by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #4Hardcover, 824 pg.
Feiwel and Friends, 2015
Read: January 19 – 22, 2016
So, the first book I really blog about is the conclusion to the tetralogy — not the best way to go about it, but it’ll have to do.
Primarily because I started this blog after I’d read the first two books in this series, and only slightly due to laziness, I’ve only blogged about one other of The Lunar Chronicles — the “.5” preceding this one, Fairest. Which makes this a little hard to do, but not that much. Basically, what Meyer has done is combining and intertwining the stories about Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White; removing the magic, inserting computers, cybernetics, and space ships; and setting the entire thing in a future where Earth and the Moon are on verge of war. Couple that with Meyer’s voice and skill? This series is a crowd pleaser.
During Part I, I felt like The Grandson in The Princess Bride, “Is this a kissing book?” There was just so much smooching, significant looks, and avowals of affection that it got close to annoying. That said, it was so nice reading a YA book where (almost) everyone was open and honest about their attractions and (almost) everyone had their feelings reciprocated. Those that weren’t that open might as well have been, they were all pretty horrible at keeping things secret. Over all, it was sweet, it was cute, it was like a fairy tale.
What are the odds, right?
But after that? A great mix of character moments and action. On the one hand, Meyer takes her time setting things up — but on the other hand — she doesn’t have to take time and introduce anyone knew this time. All the players are known quantities, the relationships are set up between all of them, and there are two major goals at work — Stop Levana, or Stop Cinder. Everything else is frosting.
Clear directions, clear motives, it’s a crisp, well-paced adventure story at this point — yeah, there’s a little politics, there’s a little subterfuge — but basically, it’s “Let’s raise an army and storm the castle.” Which doesn’t mean everything’s a cake walk, of course. There’s some tension, real hardships and peril — am I allowed to say that there were a couple of times when thing seemed pretty Grimm?
This is based on a fairy tale, and that needs to be borne in mind as you read it. That being said, Meyer makes it very easy to forget that and by the time that the part of Winter that was the most-Snow White-y, I’d forgotten that’s what this novel was about. You’d have thought between a. the cover, and b. the time I’ve spent in the world of Indexing lately, I’d have seen it coming. But I didn’t until I was right in the middle of the scene — which made it much more effective for me.
Meyer is great with her characters, and you can get attached to even those we meet for the first time in these pages — for those who’ve been around since the beginning? Hate to say good-bye to them, especially Iko the android. In the end, I think this is one of the more emotionally satisfying series conclusions I’ve read recently.