current Status: 60% complete!

Current Feels: 😀 (excited)

The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

A Conjuring of Light

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab

Current Status: 44% complete

Current Feels: 🫤 (so-so, apathetic, burned-out) (Taking a break – I will finish this though!)

Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.

THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…

The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.


The Thing I (Most) Recently Finished Reading:

Cress

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer

Star Rating: ★★★★☆ • 4 / 5

Read My Review

The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series

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

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.


The Thing I Most Want to Read Next:

The Ballad of Never After

The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart #2) by Stephanie Garber

Now that she’s discovered her own magic, Evangeline believes she can use it to restore the chance at happily ever after that Jacks stole away.

But when a new terrifying curse is revealed, Evangeline finds herself entering into a tenuous partnership with the Prince of Hearts again. Only this time, the rules have changed. Jacks isn’t the only force Evangeline needs to be wary of. In fact, he might be the only one she can trust, despite her desire to despise him.

Instead of a love spell wreaking havoc on Evangeline’s life, a murderous spell has been cast. To break it, Evangeline and Jacks will have to do battle with old friends, new foes, and a magic that plays with heads and hearts. Evangeline has always trusted her heart, but this time she’s not sure she can…


What books have you been reading recently? How’ve you been liking your reads? Any correlation between our lists?

Thank you for reading, and have a great day/night!

See ya ~Mar


LINKS: Goodreads | Instagram

“Cress” by Marissa Meyer: Book Review

“Maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.”

Rapunzel and the Satellite | Cress by Marissa Meyer [Book Review]

★★★★☆ • 4 / 5 stars

The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series

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

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

NOTE: I’ve reviewed the first two books in The Lunar Chronicles. You can read them both here:

Cinder Review | Scarlet Review

The Summary Checks Out

Now that’s a good summary. Does what it’s supposed to. Doesn’t falsely describe the book in any way. It’s a very accurate depiction of what lies in store in the novel. (Unlike some books. Ugh.)

Cress is a 2014 novel written by Marissa Meyer, and is the third book in The Lunar Chronicles. (It’s also published by Feiwel & Friends, and is 552 pages.) This time, it formally introduces sci-fi Rapunzel as a major character, but also continues with the overarching story introduced in Cinder.

The Characters are Once Again the Stars of the Show

“Captain?”

“Yeah?”

“Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?”

He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. “No. I’m pretty sure it was Cinder.”

Meyer has a knack for writing likable and interesting characters, and that continues with this book. Funnily enough, all of the major characters in the novel had already been introduced to us in Cinder and Scarlet. Even this novel’s titular protagonist – Cress.

Cress is a character that I was initially not very fond of. She was mildly interesting, but I just didn’t care for her personality at first. She was just too… innocent, I guess. And innocent-type characters tend to hit or miss for me. But she grows and evolves a lot throughout the book, and I really ended up liking the Cress in the last third of the book.

Thorne was introduced in Scarlet, and was also a key character there. We didn’t really know that much about him until this book though, and his character and personality really shine through even more here. He also has a decent amount of character development, which was nice to see.

“Come on, Iko.”

Iko was still hiding, hugging herself self-consciously. “Is he looking?”

Kai raised an eyebrow.

“He’s not looking,” said Cinder.

A hesitation. “Are you sure?”

Cinder gestured exasperatedly at Kai. “You’re not looking.”

He cast his eyes to the ceiling. “Oh, for all the stars.” Crossing his arms, he turned his back on them.

Cinder and Kai were doing their things, which were very similar things, but were doing them thousands of miles apart from one another. (Until they weren’t.) They both had things about themselves and each other that they had to grapple with, but I was pleased with the results.

Iko was a joy to read about as always, but that goes without saying.

Despite being our hot couple from the last book, Wolf and Scarlet really didn’t do much in Cress. Especially Scarlet. She has very few POVs compared to everyone else here, and she doesn’t really do a lot, or appear that often, after the first third of the book.

The Plot was Fun (…Once It Got Going)

“If you honestly believe that,” said Thorne, stowing the gun again, “then you really don’t recognize true value when you see it.”

This book had a much slower start compared to its predecessors. And that made it more difficult to get into. It wasn’t until over a quarter of the way through that things really started happening.

As with the first two, there’s a lot of references to story beats from the original fairytale: Cress escaping from her “tower,” Thorne going blind, Thorne’s name being a reference to how the prince is actually blinded in Rapunzel, wandering through a desert. There’s a lot. And I knew a bunch of it going in, so I was very excited to see it all play out.

I really like how we’re kind of going around the globe in this series. It makes the setting and Meyer’s world building even better to behold. We haven’t seen hardly anything of Luna (Earth’s terraformed moon) yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of it in Winter.

Final Thoughts

It always came back to love. More than freedom, more than acceptance—love. True love, like they sang about in the second era. The kind that filled up a person’s soul. The kind that lent itself to dramatic gestures and sacrifices. The kind that was irresistible and all-encompassing.

Cress was something I started reading quite a while ago, after reading it’s two prequels, and even though I’ve had a bit of a tumultuous reading experience with it, I’ve always been determined to finish it. And I’m very happy that I did. It was a fantastic read overall, and I highly recommend fans of the series to continue on with book three.

The Lunar Chronicles is such a fun and interesting series as a whole, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends when I read Winter. And I’ll also maybe read Fairest and Stars Above eventually too sometime. I don’t know yet, though.

Anyway, thanks so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar


LINKS: Goodreads | Instagram

WWW Wednesday #3

No Shelf Control from me this week, unfortunately, but I’m beginning to run out of books on my bookshelf/Kindle that have been languishing. (Which is probably a good thing.) (No it isn’t.) Anyway, I’m still up for WWW Wednesday, do let’s get started! I’ve really enjoyed it since I started participating in it a couple weeks ago.

WWW Wednesday is a meme that used to be hosted at A Daily Rhythm, but has been taken over by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. Now, without further ado, let’s get into the 3 Ws!

The 3 Ws of WWW Wednesday are…

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


What I’m Currently Reading:

Cress - WWW Wednesday

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles (Book #3)

Length: 552 pages

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA, Fiction

Release Date: February 4, 2014

Book Description:

The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series

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

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.


What I Recently Finished Reading:

What Moves the Dead - WWW Wednesday

What Moves The Dead by T. Kingfisher

Length: 165 pages

Genres: Horror, LGBTQIA+, Fiction

Release Date: July 12, 2022

Book Description:

When Alex Easton, a retired soldier, receives word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, they race to the ancestral home of the Ushers in the remote countryside of Ruritania.

What they find there is a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, surrounding a dark, pulsing lake. Madeline sleepwalks and speaks in strange voices at night, and her brother Roderick is consumed with a mysterious malady of the nerves.

Aided by a redoubtable British mycologist and a baffled American doctor, Alex must unravel the secret of the House of Usher before it consumes them all.


What I Might Read Next:

Winter - WWW Wednesday

Winter by Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles (Book #4)

Length: 827 pages

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA, Fiction

Release Date: November 10, 2015

Book Description:

The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.


What are your 3 Ws for this week? How’ve you been enjoying them lately? Have you read any of the books above? What did you think of them, if you have?

Thanks for reading! Tune in next post for more bookish things! (This time, specifically a review of What Moves the Dead.)

See ya ~Mar


LINKS: Goodreads | Instagram

“Scarlet” by Marissa Meyer: Book Review

Good [insert your time of day here]! It’s been a few days since the last one, and because of time constraints due to some medical stuff on the horizon, I haven’t had time to finish my current -current read, so I’ve decided to do another retrospective book review. This one’s gonna be on Scarlet (you’ll never guess what I’m gearing up for…).

As I’ve mentioned before, a retrospective book review is when I review a past read of mine, after skimming through it again. Today, I’m gonna talk about Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. (I recently did a review on Cinder, which you can check out here.)

She did not know that the wolf was a wicked sort of animal, and she was not afraid of him.


scarlet - marissa meyer

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles (Book #2)

Length: 454 pages

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA, Fiction

Release Date: February 5, 2013

Book Description:

The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the 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 or 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 is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.


My Review

Then: ★★★★✯ • 4.5 / 5 stars

Now: ★★★★★ • 5 / 5 stars

“I lied to you about a lot of things….but I meant every apology.”

Out of all I’ve read in The Lunar Chronicles so far, Scarlet has to be my absolute favorite in the series. To me, it was like Cinder but better, which is a bit of a feat in itself, cuz I loved Cinder.

But yeah, there’s so much that I adore about this book. And because of that – and to save my sanity – I’m gonna divide up this review with some lovely headings.

The Characters

A relieved grin filled up Thorne’s face. “We’re having another moment, aren’t we?”

“If by a moment, you mean me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, then I guess we are.”

The characters are definitely my favorite thing about this book. Scarlet is, at least to me personally, a much better protagonist (or co-protagonist) than Cinder is. She’s a couple years older than Cinder and she’s also got a little more life experience, and you can tell.

Carswell Thorne is also a very entertaining member of the supporting cast. He was introduced near the end of the first book, but you really get a feel for him and his personality in this novel. He’s the kind of character that I like to call a “stupid genius” – a character that appears stupid most of the time and frequently acts like an idiot, but also has some smarts hidden inside. (This character type is also sometimes naturally talented at a certain skill, as is the case here.)

Wolf is one of my favorite new characters introduced in Scarlet. He’s very mysterious initially (though I think most readers will get what’s up – Scarlet certainly did), but he opens up as the story progresses. His and Scarlet’s relationship is one of the defining pillars of the novel, and it’s also one of my favorite things about it.

The Story

This is another thing about Scarlet that I preferred over its predecessor. But it’s not that the plot of this book is better than Cinder’s.

Nope. I just like Little Red Riding Hood more than Cinderella is all.

But yeah, the futuristic, science-fantasy, retelling is an amazing spin on a classic fairytale.

The Setting

I’m going to sound like a broken record soon, but this is yet another thing I preferred over the first book. Because of Cinder’s state as a fugitive (spoiler), the book has finally moved out of future sci-fi China and expanded the setting.

Also, Scarlet lives in France, and spends a lot of time in a more rural area compared to the city slicking Cinder of the first novel. And I really liked that. It made the world feel both large and lived in, and it also further accentuated the differences between Scarlet and Cinder.

The Romance

“We met less than a week ago and in that time I’ve done nothing but lie and cheat and betray you. I know. But if you give me a chance…all I want is to protect you. To be near you. For as long as I’m able.”

Now, if you’ve read some of my other posts, you’d know that I’m pretty anti-insta-love. And that’s because most insta-love stories are written like shit.

But this one isn’t. This is (a very rare case of) insta-love being done properly.

Wolf and Scarlet have an awesome dynamic. Despite Wolf being both physically bigger and stronger than her, their relationship never feels unbalanced in any way. And despite how he initially appears, Wolf really isn’t a bad boy. He’s kind and protective, and he just wants to love and support his girl.

And Scarlet cares for him in a very similar way. They just work together so well: they’re kind of a perfect team.

(The Very Few) Things That I Didn’t Like

There’s really only like one or two things that I didn’t care for, honestly. First: the POVs are numerous. Not as many as I’ve seen in other books (looking at you ASOIAF), but still climbing. And yeah, I get that it’s necessary for the story progression, but I would’ve liked more focus on Scarlet. The book really makes it feel like she’s less of a protagonist, and more of a girl who’s just gonna join and support Cinder eventually.

The other thing I didn’t care for: the insta-love. I know, I know, I just said that I actually enjoyed it for once here and just sang Wolf and Scarlet’s relationship praises. But, I dunno… I guess I just have a natural aversion to the trope, even if it’s done fantastically. I just prefer a good slow-burn is all.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, I really don’t have much more to say except go read this book/series right now! It’s truly an amazing set of books (so far), and I’ve pretty much only heard good things about the ones I haven’t read yet, too.

Also, Scarlet’s tenth anniversary is coming up later next week, so if you’ve already read it, why not reread it to celebrate? And if you haven’t, well I say that a tenth anniversary is as good a reason as any to read it!

As always, thank you for reading, and have an excellent day/night! Join me next time for more bookish things!

~ Mar ~

Weekly Wrap-Up: 1/16 – 1/22

Weekly Wrap-Up 1/16 - 1/22

And here we are! Another week, another Weekly Wrap-Up!

This week, I tried participating in a couple of new memes/features. It was tons of fun! I’ll definitely keep up with them. It’s also been a week filled with The Lunar Chronicles posts, courtesy of one of the books I’m currently reading, and me attempting to be “very subtle” with buildup, haha.

But yeah, it was a pretty great week, even if I would’ve liked to get at least one more post, er, posted. But I tried some new stuff too, so that has softened the blow a bit. (Though that was entirely my own fault. I spent a little bit (read: I actually mean a lot) more of my free time than I should’ve, reading fanfiction. …No regrets though, honestly. (Good) Fanfiction is fantastic.)

So now, without further ado, I’m gonna break down the past week on The Blog That Nobody Knows!

Tuesday 1/17: Majestic Monday Tuesday #7

It’d been a couple of weeks, and since I’ve kindled a desire to be more proactive and consistent, I decided to do another Majestic Monday.

Majestic Monday (or Tuesday in this case, cuz I posted late *cough*) is when I admire three pretty book covers that I’ve come across in the interim. Because pretty covers deserve recognition! If you missed the post, you can check it out here.

Wednesday 1/18: WWW Wednesday #1

On Wednesday, I decided to start participating in another feature. It’s hosted by the blog, Taking on a World of Words, and is a thing that happens every Wednesday.

If you missed the post and wanna know what the 3 Ws are, you can read it here! (And you can also check out the original potter’s post. Cuz I link everything, as you shall see.)

Thursday 1/19: Cinder Review

On Thursday, I reviewed Cinder, the first novel in The Lunar Chronicles series, by Marissa Meyer. It’s an utterly fantastic book, and part of an even more fantastic series. If you like fairytales (and fairytale retellings) then this is the book for you!

It’s also an awesome science fantasy, so if you’re into that as well, definitely check it out! If you missed the review, you can read it here!

Friday 1/20: First Line Fridays #1

First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers, (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words. It’s where you post the first line of a book, and then have your readers try to guess what book it is, before revealing what book it is.

It was the other of the new things that I wanted to try out this week, and I also loved it. So yes, I will be doing it again, haha. If you missed my (very first) post, you can check it out here.

Goals for 1/23 – 1/29

Annnd that’s all for this week. Almost.

For about two or three weeks when I first started this post, I posted about my blogging goals for the next week. And then I stopped doing it because I got stressed or something, I don’t know.

But, I’ve decided to start doing it again! So yay, I can say I’m gonna do things, and then you guys can judge me and hold me accountable. Awesome. So looking forward to that. (Just kidding, it’s totally gonna be something to keep me motivated!)

So this week, my goals are:

  • (spoiler alert) post my Spinning Silver review
  • post another Majestic Monday
  • finish at least one book and post a review on it
  • do another Shelf Control, as well as particular in WWW Wednesday again
  • start this new series/feature I’ve been thinking about (a lot) on my blog
  • First Line Fridays again
  • at least one retrospective book review
  • …maybe something else, idk?

So yeah, that’s quite a few goals this week. But I actually think that it looks like more than it actually is – at least it feels like that to me (for whatever reason). Either way, I’m very excited about what’s to come.

As always, thank you all so very much for reading, and I hope you have an amazing day/night! Tune in next time for more bookish things.

~ Mar ~

First Line Friday #1

I was looking for a fun Friday post to do, and after discovering First Lines Fridays, I knew it was the one. First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words (I don’t know why I posted the link, it’s defunct… 😳😣), but I saw it over at One Book More.

What if instead of judging a book by the cover, author or most everything else, we judged it by it’s content? It’s first lines?

If you want to join in, all you gotta do is:

  • Take a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open it to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Here’s the first line…

Her satellite made one full orbit around planet Earth every sixteen hours. It was a prison that came with endlessly breathtaking views – vast blue oceans and swirling clouds and sunrises that set half the world on fire.

Can you guess what book it is?

(Here’s some pictures of books to stare at while you think.)

And the book is… Cress by Marissa Meyer!

(Did you get it right?)


Title & Author: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles (Book #3)

Length: 552 pages

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA, Fiction

Release Date: February 4, 2014

Description:

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

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.


I’ve been trying to finish this book for years. Like, the first time I tried to read it, there was a personal life issue that came up, and the second time (last year) life just kinda got in the way (in a different way than the first time).

This time I’m 66% of the way through it, and I’m determined to finish it. It’s one of the three books I’ve marked as Currently Reading (the other two being A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab and Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik) on Goodreads and The StoryGraph. Let’s hope that I can finally finish it, cuz I really want to finish The Lunar Chronicles and see how the series ends.

What book are you currently reading, or looking to read next? What are your favorite first lines, and from which book? Thanks for reading and have an amazing day/night!

~ Mar ~

Cinderella, But She’s a Cyborg | “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer [Retrospective Book Review]

Even in the Future the Story Begins with Once Upon a Time.


Title & Author: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles (Book #1)

Length: 448 pages

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA, Fiction

Release Date: January 3, 2012

Description:

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.


My Review

Then: ★★★★✯ • 4.5 / 5 stars

Now: ★★★★☆ • 4 / 5 stars

She was a cyborg, and she would never go to a ball.

I love this book so much. I first read it like… around five-ish years ago, I guess? Cinder was originally a 4.5 star rating, but then I read its sequel, Scarlet, which I liked even more, so I bumped it down half a star after I read that one. But it was 4.5 / 5 for a time.

(Glancing over it again, I still think it’s a 4 star book today, by the way. But it did change at one point, so that’s why the star ratings are different.)

Anyway, the book’s main character is Linh Cinder, a futuristic version of Cinderella, but with an actual personality and also happens to be a cyborg. I liked how smart and good with mechanical stuff, which was nice to see in a female character, and I really like how it tied her being a cyborg.

Prince Kai is TLC’s version of Prince Charming (he doesn’t have a name in the original version, to my knowledge). And he also has a personality. This is also a much less insta-lovey version of the original fairytale, which was also nice. I really liked how active he was in the plot, and how he had his own POV chapters.

It’s not just a sci-fi retelling of the classic story though. There’s definitely been a few other kinds of alterations here. Like Cinder’s stepsisters Pearl and Peony. Pearl is a pretty standard interpretation – she’s kind of a bitch. But Peony isn’t, and she and Cinder are actually quite close. I adored how sweet their relationship was. Cinder’s stepmother, Adri, is also closer to her original character, but she also has her reasons, even though she’s still a bitch.

My favorite alternation – and character, incidentally – was Iko, Cinder’s android BFF. She’s the definition of “being extra” before being extra was a thing. She’s sassy and funny. And let’s not forget horny. Very horny.

Cinder twisted up her lips. “Do you think it could have a virus?”

“Maybe her programming was overwhelmed by Prince Kai’s uncanny hotness.”

This quote here encapsulates the humor vibe for this book pretty well. (And this series, now that I’m thinking about it.) But there are series parts to the plot as well.

Dr. Erland is another character that I rather like. I liked his dynamic with Cinder, and how she kept sassing him. Erland is also a gray character, at least for most of the book, and you didn’t really know whose side he was on until the very end.

My favorite part of Cinder, though, definitely had to be all of the little bits of foreshadowing littered throughout the book for its sequels. An important character from later in the series has a cameo here, and another character here was introduced, whose name is a clue to their future role. And all kinds of other stuff.

Before I move on to my criticisms, I also wanna mention how good the writing is. Not only is the dialogue absolutely fantastic, but the prose and descriptions are also really great. I love the way that Marissa Meyer writes.

Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.

I didn’t really have any gripes with this novel, except for a thing or two. The first is that I wasn’t super into Cinder (the character). I didn’t hate her or anything – not even close! – she just seemed kind of like a generic sort of protagonist. I preferred Scarlet (the character), introduced in book two, as a protagonist.

The other thing is a bit spoilery, so if you don’t want to be spoiled skip this paragraph. *SPOILERS* I didn’t like how Peony was fridged. Though it wasn’t as soon as some fridgings I’ve read, I wish she had more time on the pages. *SPOILERS END*

So yeah, I definitely recommend Cinder to anyone and everyone, especially those who love the original fairytale. I love how the whole series flows together, and how it appears like the entire thing was mostly plotted out before all of the books were out. But yeah, read this book.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day/night!

Book Haul: Week of 11/6 – 11/12

Book hauls. Mm-hmm. Sooo… This is a book haul. Sort of. Everyone in the reading community has at least an inkling of what they are, and if you don’t, this picture above probably gives you a bit of an idea. But they’re usually kind of big – or at least bigger than this – but this is the best I can do. I just can’t commit to more than a couple books at a time, okay?

Now, I’ve gotta be honest here. I haven’t done too many book hauls, and the ones that I have done have always been a little too much. I know the reason, though. It’s cuz I read one or two, and then I feel obligated to read the rest of the books, but I’d also just gotten distracted and enticed by a new book I’ve come across, and I really want to read that one right now immediately.

So instead of doing five or six books, I’m doing three. That way there won’t be any anxieties about deciding on my next read.

So, here we go!

The Conjurer • Nick Oliveri

Length: 194 pages

Genre: Ancient Historical Fiction

Publication: Write My Wrongs LLC [December 8, 2021]

Book Description

In the thriving kingdom of Idaza, Mikalla is the adored Conjurer, the nation’s chief storyteller, using the shadows cast by the city’s glorious ceremonial flame.

But death awaits around every corner. Addiction rattles the king. Trauma haunts the nobility and their conflicting motives. Murder happens, but to find out who succumbs to it is a journey the reader must take alone through the halls and palaces of the glorious Inner Gardens.

With a beautiful family and his position as one of King Oro’s favorite courtiers, Mikalla’s life is perfect. That is, until the king commands him to deliver a deadly message—one that will inevitably end in bloodshed and a war-torn Idaza.

Why I Decided to Read This: book kind of popped up under my radar a couple of weeks ago from out of nowhere, and I just thought that it sounded interesting to me. I also like to dive outside of my comfortable science-fantasy box occasionally, and check out other books that jump out at me. So I thought that I’d give it a whirl since it’s pretty short.

This’ll most likely be the one that I read first (since it’s short), so keep an eye out for the review over the next couple of days.

Children of Ragnarok [Runestone Saga #1] • Cinda Williams Chima

Length: 560 pages

Genres: Fantasy, YA, Adventure

Publication: Balzer + Bray [November 8, 2022]

Book Description

Since Ragnarok—the great war between the gods and the forces of chaos—the human realm of the Midlands has become a desperate and dangerous place, bereft of magic.

Sixteen-year-old Eiric Halvorsen is among the luckier ones—his family has remained prosperous. But he stands to lose everything when he’s wrongly convicted by a rigged jury of murdering his modir and stepfadir. Also at risk is Eiric’s half-systir, Liv, who’s under suspicion for her interest in seidr, or magic. Then a powerful jarl steps in: He will pay the blood price if Eiric will lead a mission to the fabled Temple at the Grove—the rich stronghold of the wyrdspinners, the last practitioners of sorcery.

Spellsinger, musician, and runecaster Reginn Eiklund has spent her life performing at alehouses for the benefit of her master, Asger, a fire demon she is desperate to escape. After one performance that amazes even herself, two wyrdspinners in the audience make Reginn an irresistible offer: return with them to the Temple to be trained in seidr, forever free of Asger.

Eiric’s, Liv’s, and Reginn’s journeys converge in New Jotunheim, a paradise fueled by magic and the site of the Temple. They soon realize that a great evil lurks beneath the dazzling surface and that old betrayals and long-held grudges may fuel another cataclysmic war. It will require every gift and weapon at their command to prevent it.

Why I Decided to Read This: This was actually one of the books on my Most Anticipated Books Releasing November 2022 post. I explain why there, but basically I want to read this because Vikings.

Cursed [Gilded #2] • Marissa Meyer

Length: 496 pages

Genres: Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Folklore

Publication: Feiwel & Friends [November 8, 2022]

Book Description

Be still now, and I will tell you a tale.

Adalheid Castle is in chaos.

Following a shocking turn of events, Serilda finds herself ensnared in a deadly game of make-believe with the Erlking, who is determined to propel her deeper into the castle’s lies. Meanwhile, Serilda is determined to work with Gild to help him solve the mystery of his forgotten name and past.

But soon it becomes clear that the Erlking doesn’t only want to use Serilda to bring back his one true love. He also seeks vengeance against the seven gods who have long trapped the Dark Ones behind the veil. If the Erlking succeeds, it could change the mortal realm forever.

Can Serilda find a way to use her storytelling gifts for good―once and for all? And can Serilda and Gild break the spells that tether their spirits to the castle before the Endless Moon finds them truly cursed?

Romance and adventure collide in this stunning finale to the Rumpelstilskin-inspired fairy tale.

Why I Decided to Read This: This was also on my Most Anticipated Books Releasing November 2022 post. Like Children of Ragnarok, I explain my reasons there, but the gist of it is that I loved the first book, so I wanted to read the sequel.


Annnd, that’s it for the books I’ve collected for reading this week. I don’t know if this’ll become a thing or not, especially since it’s unlikely that I’ll finish all three within the coming week, but who knows! And at least it was fun the one time.

Have you had your eye on any of these three books yourself? What books are at the top of your TBR? As always, thanks for tuning in, and have a fantastic day/night!

Gold Spinners & Ghastly Spirits | Gilded by Marissa Meyer [A Book Review]

“Not every story is willing to reveal itself right away. Some of them are bashful.”

About This Book

Title & Author: Gilded by Marissa Meyer

Series: Gilded Duology

Length: 512 pages

Publication: Feiwel & Friends [November 2, 2021]

Book Description

Long ago, cursed by the god of lies, a poor miller’s daughter has developed a talent for spinning stories that are fantastical and spellbinding and entirely untrue.

Or so everyone believes.

When one of Serilda’s outlandish tales draws the attention of the sinister Erlking and his undead hunters, she finds herself swept away into a grim world where ghouls and phantoms prowl the earth and hollow-eyed ravens track her every move. The king orders Serilda to complete the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, or be killed for telling falsehoods. In her desperation, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to her aid. He agrees to help her… for a price. Love isn’t meant to be part of the bargain.

Soon Serilda realizes that there is more than one secret hidden in the castle walls, including an ancient curse that must be broken if she hopes to end the tyranny of the king and his wild hunt forever.

My Review

Star Rating: 🌾🌾🌾🌾🌾 • 5 / 5 bundles of gilded straw (yes I know it’s the wheat emoji. shut up.)

“As I understand,” she said, “gold has caused as many problems as it has ever solved.”

I absolutely adored this book. Marissa Meyer has done it again – she’s written yet another amazing retelling of a classic fairytale.

I’ll admit it: I’ve never actually finished The Lunar Chronicles, though I have read the majority of the series. I loved the sci-fi twist on the magic and such. But I just never had the time to finish reading TLC when I was first reading it. Perhaps I’ll come back to it one day…

Anyway, back to Gilded. I definitely liked it just as much as the TLC books I read, probably ever more so. This time Meyer goes full fantasy with a novel packed full of dark-fairytale creatures, ghosts, curses, and even hellhounds. It’s amazing.

Now if you haven’t guessed by the book’s title, which alludes to gold, this is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin. It’s very different from the original fairytale, though. Sure it’s got the bare-bones spinning straw into gold deal – along with a couple other things that are spoilers – but Meyer adds so many more subplots and characters that are entirely wonderful and original.

The characters are fantastic in Gilded, as per the usual with Meyer. Serilda 📖 is a great protagonist, and I loved her neverending mischievous streak. She does make a few pretty stupid decisions – that seem to only happen for the plot to continue which I hate – but this is only part one of two in a duology, so it can be forgiven (for now), and chalked up as arrogance.

“I know I’ve barely met you,” he said, his voice fighting not to tremble, “but I can tell that you are worth all the bad luck in the world.”

Gild 💛 , Serilda’s new friend (and possibly more?? 😉), is a total sweetheart. I’m so tired of the “bad boy” archetype that’s so often used in YA – wherein it’s especially popular – and Gild is the furthest thing from that. He’s kind, brave, supportive, and loves to joke around. And his relationship and banter with Serilda are absolutely fantastic. I look forward to more of him in the sequel.

The Erlking is a big ol’ a-hole. I’m sorry, there’s just no other way of putting that. But he’s the villain of the story, so it totally makes sense that he would be. He’s cruel, does whatever he wants, and goes on a magic hunt every full moon to kidnap and kill humans and beasts alike. That’s where all the ghosts in the book come from, see.

The Erlking and Serilda become acquainted during one of those hunts: she saves a couple of forest spirits that he considers his “prey.” She tricks him into sparing her life by convincing him that she can spin straw into gold. This comes back to bite her, however, when he returns on the next moon, expecting her to do just that for him.

Anyway, this book was absolutely fantastic, and a great fairytale retelling. It’s sooo good, and I can’t wait for the sequel that’s coming out.

Have any of you read Gilded? What did you think? Are you excited for the sequel, Cursed?

Anyway, thank you all so much for reading, and have a wonderful day/night!