Tag Archives: fairy tales

Fairest Release Tour

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Fairest Release Tour

Here is a pic of Marissa Meyer signing my two-day old copy of Fairest: Queen Levana’s Story, the prequel to Cinder. She gave an amazing talk about her writing process at the 92nd Street Y and gave us a sneak peak into Winter, the final book in the series, which will be released in the fall of 2015!

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Cress by Marissa Meyer

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Wow, so I am remarkably late on my post for Cress, the book I finished almost three weeks ago now. I think I was too busy trying to sort out the differences between Ebola and letumosis to spend long enough in front of the WordPress screen. Anyway…

Marissa Meyer has done it again with yet another delicately adapted fairy tale. It’s not explicitly obvious from the title as to which fairy tale heroine Cress depicts, but one glance at the book’s cover and it is clear: the long, cascading locks of hair say it all.

Readers actually met Cress way back when in Cinder, though her role is so seemingly trivial in the first book (she is the motivation of Cinder to go to the ball), Meyer’s idea to have her return in her own substantial role was clever.
The novel opens with a sole Cress on private, one-woman satellite outside of Luna. This satellite is a sort of prison set by the Queen and her minions; Cress is charged with finding Cinder or suffering the consequences (Levana ordered the death of every newborn baby who was ungifted, so you can imagine what mercy would be show to Cress were she to fail). Her only companion on the satellite is Little Cress—yes, Cress’s younger self, a computerized, recorded version of her own voice, with whom Cress plays computer games and dances the do-si-do. If you think this makes Cress sound off her rocker, you are correct: Cress is slightly coo-coo, and ever-loveable for it. She has a massive crush on Thorne, Cinder’s bad boy accomplice since Scarlet, and she knows more about his life than Thorne himself does. Thorne, while amused, also acknowledges (to her face) that Cress is a bit loopy. Together, they’re all the more endearing for these quirks.
Back in book one, Cress appeared to warn Cinder about Levana’s plan to rule earth. In her own book, she does much the same thing: while she is supposed to be finding Cinder’s ship and exposing its location to the Lunar government, Cress is actually hiding the Rampion from Levana’s view. Immediately, she is the good, albeit a bit out there (physically and mentally), girl. As a result, Cinder and her pals plan to liberate the loyal Cress from her tower-prison; the plan, however, is foiled, leaving the young patriots separated, damaged, and, in one case, spiraling to their out-of-orbit death. And this is only the first few pages.
The multiple protagonists—Cinder, Thorne, Scarlett, Wolf, Cress, as well as others along the way—embark on a journey, together and separate, through Africa, Asia, and, yes, outer space. It’s whole-heartedly imaginative, and Meyer’s use of old and new characters as main figures is admirable; unlike in the past stories, in which there is a main heroine with various other vantage points when needed, Cress is pretty evenly spilt between a few important parities. All in all, Meyers has set us up for a noteworthy story for book 4, Winter…if we can wait until November 2015 to get our hands on it.

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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There is a reason I haven’t blogged in a week. It’s not that I haven’t been reading, or haven’t finished a book…it’s that I’ve been too absorbed in this series to pause long enough to blog about it. (I’m already well into the third book by now…but I digress.)

Fans of Cinder will certainly delight in this much-loved sequel. Readers still follow the cyborg, post-ball, post-fairy tale, but are also introduced to the non-robotic happenings of Scarlet (Scarlet is a shade of red – which fairy tale has the word “red” in it???), who is on the hunt throughout France to find her missing grandmother. The simultaneous story lines very much work for this series. Scarlet has her own plot unfolding, with a base of a well-known fairy tale guiding the plot; but, sporadically dispersed into this is the no-longer-fairy-tale plot of Cinder (and sometimes the prince) on the run from the law. I never once found myself more invested in one plot over the other, as so often many multi-character plots go.

On the way, Scarlet receives help from a mysterious gent named Wolf – not that she really needs it; Scarlet is one tough cookie. She’s got all the characteristics of a true heroine (fight, determination, selfless sacrifice, and piloting skills) along with the believable fallibility: she loves flirting and attention, just like her father did, and sometimes she doesn’t care about the consequences of this on others.

*Spoiler alert* : Perhaps my favorite part of the series as a whole (at least at this point, two books in) is the conclusion of the love story of Scarlet. At the end of Cinder, there is no happily ever after, at least not yet; Cinder is put in prison and believes Kai wants nothing to do with her anymore. But at Scarlet‘s end, it looks like, after a tumultuous ride, that she is all but dating her love interest (despite a few qualms, of course, to be presented in the third book). The contrast is a pleasant one; so often authors narrate all their love stories is the same manner, and I was very much expecting Scarlet to end up alone at the end of her book, and maybe in even in jail à la Cinder. (Of course, I would have expected her to end with her dream guy at the series’ conclusion, but that’s another matter.) Meyer reminds us that not all characters are a blueprint, that not all characters share the same story arc.

Spoiler alert concluded, if you haven’t indulged your childhood-fairy-tales-enjoyment-meets-young-adult-bliss, you should jump right into The Lunar Chronicles. If I haven’t made this clear already, you’ll be pretty glad you did.