So let's do this!
Celaena is now the king's champion. She is fulfilling his tasks and killing the people he wants dead... or is she? Of course Celaena has no intention of killing innocent people or supporting the king in any way which is why she chooses to fake the deaths of those she should kill and lies to the king. When he presents her new target, Archer Finn, supposedly the head of some organisation that wants to ursup the king by finding the lost heir of Terrasen, Aelin Galathynius, Celaena chooses to spare Archer as well and tries to gain information about that underground rebel movement herself. Meanwhile, Celaena's and Chaol's relationship develops from friendship to love. Although Chaol is conflicted due to his duties towards the king and Dorian, he choses to be with the girl he loves. Dorian on the other hand discovers that he has magic abilities, which is a huge threat on his life since he is not able to control them. He tries to gain information on how to use his powers while the princess Nehemia is in great danger: Chaol is told by the evil King that there is an attack planned on Nehemia's life and while Chaol could try to prevent it, he choses to keep that information to himself, triggering a series of terrible events all while Celaena discovers secrets about the King's mysterious power source that seems to be connected to the wyrdmarks once again.
It seems like everybody has great things to say about this series and I kinda like it too but I still discovered so many flaws! First off the things I liked: Dorian's magic! How cool is that, Dorian has always been my favourite person in this novel (alongside Nehemia *sob*) and this kinda makes him so much more interesting and super awesome! Also great was to see Celaena being a badass, like when she kills Grave or saves Chaol and lastly when she DOES NOT soare Archer!!! I loved how she totally kicked ass there. Also the king will keep trusting her now that she can present Archer's head. Archer was a stupid bastard anyway, I knew he was not really trustworthy but killing Nehemia??? I did not think she would die in this novel and I loved her! She was so smart and well-spoken and fierce, she shouldn't have died.. I will miss her. Just why didn't Chaol tell Nehemia that someone was planning to kill her? I mean, yeah she kinda sacrificed herself to motivate Celaena or whatever buuut Chaol did not know that and he willingly risked her life! I do not like Chaol at all and it was painful to read about his relationship with Celaena. Sooo glad when she tried to kill him (haha sorry. not sorry) because he is overall so dull and boring. He is not funny or witty or cute like Dorian is, he just exists without contributing to the story, really. I don't get why Celaena would choose him and it seems unrealistic that she would so quickly change her mind about the people she loves. I mean first she was head over heels for Dorian and then she suddenly is deeeeply in love with the Chaol dude??! Now that I am already listing the flaws, the whole novel felt a bit boring because there were no tournaments and in "Throne of Glass" I always kept reading because of those. Some plot twists were also predictable like her being Fae (as soon as she sung that song at Nehemia's grave it was awfully obvious) and of course she HAD to be Aelin Galathynius. Great. Another chosen one. What confused me further more was the world building. I missed some extra information on this weird kingdom. I don't really get which regions are under the king's control and which parts of Erilea are still independent. And now we even have Wendlyn which is a completely new continent. I feel as if I didn't read enough about the king himself and his plans. I cannot quite connect him and his rings to the wyrdkeys and Roland's or Kaltain's headaches. Poor Kaltain btw, she had to marry that Perrington dude, ugh. The riddle that took Celaena/Aelin ages to solve was way to obvious and that witch, Baba Yellowlegs was such a ridiculous character. One good thing to end this: Gavin the first king of Adarlan visited Dorian in his sleep and if THAT is not a sign that Aelin and Dorian belong together, then I don't even know.
Rezensionen und Bewertungen
So let's do this!
I had this book sitting on my shelf forever!!! I am glad I read it now, yay! :)
So this novel is about a fantasy world named Erilea and our protagonist is Erilea's most dangerous and famous assasin, 18-year-old Celaena Sardothien. In this world, magic, fae and witches exist. However, the king of Ardalan decided to outlaw magic and seize control over all of Erilea, imprisoning those who do not obey his laws. Of course he is met with resistance by rebels such as Celaena herself. She however, is captured and thrown into a slave labor camp named Endovier where she is treated awfully cruel and almost exhausts herself to death. One day, Adarlan's Prince, Dorian Havilliard, visits Celaena to bring her to the capitol to take part in a special competition. She will fight against all kinds of assassins, murderers, killers and thieves to be chosen as the king's champion. Celaena is tempted to reject the offer as she despises working for the king who destroyed her life, yet she accepts when she is promised her freedom after four years of working in the king's service, should she win the competition. While training for the competition and regaining her strength, she meets the captain of the King's Guard, Chaol Westfall who helps her train. Although her main goal is to win the competition and earn her freedom, she gets entangled in a far bigger scheme. In her dreams, the first Queen of Ardalan, Queen Elena who was part Fae, visits Celaena to warn her about great danger inside the castle as well as danger threatening the whole country. And if that wasn't enough already, Celaena slowly starts to fall in love with Dorian while forming a strong bond of friendship with Chaol in the process.
Nice fantasy novel I'd say. I ship Dorian and Celaena all the way, basically all the scenes I liked, al the cute moments were between those two. For instance when she is surprised by the candy Dorian gives her on Yulemas and her teeth turn red, that was soooo sweet! Or when they dance on the Yulemas ball, that was a wonderful scene as well. Hmm and that amazing part when she plays the piano and she plays really good actually so Dorian awkwardly busts into her room and she is all confused and angry but theeen... she tells him about her sad past and he gets why playing the piano is such a private thing to her. Their relationship was super nice! Dorian himself is also a nice character, he is definitely different from his father who is just a dick basically. Dorian cares for his people and his country and he wants to change something. Especially when he sees Celaena's scars, he is so angry and fed up with his father's way of ruling the country. Since I am already writing about the awful people in this story, that Perrington guy is such a douche. I mean, I definitely did not like Kaltain but she was manipulated by him and his black ring thingy until she had to calm herself with opium. That is kinda shitty right there. Also Cain is clearly a bad and cruel character. What I actually thought was a pretty weak plot twist, him being the monster evil force thing that kills off the other champions was expectable. The fight between Cain and Celaena in the end though, that was damn amazing! How Elena helped her and Nehemia did magic and all that, it added up to a very thrilling, fantastic fight scene. Oh Nehemia! I thought she was gonna be an evil character, too. Cause she acted so weird in the library and I was jumping to the same conclusions as Celaena. Glad she is a good-natured person tho! Back to the bad characters, that Arobynn Hamel dude, what an awful man. Breaking little girl's hands is definitely not an effective pedagogic method. Okay and one more thing I thought Sarah J. Maas could have toned down a bit is that lengthy and extensive description of clothing. Like I do NOT need to know every tiny detail about a ruffled silk dress or some embroidered pants or whatever. Seriously. I was actually only gonna rate it 3 stars but that one scene, my favourite scene of the whole book, convinced me to give it one more star. And that scene, was the period scene. So Chaol is kinda dense in that scene. Celaena is back on her period and she has cramps and is kinda moody and she feels sick. So Chaol enters her room and is about to give her some lengthy speech to confess his feelings or something but then she pukes on him haha (I think Chaol is boring I ship Celaena and Dorian anyways) and explains veeery slowly that she has this monthly condition... as a woman... and he DOESN'T GET IT!!? WHAT?? Chaol you dork. When she tells him, he feels kind of uncomfortable and leaves, which I tought is clearly prove that he is not the right man for her, he cannot even handle periods. Anyways, Dorian enters her room some time later and he reveals that Chaol told him about Celaena's period. Just imagine that conversation between these two, haha talking about Celaena and her period.. I dunno why Chaol would even mention it lol. So Dorian talks to her and he is funny and witty and he makes her laugh even when she feels like dying and THat is WHY DORIAN is THE BEST he is the right one!! HE can handle her even on her worst days. I SHIP IT!! And finally, someone included periods in a book. Every single book I read with some badass female protagonists, I always wonder how they handle their periods. Like Katniss in the arena what does she do, jumping and running and kicking shit. Or Clary, where does she get her tampons when they travel the demon realms?? I am so glad that was included here.. Fav scene in probably the whole series!
I finally laid my hands on Stars Above!!! I waited so long for my copy to arrive since I absolutely had to get a signed copy of the last book in one of my favourite series, naturally.
It is kinda hard to summarise everything but I will attempt to do it!
The KeeperWe start of with a story about Scarlet's childhood with her grand-mère, told out of her grandma's PoV. To be precise, it is set around the time when Cinder was brought to her in the suspended-animation tank and shows us the particular event when Logan Tanner visits to wake Cinder up and bring her to her new family.
GlitchesNext we have a little story about Cinder's actual arrival in New Beijing with her step-family. We are introduced to her bitter and (already) cruel step-mother Adri along with her very spoiled child Pearl and her very kind child Peony. Cinder discovers her ability as a mechanic when she attempts to repair a broken android named Iko and witnesses her step-father Linh Garran getting abducted after contracting Letumosis, leaving her with her new, strange family.
The Queen's Army
This is a backstory on Wolf, Ze'ev Kesley. He gets recruited for the new army that Queen Levana has been building and being a little powerless 12-year-old he is forced to accept his fate. He is not allowed any contact with his family anymore and gets genetically modified to fit into one of Levana's mutant soldier wolf packs as a beta. He is met with cruelty and eventually his brother Ran's hatred, since he also had to join the pack and was immediately sorted as the omega. In a final fight, he proves himself very strong in physical abilities and will. He becomes the new alpha.
Carswell's Guide To Being LuckyEven Carswell Thorne's youth hasn't been as pleasant as I assumed. His parents are very cold and distant, caring more for his grades than Carswell himself. Carswell however couldn't care less for grades when his one true goal is to one day fly his own Rampion, a military cargo ship. He is working towards that goal already, saving every penny he gets. However, to balance his duties as a student, he has to take a few shortcuts and occasionally needs to charm himself out of a few risky situations, which often include girls that adore him of course. One day, he asks Kate Fallow whether he could copy her math homework and she would tutor him later. Kate refuses though, initially flattered, she quickly realises Carswell's manipulation. When some kids insult her later on, Carswell takes on a fight for her and seems to be a good guy after all.
After Sunshine Passes ByA very young Cress is living together with fellow shell children in a grand dormitory. She already obtains impressive hacker skills and therefore often completes tasks her mistress Sybil Mira gives her. One day, she is escorted out of her dormitory onto a space ship. The whole ride in space, she expects to be taken on earth and imagines all the beautiful things she could do on the blue planet. Cress is quickly met with disappointment upon realising she will have to stay in complete solitude on a satellite to work even more efficiently for her mistress.
The Princess And The GuardThis story is about Winter's childhood with Jacin and the one incident that changed her life forever. After using her Lunar magic to prevent a palace maid from committing suicide, Winter is convinced to have done the right thing. For years she will keep manipulating that same palace maid to make her feel happy and content. Little does she know that poor girl has been abused by the powerful thaumaturge Aimery Park for years and robbed of her only chance to escape her personal hell when Winter "saved" her. That is why Winter decides to never use her powers again, turning crazy as a result. Fortunately Jacin is there to help her trough it and even gives up his dream of becoming a doctor to watch over her. Yet Jacin cannot prevent Queen Levana from forcing Winter to mutilate her own face in a fit of jealousy.
The Little AndroidThe only story in the book that is about a character we have not met before. The android Mech6.0 is different from the other androids. She feels things that are beyond whatever her programming is telling her. Things like love, love for a human named Dataran. Dataran is a young hardware programmer working in a shipyard to repair spaceship engines. The same shipyard Mech6.0 works in, only she has to to simpler work. One day, a wealthy ship owner arrives to get his ship "Child of the Stars" repaired. He brings his daughter Miko with him. On that same day, Dataran has an accident and is saved by Mech6.0 even though her programming did not tell her to do so. This Oddity is viewed as a danger and it is decided that Mech6.0 will be shut off. However, Mech6.0 manages to break free and finds her way to the talented mechanic Cinder who recharges her and even gives her a new body, a human-like body of an escort droid. Although Mech6.0's personality chip is not compatible with the escort-droid body therefore causing sharp pains every time she walks and leaving her mute, Mech6.0 is incredibly happy to look completely human and intends to return to the shipyard to win over Dataran. Having arrived in the shipyard, she immediately meets Dataran who introduces her to her new job as a fellow programmer. Mech6.0, now calling herself Star, realises that Dataran shows no interest in her and blames that on his relationship with the ship owner's daughter Miko. Miko and Dataran are very much in love but both also befriend Star, who is saddened deeply by her unrequited love towards Dataran. Miko uncovers her secret and reveals to be a cyborg herself, thereby explaining a huge problem of hers. With the dangerous cyborg draw gong on in the Eastern Commonwealth, Miko has to leave the country but does not want to since she is in love with Dataran and cannot leave him behind. In the end, Star overcomes her jealousy towards Miko and motivated by her love for Dataran, she helps him to finance his very own ship so he can leave with Miko. Due to exhaustion and pain and the finality of her life as an android, Star is swallowed by endless blackness scattered with a million stars, dying with a smile on her lips.
The MechanicBasically the story when Kai met Cinder for the first time on the market, only out of Kai's PoV.
Something Old, Something NewThis is an epilogue to Winter and features the wedding of Wolf and Scarlet along with the whole Rampion crew! Cinder is no longer the Queen and hasn't seen Kai for two years and is naturally looking forward to finally embracing him again. Cress and Thorne have been travelling in the Rampion to distribute Letumosis antidotes. After dissolved the monarchy on Luna, Iko and Cinder herself have been Lunar Ambassadors, as well as Winter who is now together with her boyfriend Jacin. They all come to Scarlet's wedding and surprise her by creating an impromptu wedding a few days before the actual invent to avoid public attention. In the end, Kai and Cinder stroll across the countryside and the young Emperor proposes to Cinder.
I am so tired right now, I wrote so much haha!!!!! hah.
Oookay, I liked to get some back story on Michelle Benoit and her view of Luna when she was young. Also how she came up with Cinder's name, I kinda liked that idea that she is "reborn out of the ashes". Also, Peony was always super nice to Cinder and such a precious sweet girl that I am even more devastated about her death right now... I thought I wouldn't like Wolf's backstory because I never really loved his character to be honest but that short story was among the best in my opinion! Loved to see him fight for the alpha position and also read a little more about his relationship with his family. Umm Thorne's story was very nice as well, typically Thorne, haha every girl loved him and he played them all, that jerk. Cress got a lil tiny story, too. It was a super depressing story tho, Cress got soooo excited to be taken to earth and then. She was gonna rot on that satellite forever (you know like 7 years). Winter's backstory was alright, nothing too fancy though. I think I enjoyed her view on the matter with that palace maid. Now... The Little Android. I heard so many people say they hated that story. I totally disagree, I thought it was amazing and tragic but in the best way! I cried a little and I could feel with Star tbh. She was such a lost soul, what a shame she endured all the pain, the rejection and died in the end. At least she was happy and at peace with her decision.. oh and let's not forget that sneaky way Marissa Meyer brought Cinder into the story.. I laughed at that haha. Um the Mechanic was very good, Kai is soo cute. And funny, sarcastic, amazing, kind. How awesome is it that he taught himself how to perfectly craft speeches when he was still A CHILD?! How precious. Lastly, The epilogue.. I dod NOT skip the other stories, just to clear that! I know many people did but I wanted to save the best story for the last. And it was unbelievably good, Scarlet with her dress and all. Uuuh and I got so nervous when Cinder and Kai met for the first time after 2 years! Their reunion was what I was looking forward too lol. I am so sad though. So sad it is over, at the same time so grateful I got to read this fantastic series and go on this journey with my beloved characters!!!
This is a novella set in the Lunar Chronicles universe and it is about Levana's backstory. It is certainly great if you want to understand Levana's motives a little better or maybe get to know her vicious sister. I recommend to read this in between "Cress" and "Winter", as it was published around that time and could definitely make "Winter" an even more intriguing read.
It takes place right after the death of Jannali and Marrok Blackburn, the parents of Levana and Channary. Channary is coronated Queen and Levana amongst the Lunar people suffers under her reign, as well as her unbearable past. When she was an innocent child, Channary glamoured her into burning herself beyond recognition and since then, Levana tries to convince the kingdom as well as herself that she is the most beautiful girl to have ever lived. Glamour or not, though that puts a huge amount of pressure on her. Her only escape is her toxic, unrequited love towards the handsome palace guard Evret Hayle. At her tender age of 16, she is madly in love with the about 10 years older man, though he is already married to the lovely Solstice, who is pregnant with their baby daughter Winter. When Solstice dies in childbirth due to her delicate and sickly constitution, Levana continues to feel so strongly for Evret, although he sees her as a naive youth that is in desperate need of a friend. He has no desire to be with her and instead wants to focus on his life with Winter. Levana however, does not intend to let that happen and utterly convinced that he has(!) to love her back, she subliminally glamours him into marrying her. Channary is furious but has a different situation to deal with. Her pregnancy with Selene, who she immediately loves very much and cares for despite being so cruel to everyone else. Channary's rule is short lived as she dies of regolith poisoning when Selena is just about a year old, which makes Levana Queen Regent. She is not yet Queen. But she will be, soon...
So I liked it, a lot. I read it after "Winter", it still fit though. I am now able to understand Levana, yet I can only respond "cool motive, still murder". She must have been very self-conscious and fragile and I absolutely hate Channary for doing these awful things to her. Also I can only imagine what it must be like to lose your identity in such a way, to never be able to see yourself and always maintain a perfect illusion. Must be incredibly exhausting. But did she seriously not see that Evret did most definitely not love her? How insensitive can she even be, to flirt with him the second after Solstice's death? I get that she was blinded by love (I don't know if I should even call it that, it is more like madness) and very young but she seemed much more intelligent and considerate (compared to Channary at least) which is why I didn't get her ignorance. Her slow development from admiring Evret, to loving him, to forcing him to be with her, raping him and ultimately killing him: it was so utterly mad! Same as her decision-making. First she wants to ignore Selene, then thinks about murder-fantasies, then even convinces herself it would be right to murder her and believes herself to be merciful to kill her instead of just injuring her by fire. FIRE?? I mean, I thought she would have a little more sense in her after everything she experienced herself.. how could it possibly be merciful? Levana's mind is already too twisted. Whether it is by her environment or the almost psychotic imaginary relationship with Evret, Levana definitely got off the right path and while she constantly justifies her actions, she doesn't recognize how wrong they really are which strikes her as a pitiable, wretched soul, though i totally understand if some readers never felt a twinge of remorse at all. I personally did, especially when I thought about how different everything could have been, hadn't Channary tortured her, yet her background story still cannot justify her wrong-doings.
Peter Pan is a well known classic that I read as part of the Classics Challenge in March. It seems almost unnecessary to summarise the plot but I'll do it anyway, here we go!
Wendy and her two younger brothers John and Michael live in a very happy family. Their parents Mr. and Mrs. Darling love them dearly and they are well protected by their dog and nurse, Nana. One night, Peter Pan, a young boy who still has all his first teeth, enters their room to take them to Neverland. They had already heard of Peter Pan, dreamt of him. Now they are flying away with him to Neverland, across the Mermaid's Lagoon, Captain Hooks pirate ship and to where the Lost Boys live, Peter's friends. Wendy takes care of them as a real mother would, she tucks them in at night and cooks make-believe dinners. In the daytime, they bravely fight Captain Hook and discover Neverland. Many adventures pass and John an Michael do not seem to remember their real parents anymore. Wendy knows, they have to return home but Peter tries to prevent her from leaving. In the end, after an especially long and difficult fight against Captain Hook, the three kids return home where they continue to tell stories about Peter Pan. The Lost Boys go with them and are taken in by Mr. and Mrs. Darling, who allow Wendy to visit Peter once a year. It is revealed that Peter forgets to visit sometimes and Wendy does not encounter him until she is grown and has a little daughter of her own, Jane. When Peter visits her one last time, she cannot go with him as she is an adult, but she lets him take Jane with him.
I am not sure what to think of this book, I definitely enjoyed it and it helped me calm down at night so that I might sleep a little better. Still it was very strange, though I knew it was going to be a confusing novel even before I started to read it. Wendy is sometimes seen as a love interest, then again as a mother and definitely way to serious and responsible to be only a child of 14 years. What I thought was particularly interesting, was Peter himself, his anxiety and childish mindset. Unfortunately, we do not get to know much about his past, only that he sometimes cries at night and longs desperately for a motherly figure, contradicting his general disapproval of "Mothers". He forgets very fast, allowing him to live so innocently and free as only children can. I do not know whether to pity him or be a little jealous. Probably both. While I would love to have the same freedom Peter possesses, I do love my family very much and I am not afraid of growing up. But do we really grow up completely anyways? :)
Oh god, I can't believe it's over! I read all 800 pages as if they were only 200! It honestly did not feel as long as it really is, just because the book was so amazingly wonderful!
Now a quick summary.
Cinder's crew, including Kai, is still on the Rampion, working on their plan to overthrow Levana once and for all. Ultimately, they send Kai back to earth, where he convinces Levana to marry him once again. This time though, the wedding should take place on Luna and since Kai has to travel up there by spaceship, Cinder and her crew can easily sneak on board and get transported up to Luna. Upon their arrival, they would convince the Lunar citizens to support Cinder as the true heir to Luna, Selene, and kill Levana to end her rule of cruelty and terror. Of course, it doesn't go as smoothly as planned. Immediately after landing in Artemisia, they are discovered and have to split up to flee. Cress stays behind, while Cinder and the rest seek shelter in one of the outer sectors of Lunar where they also plan to start their revolution. Needless to say, each and everyone of them risks their life by doing so, as the are all wanted criminals who - should they be captured - will be punished by death. Speaking of death, the Queen's stepdaughter, Princess Winter, has apparently become a threat to the Queen's claim on the throne, simply because the people love her so much. That is, although she is a troubled, crazy girl with delusional thoughts and visions, caused by the Lunar sickness that she suffers from, a sickness she contracted by refusing to use her Lunar gift in a similar manipulating manner as Levana and her thaumaturges. In addition to that, she is exceptionally beautiful and kind, precisely why the Queen wants her to be killed. Levana chooses the cruelest way to murder Winter, by the hand of her best friend and love interest, Jacin Clay. Somehow though, he manages to help Winter and even the almost forgotten Scarlet to escape, sending them after Cinder. Together they start a revolution, thereby separating and uniting lovers, friends and an entire nation.
I read this entire book in two days. I read anytime I could, everywhere I was, because I couldn't stop! It was so thrilling and well-thought-out! Even funny sometimes, it just had it all to be honest.
Cress is the third protagonist of our story. She is a very talented hacker who helped Queen Levana and her thaumaturge cloak some Lunar ships to make them invisible and spy on government officials such as Emperor Kai. She did so, unwillingly of course. Cress has been kept alone in a satellite for seven years by her mistress Sybil Mira, the Queen's head thaumaturge, simply because she is a Lunar shell. Instead of being killed as an infant as it should be done according to Lunar laws, Cress was taken by thaumaturge Mira who recognised her value in becoming a brilliant hacker, then forcing her into solitude and obeying her demands. However, Cress recognised the Queen's wrong-doings, leading to her contacting Cinder (in book one) and warning her about the Queen's true intentions after marrying Kai. She then hopes to contact Cinder once again, to set a rescue mission in motion. One day, Cinder actually establishes a Comm link with Cress, who helps her in any way she can by cloaking the Rampion or sending over incriminating material about Queen Levana. In exchange, Cinder wants to rescue the girl. Unfortunately, at the exact moment of Cinder's arrival, Sybil Mira decides to pay Cress a visit as well and in a whole lot of chaos, Cress and Carswell Thorne are trapped on Cress' satellite, that is now crashing down on earth, Scarlet is held captive by Sybil Mira and Cinder along with the now wounded Wolf and one of the Queen's guards manage to escape. The guard is named Jacin and seems to recognise Cinder as the true Queen of Luna, therefore serving her now. After that, the story splits into about three parts. Cress and Thorne crash down on earth in the middle of a desert, trying to get back to civilisation. Thorne is also blinded by brain damage caused by the crash. Scarlet is heading towards Luna, where she will be questioned and ultimately meet Princess Winter, the fourth book's protagonist. Cinder and her remaining team, consisting of Wolf, Jacin and Iko try to locate Doctor Erland who should take care of Wolf's wounds. The five of them will think of a plan to prevent the Royal wedding between Kai and Levana and a way to reinstall Cinder, aka Princess Selene, as the true Queen of Lunar.
Now some spoilers will follow...
Oh my god!! This book it was just.. so... amazing... I was speechless after finishing it, but now I have the urge to write about it, express my feelings and all. Cress! Oh she is sooo sweet, the cutest, tiniest cinnamon roll, the most precious damsel in distress! I do not mind at all her being a damsel in distress. Although she had to be saved and couldn't exactly "save herself" as so many powerful female heroines in books do now, she is the most talented hacker in the whole universe and saved Cinder's and her friends' butts like a million times! She is so cool, honestly. And her little romance, I could relate so much tbh. I am a total fangirl with so many things and Carswell Thorne must be really dreamy so I do not blame her... They are wonderful together. There is so much awkwardness between them.. it was so relatable and just an honest description of a relationship that has been dreamt up and idolised countless times, an unreal relationship, a fairytale (ironic isn't it, considering it is a fairytale retelling). Gladly they still ended up semi-together, those two cuties, ahh. The parallels to Rapunzel, I just have to write about those. I actually think it was done a little better than in "Cinder" or "Scarlet", mainly because Rapunzel is one of my fave fairytales. The part when they were in the desert: I liked it. I heard people say it was boring or something, it is not! Thorne and Cress had awkwardly cute conversations (when Cress talks in her fever about loving Thorne, awww) and the whole mirage thing. I knew it was a mirage and got so frustrated when I was proven right. Then the betrayal by the caravan people.. I somehow suspected something like that but just when I thought Cress and Thorne could trust them, they turned on them. How unfortunate. Yet somehow great. Becaaause, Cress met her biological father! Doctor Erland... or should I say Sage Darnel? He finally found his little Crescent Moon! How crushed I was to read letumosis had mutated, infected Erland.. So unfair, he couldn't die after finally meeting his daughter! The feels.
That whole book.. it was so incredibly suspenseful, the switching PoVs, their kidnapping act and all. I almost died of suspense if I may say so, I do hope "Winter" will be just as exciting! I felt as if I was in a spy movie when they have those little teams of special operators who have to sneak into a high security building to fulfill some task.. Cinder's team is the best! Love it, every single one of them is individually great and I honestly cannot pick a favourite. They are the sweetest patchwork family, haha. One more thing I have to talk about is Carswell Thorne as an individual. Him being blind was such a great decision to make! I know, Rapunzel's prince was blinded at some point, so it had to happen, though Thorne just increased his level of humour and wit with his blindness. At the same time we got to see his vulnerable side... and his softer, more romantic side who is willing to protect someone and take responsibility (*cough* CRESS *cough*). When he finally kissed Cress as he promised, I was giddy with happiness, possibly also fangirlyness. I have to say, the kiss was written perfectly, somehow unexpected but surprisingly fitting and charming (I mean, Thorne was charming lol). My relationship favourite in the series as of now is undecided, although I guess it is still Kai+Cinder. Cress+Thorne sure is almost on the same spot, followed closely by Scarlet+Wolf, though we unfortunately didn't get to read much about them this time. Back to the Kai+Cinder thingy.. I cannot get enough of them! How awesome is it that Kai is with them now? It is all I ever wanted! Kai and Cinder, reunited, back together, he is on her spectacular crew now AAAND the kissed!!! So CUTE! Hmm and their little witty conversations.. they are so funny. To END this damn review, finally, Iko the ship! I got to mention this.. I was sad when she wasn't the ship anymore because Iko is a very, very lovable ship.
Now... "Winter" awaits me! And I sure am excited rn!
the second installment of the Lunar Chronicles takes place in France,.. well at least a big part of it does. And that fact is a very important one since I thought I would read about this totally new protagonist, Scarlet Benoit, without getting any more chapters out of Cinder's point of view. Oh boy, was I wrong, and gladly so! Marissa Meyer just keeps adding new PoVs and I looove it!
Now onto a quick summary.
The story picks up where we left in "Cinder". Cinder had just been visited in her prison cell by Doctor Erland who helped her escape by giving her new, improved cyborg parts. She then breaks into the prison cell of a handsome, young criminal named Cadet Carswell Thorne, err I mean, Captain(!) Carswell Thorne as she tries to make her way out of the prison. Thorne turns out to be a thief and happens to have stolen a ship, the Rampion, that the two of them locate after escaping. They manage to take off and Cinder immediately proposes a new goal to pursue: tracking down Michelle Benoit, a former military pilot, who might have some information about the lost Princess Selene, aka Cinder herself. Ultimately, they head towards Rieux, Michelle's hometown in France.
Meanwhile, Scarlet Benoit is very concerned about her grandmother, Michelle. She has been missing for about two weeks and cannot seem to be found. Scarlet knows, something is off and her grandmother is not crazy or has ran away, but has rather been kidnapped. One day, Scarlet delivers fresh vegetables, harvested from her and her grandmother's own little farm, to a restaurant, where she encounters Wolf, a street fighter, who somehow captures her attention. They talk a little and she notices a strange tattoo on his upper arm, consisting of various numbers and letters. Shortly after that, Scarlet returns to her home, only to find her father waiting for her. Her father who abandoned her a long time ago, now crawling back to her, bruised and wounded. He claims to have been tortured by a man with a strange tattoo of numbers and letters, who captured Michelle and tortured him to make her talk about important information she supposedly holds back. Scarlet immediately thinks of Wolf and confronts him about the issue. Turns out he is not the one she was looking for but knows exactly who Scarlet's father was talking about and where to find him. Eventually he agrees to help Scarlet find her grandmother and without spoiling the end, yes, they do encounter Cinder at some point which ties the storylines together.
Next paragraph may include spoilers!
Everyone was right about "Scarlet", it gets so much better with every chapter! This series unfolds in such a great way, I am way to excited to see how it goes on! Specific things I liked: Captain Carswell Thorne is so wonderfully sassy and witty, gotta love his sarcasm. Definitely a great addition to the series! And Scarlet is so strong and feisty, very determined and strong-willed. I love how much power she has, really. Her and Wolf make a great couple, however I preferred their platonic relationship more because their romance bordered on insta-love in the end. Yet I don't really mind because I know there is a lot of development in their relationship to come in the following books. With this novel, I just couldn't keep myself from reading, although I have so much school work to do at the moment! It is just that good, how all the pieces come together and everything falls into place... The world building was perfectly done by Meyer so far, not too overwhelming but rather told little by little. The best thing was the fight in the opera house because I happened to be at a musical that evening (of course I took my book with me lol) and said musical took place in an old, beautiful opera house. It was literally amazing to be reading about a fight... in an old opera house... when you are sitting right there... in an old opera house... I won't ever forget this great reading experience! It may sound awkwardly fangirlish but I was looking forward to these Kai chapters soooo much! His inner fight, feelings toward Cinder, her betrayal, all the responsibility that now lays upon him... How he copes with it is very relatable. And cute. Ahh Kai. He is such a cinnamon roll and a perfect fictional boyfriend really. To conclude this, everybody in that fictional world is just so good-looking, pretty or handsome. Why is that so? I do not know but it's great and a little frustrating tbh
I need to get back to reading "Cress" now, I am already halfway through and I can't stop hah
So glad I finally got around to read this! "Cinder" is the first novel of the Lunar-Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and a pretty good start in a series. It revolves around Linh Cinder, a cyborg mechanic who lives in New Beijing of the future and suffers under her oppressive step-mother. Sounds familiar? Well, there are a few twists...
As I already said, Linh Cinder is the protagonist of the story. In this version of the future, a lot of new technology exists, such as androids who possess consciousness and of course cyborgs, like Cinder, who are altered humans. Cinder had these changes made because of grave injuries she got of an unknown cause when she was about 11 years old. Unfortunately, she doesn't remember anything about her past which could be a consequence of her operation. She was adopted by a man named Linh Garan and after his death left with his wife Linh Adri and her daughters Linh Peony and Linh Pearl. together they live in the monarchic New Beijing and while Adri and her daughters lead a respectable and expensive life, Cinder has to work as a mechanic to secure the family's income. Her only friends are her android Iko and Linh Peony, her nicer stepsister. As Cinder has been working as a mechanic for a long time, she is known as the best mechanic in New Beijing, although most people do not know she is also a cyborg, just like Prince Kaito of New Beijing who picks out Cinder to repair his favourite android. Cinder wants to keep it that way because cyborgs are not really respected and treated fairly in this new society. Kai is soon to be the emperor as his mother is dead and his father dying of a disease. The same disease Garan died of. And many others, too. It is called Letumosis and a huge threat to humanity since there is no cure and it leads to a very quick death. It originated on the moon, that's right, the moon! In the future of the Lunar-Chronicles, the moon has been colonised a long time ago, inhabited by the so-called Lunars. They have the power to manipulate everyone around them and force them to do as they say. With this method, the Lunar Queen Levana suppresses her people into obeying her and intents to do the same on earth in form of a marriage with Prince Kaito. He of course won't let that happen because of several reasons. Firstly, he knows Levana will rule without mercy and kindness. Secondly, Levana is unrightfully the queen of Luna. That right belongs to the Lunar Princess Selene, who supposedly died in a fire years ago and yet is believed to be alive and breathing somewhere on earth, sought after even by Kai himself. Thirdly, Kai somehow develops feelings for someone else...
Next paragraph contains spoilers!!!
I really hope I managed to explain the plot without confusing everyone, because there is a lot(!!!) going on in this book! That is why I think it could have been longer, but that is just me I guess. What I loved was the setting. Finally NOT the US! Very interesting in my opinion. And also the fact that it is a fairytale retelling but such an extraordinary one! I love fairytales, I really do, and what is especially important to me is that they are very close to the original and stereotypically cheesy. That one, as it is a retelling, was obviously not close to the original but it definitely gave me fairytale vibes. It had the right amount of cheesiness and drama. Ah yes the drama... Many died in this book, of that mysterious disease, Letumosis. Very deadly and, SURPRISE, Cinder is immune! Wow and not only that, she is also Lunar! At that point in the story I could already guess, she also had to be the lost Princess Selene. A tiny bit too obvious for me but still alright, the suspense was not completely killed after all, precisely because I sooo was looking forward to the ball!!! I knew it had to come at some point and it was very romantic at first, Cinder dancing with Kai and all (THE KISS, just sayin'). Disappointing was only that she had no proper dress and how fast paced everything got towards the end, Kai basically got hit with these two major secrets of Cinder, her being Lunar AND a cyborg. Pheww, that is a lot to take in. I giggled when Cinder lost her foot on the stairs though, the parallels, amazing! One more thing I liked was how Meyer highlighted the social status of cyborgs, how they are treated in contrast to "normal" people. That situation could be applied to the present as well.
I am so going to read "Scarlet" now!
I read this book in February as part of the classics challenge I decided to take part in this year. I know it is widely popular but until recently I didn't have the time and to be quite frank I was a tiny bit scared of reading a so-called classic (English isn't my mother tongue). I am incredibly glad I finally picked up this wonderful novel but at the same time deeply saddened as I heard of the tragic passing of the literary genius Harper Lee, when I was just halfway through the book. That is why I want to dedicate this review to her.
I'll start with a quick summary, although I guess many already know the general plot of this novel.
The main protagonist is Jean Louise Finch, called "Scout", a little 6 year old girl. She tells the story out of her point of view (through a child's eyes) over the course of three years, giving insight in her family, which consists of her older brother Jem and her father Atticus, as well as the sleepy everyday life in her southern hometown of Maycomb, Alabama, starting off in the mid 1930s. Her life basically consists of games and plays out in the summer sun with her brother and their friend Dill who only stays in Maycomb over the summer. Together they imagine adventures and solve mysteries, especially one revolving around the Radley mansion and the Radley's son Boo who has supposedly been locked inside the house his entire life. In a small town where everyone knows everyone, Scout meets a whole bunch of folks of different backgrounds, deals with wisdom and stupidity and growing up a little. Yet the key plot point happens a bit into the book. Atticus works as a lawyer and is a respectable man of good morally standards. In this deeply southern town at a time like this, racism was still quite prominent and surely an open secret. However, Atticus manages to look past such behaviour and shares very modern views on equality and righteousness. When a black man, Tom Robinson, is accused of raping the young country girl Mayella Ewell, he takes the case on to defend Tom, attempting to do what no on dares to even try. Although Atticus delivers a convincing speech, listing every reason for Toms innocence and even pointing out Mayella's father Bob Ewell as a liar and true criminal, he still looses the case. Once again a black man is unrightfully accused and has to burden a punishment simply because of his skin colour. In the end, Bob Ewell even tries to kill or hurt Scout and Jem out of spite and anger about his damaged reputation (that hasn't been very good to begin with). Fortunately he isn't successful and the children are not gravely harmed, yet Bob Ewell commits unintended suicide.
I cannot begin to describe the feelings I have towards this book. Not often do I praise a book so highly and this isn't something I typically read. For me as a foreigner, the language was still easy to understand and the accents seemed interesting and quite fun to read. The relevance of this novel today is incredible and prompts me to think about how unfortunately little we evolved and how much is there that needs to be changed. Especially with the Black Lives Matter movement, I recognised the ignorance and stupidity that still exists in this world when it comes to believes like equality and even "normal human things" like kindness and solidarity. My feelings and opinion towards the topic where entirely and perfectly expressed trough Harper Lee's written words. Some things specifically shook me when I read them, for instance the double standards that are described near the end. The horrible treatment of the Jews in Nazi-Germany is finally compared to the situation of black people and the white supremacy, yet everyone seems oblivious of the matter and ignores the bad taste left in their mouths when finding poor excuses for their awful behaviour.
Moving on, while Scout is only 6 years old at the beginning of the novel, she quickly learns her place in the world as a girl. She is repeatedly told not to wear overalls and behave more ladylike but remains a strong character who is smart and well aware of what is happening around her. I liked her determination and cleverness and loved to watch her grow. The brother-sister relationship was also very refreshing and sweet for me to read about, their interaction with Atticus seemed interesting and unique.
Last but not least, oh so many great quotes came out of this book and I decided to wrap this review up with one of my faves.
“I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.”