Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3.5
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Fairytale Retellings
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Rating: 4 Stars
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Synopsis from Goodreads:
In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.Mirror, mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest of them all?
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.
Before we even get into this book can we talk about the beautiful artwork on the inside cover?? If you haven’t seen it, hop on over to my Instagram where I posted a picture. It is stunning. A gorgeous view of Luna with Earth in the backdrop.
Now that I’m done gushing over that, let’s get into this book. A lot of people didn’t like this book. They found Levana to be annoying and/or didn’t like her backstory, didn’t feel sorry for her, etc. And I agree with all of that. Levana is not a good person. Her backstory didn’t elicit feelings of sympathy from me. In fact, her backstory only made me hate her more. And it’s hard to like a book where the main character has zero redeeming qualities. So I get where people are coming from. But I found this story fascinating.
What’s fascinating for me is that Levana and Cinder’s backstories are actually quite similar. They both had tragedies happen in their past, they both don’t really have anyone who cares about them and yet they both have gone down drastically different paths in their lives. One turned into a villain and the other into a hero. And this is what made me enjoy this book. It was so interesting to see how different choices create such different characters. Both people hiding who they are, craving the love of someone, anyone around them. But one person chooses to harbor that anger, to use it to get revenge, to force the people around her to love her. The other retains her humanity, does the best she can and chooses to enjoy the things in her life she does have. The juxtaposition of these two characters was captivating. All the questions it brought up. Does your past define your future? Can you blame your upbringing on who you become as a person? When do you have to start taking responsibility for your actions? I loved all the questions this book brought up and made me ponder as I was reading.
I also loved all the tiny details we get to see in this book, like Winter and Jacin as children and even Princess Selene as a small child. It was these moments that kept me smiling even in the midst of a horrible backstory about a horrible villain.
I think maybe some people will think that Marissa is trying to make us sympathetic to Levana in this book. I don’t agree though. I think she’s showing us that yes, Levana hasn’t had the greatest past, but that doesn’t excuse her behavior. I think that Marissa is showing us that there is no redemption for her. There’s no coming back from the dark path she wandered down. And I think Marissa is showing us that Levana had a choice and she chose evil. Cinder chose good. Levana had the same opportunity and she chose not to take it. So I don’t think Marissa is trying to garner sympathy for Levana. I think she’s showing us what a true villain she really is. I can’t wait to see her get taken out in Winter.
Have you read this book? What did you think? Do you feel like Marissa was trying to garner sympathy for Levana or show that there is no redemption for her?