Winter by Marissa Meyer

Title: Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel andFriends 2015

Genre: YA Scifi

Pages: 827

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Fairytale Retelling; I Love Libraries

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.

A fitting conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles. While I really enjoyed the previous books, this one really caught my attention. I was drawn into the story on page one. Winter is hands down my favorite character of the entire series. I loved the chapters that were from her point of view. The other chapters were good, but Winter stole the show. I was on pins and needles waiting to see if Winter survived and if she and Jacin finally got together. I was riveted by the build up to the confrontation between CInder and Levana. Oh my it was so stressful! But it was such a great ending. While the last chapter was a bit rushed, I still really really enjoyed it.

The Lunar Chronicles

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Title: Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #3.5)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwel andFriends 2015

Genre: YA Scifi

Pages: 220

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Fairytale Retelling; I Love Libraries

Pure evil has a name, hides behind a mask of deceit, and uses her “glamour” to gain power. But who is Queen Levana? Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles, Levana lived a very different story—a story that has never been told . . . until now. New York Times –bestselling author Marissa Meyer reveals the story behind her fascinating villain in Fairest, an unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes a special full-color image of Levana’s castle and an excerpt from Winter, the exciting conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles.

 

In a sense, I didn’t like this book. Levana is such a horrible person that of course I didn’t want to have any sympathy for her. And I don’t have any sympathy for her even after reading her story. She has always been a cruel person manipulating people to cover her own insecurities. On the other hand, I did enjoy getting more story featuring the characters we know now including Jacin, Winter, and Selene. Overall, a very interesting story…

The Lunar Chronicles

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Felwel andFriends 2014

Genre: YA Scifi

Pages: 552

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Perpetual (365 Days of YA); Fairytale Retelling; I Love Libraries

Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker; unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.

This may be my favorite book of the series. I loved the continuation of Cinder and Thorne and Wolf and Scarlet and Kai. But even more I loved Cress’s story and growth. And we get to see more from Sybil and Levana, an appearance from Dr. Erland, and an introduction to Jacin and Princess Winter. So many characters in this one! If felt like the story was finally coming together. Plus we get some real movement in the plot to overthrow Queen Levana. I sped through this volume in a matter of three days. Can’t wait to get to the library and pick up the next volume!

The Lunar Chronicles

The Lunar Chronicles Stories – Part 1

518glH0BM0LTitle: Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5); The Little Android (The Lunar Chornicles #0.6); The Queen’s Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Felwel andFriends 2012

Genre: YA Scifi

Pages: 31; 35; 47

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Popsugar – Romance set in the future; Fairytale Retelling; 52 Books – W49

The enchantment continues. . . .
The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories – and secrets – that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?
With six stories – two of which have never before been published – and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

After reading Cinder, I decided to pick up Stars Above so I could read the short stories that take place before the first book or right after. “Glitches” was a fun little introduction to Cinder and her life before the events of the first book. We get to find out how she arrived in New Beijing and met her new family. It also drops some great hints are to who she really is. “The Queen’s Army” gave us a glimpse into the creation of Levana’s Lunar army. Very interested to see more of the Lunar side. And finally, “The Little Android” was a great retelling of The Little Mermaid. Now I can move on to reading Scarlet.

The Lunar Chronicles

  • #0.5 Glitches
  • #0.6 The Little Android
  • #1 Cinder
  • #1.5 The Queen’s Army
  • #2 Scarlet
  • #2.5 Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky
  • #3 Cress
  • #3.5 Fairest
  • #3.6 Stars Above
  • #4 Winter

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Manners and Mutiny by Gail Carriger

51yJz6cACeLTitle: Manners and Mutiny (The Finishing School #4)

Author: Gail Carriger

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company 2015

Genre: YA Paranormal

Pages: 330

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges:52 Books – W44

Lessons in the art of espionage aboard Mademoiselle Geraldine’s floating dirigible have become tedious without Sophronia’s sweet sootie Soap nearby. She would much rather be using her skills to thwart the dastardly Picklemen, yet her concerns about their wicked intentions are ignored, and now she’s not sure whom to trust. What does the brusque werewolf dewan know? On whose side is the ever-stylish vampire Lord Akeldama? Only one thing is certain: a large-scale plot is under way, and when it comes to fruition, Sophronia must be ready to save her friends, her school, and all of London from disaster–in decidedly dramatic fashion, of course.

Oh my! A very fitting conclusion to this series. I loved seeing the Picklemen’s plan uncovered by Sophronia and her band of misfit intelligencers. Very exciting! Plus we get the return of so many side character. And most importantly, we find out everyone’s allegiances. (I really should have Agatha’s, but she took me by surprise). This volume is a well-paced adventure from page one. Definitely an enjoyable read!

The Finishing School

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Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger

51g60fLf6wLTitle: Waistcoats and Weaponry (The Finishing School #3)

Author: Gail Carriger

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company 2014

Genre: YA Paranormal

Pages: 317

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Read My Own Damn Books

Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style–with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey hijack a suspiciously empty train to return their chum Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. But when Sophronia discovers they are being trailed by a dirigible of Picklemen and flywaymen, she unearths a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos. With her friends in mortal danger, Sophronia must sacrifice what she holds most dear–her freedom.

Loved this volume in the series! But oh man, that ending nearly killed me. Way to tear at the heartstrings Carriger. Usually I’m not a fan of constant action in a book, but this one just seemed like a rollicking good time. We get so much good action but also some great character development scenes. I especially loved the scenes featuring both Soap and Felix. So much fun! Plu

The Finishing School

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Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger

51R3N1KbjrL._SY346_Title: Curtsies and Conspiracies (The Finishing School #2)

Author: Gail Carriger

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company 2013

Genre: YA Paranormal

Pages: 329

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Read My Own Damn Books; 52 Books – W32

Sophronia’s first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy (won’t Mumsy be surprised?). Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers’ quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship’s boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot–one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

My fun series for August! After reading a bunch of nonfiction books, I needed something light and fluffy. This volume was just the thing! I love Sophronia and her motley crew of intelligencers and assorted helpers. I wished to see more of Soap and Vieve int his volume. We got a decent amount of Soap, but Vieve was left to just make appearances. And it seems that Vieve will not be regulated to guest appearances in the series. Boo! She’s amazing! But we did get an appearance from some powerful vampires, most notable Lord Akeldama, one of my favorite characters from the Parasol Protectorate series. Will be diving into the third book soon…

The Finishing School

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The Last Star by Rick Yancey

downloadTitle: The Last Star (Fifth Wave #3)

Author: Rick Yancey

Publisher: Putnam 2016

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 338

Rating: 4/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Perpetual – 365 Days of YA; Finishing the series; 52 Books – W29

The enemy is Other. The enemy is us. They’re down here, they’re up there, they’re nowhere. They want the Earth, they want us to have it. They came to wipe us out, they came to save us.

But beneath these riddles lies one truth: Cassie has been betrayed. So has Ringer. Zombie. Nugget. And all 7.5 billion people who used to live on our planet. Betrayed first by the Others, and now by ourselves.

In these last days, Earth’s remaining survivors will need to decide what’s more important: saving themselves . . . or saving what makes us human.

I wasn’t too excited about The Infinite Sea, but this volume redeemed the series for me. Thankfully we got back to some character development instead of constant action. And we get a satisfies, if not predictable, conclusion to the story. I almost wish this series was a two-parter instead of a trilogy. A lot of fat could have been trimmed from the second and third books to make one volume.

Ffith Wave:

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The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

51l7ECrqMYL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Infinite Sea (Fifth Wave #2)

Author: Rick Yancey

Publisher: Putnam 2014

Genre: Science Fiction

Pages: 300

Rating: 3/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Finishing the Series

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.

While waiting for N to finish The 5th Wave so we could watch the movie, I picked up the second in the trilogy. The second volume in the series just felt like a bit of a letdown. It was much shorter and focused on action action action. There was hardly any character development. I would have like to get to know some of the characters more. Instead it’s action on every page. After a while, I was tired of the action and wanted things to slow down. Hopefully the conclusion of the trilogy is better…

Ffith Wave:

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The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

BLOOD_OF_O_final_cvrTitle: The Blood of Olympus (Heroes of Olympus #5)

Author: Rick Riordan

Publisher: Disney Hyperion 2014

Genre: Children’s Fantasy

Pages: 528

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Read My Own Damn Books; Finishing the Series; 52 Books – W19

Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen-all of them-and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood-the blood of Olympus-in order to wake.

The demigods are having more frequent visions of a terrible battle at Camp Half-Blood. The Roman legion from Camp Jupiter, led by Octavian, is almost within striking distance. Though it is tempting to take the Athena Parthenos to Athens to use as a secret weapon, the friends know that the huge statue belongs back on Long Island, where it might be able to stop a war between the two camps.

The Athena Parthenos will go west; the Argo II will go east. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea’s army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over.

Such a great end to the Heroes of Olympus series. I loved coming to the end of this great epic story. Seeing all the demigods come together to battle Gaea was great. My favorite is still Annabeth, but I have to say this book made me love Nico. Riordan has a great way of switching between the characters for the narrative, but still allows the reader to dig into each character. This volume dove right into the story, but kept the nice character driven moments for growth. After reading this series, I’m curious to start some of Riordan’s other series. I’m thinking the Kane Chronicles next to cover some of the crossover stories and then the new Magnus Chase series.

Heroes of Olympus:

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