Book Review: Wires and Nerves by Marissa Meyer

In her first graphic novel, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestseller Marissa Meyer follows Iko, the beloved android from the Lunar Chronicles, on a dangerous and romantic new adventure — with a little help from Cinder and the Lunar team.

In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers’ leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series.

 

The first thing that needs to be known about Wires and Nerves is, you MUST read the Lunar Chronicles.  You do not have to read Fairest or Stars Above but it does add to the story line. I loved the Lunar Chronicles so when I heard Marissa Meyer was coming out with a graphic novel extending the series I was thrilled.

MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD

Wires & Nerves follows Iko on her journey to hunt down the last of the mutant wolf man creatures.  In this story we get to see the entire gang and figure out why Iko took up this task to help her best friend. Iko also deals with stigma because she is an android.  The general populace does not believe she helped stop the war between Earth and Luna purely because she is an android.  They believe no android could have helped save the world.  It sends out a powerful message about racism and it shows her struggles with it and how she attempts to overcome the stigma against androids.

I loved this graphic novel, I enjoyed seeing things from Iko’s perspective because we did not see her narrative in the Lunar Chronicles. I also enjoyed we got to see more of the Earthen Union. In the Lunar Chronicles we only got to see France and New Beijing. Due to the fact that this is a graphic novel it is extremely easy to read.  This book is full of adventure and Iko being a strong independent woman and a great friend. I will warn you though it does end with a minor cliff hanger but it is not as bad as other books(I’m looking at you Rick Riordan). The ending makes you want eager for more of Iko’s adventure.

4 Bards!!

rykemedows:

Maybe the princess can save herself.
That sounds like a pretty good story too.

http://www.amidsummernightsread.com/2690-2/

Waiting on Wednesday

waiting on wednesday

 

Every week Breaking the Spine hosts the bookish meme for book bloggers to share what books they are waiting on to be released!  This week I’m waiting on:

Release Date: November 8, 2016

Long before she was the terror of Wonderland — the infamous Queen of Hearts — she was just a girl who wanted to fall in love.

Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland, and a favorite of the yet-unmarried King of Hearts, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, all she wants is to open a shop with her best friend and supply the Kingdom of Hearts with delectable pastries and confections. But according to her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for the young woman who could be the next Queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the king’s marriage proposal, she meets Jest, the handsome and mysterious court joker. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into an intense, secret courtship.

Cath is determined to define her own destiny and fall in love on her terms. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Book Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer

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.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Be sure to check out my review of Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Fairest.

After reading this novel, can I just say that I am super thankful that Bloomsbury announced the collection of Lunar Chronicles short stories?  Especially since one will expand upon the epilogue from Winter.  But, I am getting ahead of myself.  I need to go back to the beginning and review the entire book.

We open Winter not long after Cress finished off, which Scarlet captured and kept as a pet for Princess Winter on Luna, Prince Kai is aboard the Rampion as a “prisoner,” Thorne is still blind, and everyone is trying to scramble to figure out how to move forward.

Cinder and Kai shippers will be very happy with the opening chapters as they are filled with lighthearted flirting and a fair amount of kissing before they are separated in order to try and defeat Queen Levana and take Luna for the true heir.  There will be some heartrending places in the novel for these two, but don’t worry, true love does prevail regardless of the outcome.

Cress remains hopelessly in love with Thorne, who is still his generally douchey self.  I really wish she would have the guts to tell him how she feels without it taking away from the climactic takeover scene in the novel, because it really just bogged down the narrative at that point.

Overall, I will say that this novel felt like it had a lot more exposition than should have been needed for a final installment.  However, I can kind of understand why when the readers are finally getting Princess Winter’s point of view and with that, an inside view of the Lunar kingdom.  This is especially important for readers who haven’t read Fairest, which serves as the prequel to the Lunar Chronicles.

There are a few twists and turns along the way, and while the length could have been shortened, I think that Winter was an extremely solid conclusion to the Lunar Chronicles and could have done without the additional short coming in February 2016.  Selfishly, of course, I just want to live in that world a bit longer (and see where our favorite heroes and heroines end up).

I’m giving Winter 4 Bards, and for die hard fans this is the ending we’ve all been waiting for.  Be sure to pick up a copy.

fourbards

Book Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer


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.
I’m trying so hard to not fangirl a ridiculous amount in this review, but I have a feeling that a few fangirl flails will make it into this, so I apologize now!

It is impossible to say that I haven’t been fascinated by Luna and Queen Levana since the beginning of the Lunar Chronicles.  She is definitely the biggest enigma of the series, and readers have only really heard accounts of her actions through the point of view of other characters.  So when I found out Meyer wrote a novella tracing Queen Levana’s life and ascent to the throne.

First thought upon closing the book: WOW. It is no wonder she is as calculating and cold as a queen.  So basically readers learn that Levana was basically neglected by her parents as a small child, and tortured by her older sister.  Fire is a very consistent theme in Levana’s narrative, as it is obviously the way that Princess Selene was “killed,” and it was apparently the cause of Levana’s own low self esteem and supposed constant use of glamour/veils.

We learn that Levana was a girl searching and desperate for love, which almost makes me sympathize with her as a character, but I think Meyer did such an excellent job of showcasing how a Lunar’s abilities to glamour and control the mind and emotions can really do more harm than good.  Not only do we get to see how painful and frustrating for people on the receiving end of this manipulation, but how it can lead to delusion and hurt on behalf off the impressionable person utilizing these powers.

Something else I really liked was that, no matter that this narrative was definitely focused on Levana, readers were given an adorable look into the childhood friendships between Selene, Winter, and Jacin.

If anything else, I can’t believe how long we are going to have to wait for the conlusion to this brilliant series, but I am so excited to see where Meyer is going to take the story.  I do hate Queen Levana but I love her story.

4.5 Bards

four.fivebards

 

Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had 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 of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

I am having a serious love affair with Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, and I think that this gif speaks for itself:

Anyway, my whirlwind experience with this series is one that on one hand, I really wish I had discovered these books sooner, but on the other hand, I am super grateful that I didn’t start reading these novels until after three of the books were released so I could have the pleasure of binge reading them.  Plus, Fairest now comes out tomorrow so I have Levana’s story to hold me over until Winter comes out in November (so far away!).

Back to the actual review:
I will say that at first I wasn’t sure I was going to like Cress a whole lot as a character and narrator.  Why? Well, her voice was not nearly as strong as Cinder’s or Scarlet’s, but as I continued through the first few chapters, I began to realize that this was purposefully done by Meyer in a way to illustrate just how, no matter the age of a person, being kept in almost complete isolation can really change your perspective on the outside world and your ability to socialize, etc.  Although Cress adapts extremely well to her circumstances, and the friendship that blossoms between a thinker like Cress and a vain do-er like Thorne was a lot of fun to read. cressgif

As for the rest of the Lunar Chronicles crew: there is some heartbreaking scenes that involve Wolf and Cinder that really just felt like a big punch in the gut.  It is so wonderful that Meyer continues to follow her own mythology of the half lunar/half wolf hybrid, especially the human and animal aspects of mating/love.  This novel definitely follows more of the “journey” trope than the other two novels, where two characters literally trudge across a desert, and cross the area of space between Luna and Earth a few times.  Either way, Cress really blew the entire Lunar Chronicles world wide open.

I cannot praise Meyer’s storybuilding enough.  When I start reading her novels it really is like I’m there completely and I, too, am in the Rampion, in the Sahara, or New Bejiing Palace.  It takes a lot to really draw me in like that, especially with fantasy, but I really think that she is at the top of her game, and my heart is absolutely broken by the fact that this series is almost over.

Who all was excited by the ending?  I WAS. So ready for Winter!

5 Bards.

fivebards

 

Book Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive. Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

I was only two chapters into Cinder when I immediately went out and purchased Scarlet and Cress.  I knew I’d really like the rest of the story from that early on, and it is a testiment to how well-written and plotted (that is an unfortunate sounding word) Meyer’s book is.

The synopsis is a bit misleading, as it says that Cinder is back (which she is) but it makes it seem like she will be the main focus of the novel (which she is not).  Again, Meyer does an excellent job of starting Scarlet’s story off very narrow and this is even exemplified by the fact that she lives and works in a very small and rural town in France.  However, Scarlet’s story is peppered with references to Cinder that eventually brings them together. I would be remiss to not include that we do get some of Cinder’s point of view in this story, and we are introduced to another male character named Thorne who is the right mixture of handsome and delightfully daft.  In addition, we glimpse (and when I say glimpse I mean literally just few pages throughout) what is happening in Emperor Kai’s life after Cinder’s prinson escape too.

scarletScarlet has some similarities to Cinder, but while Cinder has some serious self esteem issues stemming from her childhood and growing up as a cyborg “abberation,” Scarlet has a very distinct confidence and determination about her that is refreshing.  Sure, she has her issues from childhood as well, but she was loved and cared for by her Grandmother (who was a kickass pilot during the fourth World War).

Overall the focus of this novel is Scarlet’s journey to discovering who has taken her Grandmother, why, and how her story is part of a much bigger story.  Again, Meyer and her talent for expanding this universe in such a specific and well written way is just delightful.

Queen Levana’s involvement in this novel is much more prevalent, as readers get a much more in depth look at her plans to take over Earth and what kind of atrocities she and others of Luna are capable of.  Wolf, the other male lead character that is introduced in Scarlet, is a very interesting character.  He comes off as rather simple toward the beginning of the novel, when he is fascinated by tomatoes and the scenery of rural France, but his complexity snowballs quickly once it is shown that he has some layers beneath the street fighter exterior.

While I didn’t love this installment as much as I loved Cinder, it was still really well done and I’m looking forward to Cress!

4 Bards!

fourbards

Book Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

I am seriously kicking myself for not having read this series sooner.  Admittedly, I had a friend borrow my first copy of Cinder around the time that it was released, and I never got it back, so it is likely that I forgot about it until I saw all of the commotion and excitement over the release of the prequel, Fairest.  Either way, I bought myself another copy of this book and decided to give it a shot.

First thing that attracted me to Meyer’s novel: the reimagining of the fairy tale.  I’ve always been fascinated with fairy tales and the different interpretations of them.  Ranging from the Disney interpretations, to the Grimm (get it?) originals, to Perrault’s fluffier renditions, it is exceedingly interesting to see how these stories have changed over the years.  However, I was a bit disappointed that the only true similarities between the original Cinderella stories and Cinder were scarce.

While I was sad about that, I have admit that after getting into the story and experiencing how Meyer developed the world of New Beijing, leutmosis, Luna, and the rest, I wasn’t even focused on that anymore.  I really enjoyed how the story starts off the focus really small and surrounding Cinder and her family, but then slowly expands and really continues organically.

I love the use of realistic scientific advances (such as cyborgs, andriods, port screens, etc), but I’m still super interested to know how this World War IV happened within this world/timeline and how the countries and continents were changed into what they are within the story (i.e. the American Republic, the Commonwealth), but I don’t expect too much detail as it would just take away from the rest of the story.  I am just a super curious reader.

Oh, Queen Levana and the Lunars.  Meyer did such a great job of making them terrifyingly powerful and tantilizing. There were a few twists in this novel that I wasn’t expecting, and I really don’t want to include spoilers, regardless of the fact that I’m probably the last person to have read this book.

Cinder was ridiculously well written and enjoyable. Kudos to Meyer for creating my new favorite series.

4.5 Bards

four.fivebards

 

 

 

Top 14 of 2014: Day 6

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Instead of taking a week off after the Christmas holiday like I have every year since A Midsummer Night’s Read opened, I am joining forces with Krista from Krista’s Dust Jacket and Kim from Kimberly Faye Reads to host a Top 14 of 2014 meme!

Not only are you able to participate in this meme, but we will each be hosting giveaways on our blogs including extra entries if you participate and add to our links! Feel free to use the graphic above in your posts.

Today’s topic is:

Top 14 Books of 2015 on my TBR

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
The poverty stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.
To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.
But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?”

2. I Was Here by Gayle Foreman

3. Miss Mayhem by Rachel Hawkins

4. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver

5. The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die #2) by Danielle Paige
To make Oz a free land again, Amy Gumm was given a mission: remove the Tin Woodman’s heart, steal the Scarecrow’s brain, take the Lion’s courage, and then Dorothy must die….

But Dorothy still lives. Now the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked has vanished, and mysterious Princess Ozma might be Amy’s only ally. As Amy learns the truth about her mission, she realizes that she’s only just scratched the surface of Oz’s past—and that Kansas, the home she couldn’t wait to leave behind, may also be in danger. In a place where the line between good and evil shifts with just a strong gust of wind, who can Amy trust—and who is really Wicked?”

6. Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole

7. A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
“One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.  Her family is long dead. Her “true love” is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.”

8. The White Rose by Amy Ewing

9. The Death Code by Lindsay Cummings

10. Winter by Marissa Meyer

11. 99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Day 1: Julia Donnelly eggs my house my first night back in Star Lake, and that’s how I know everyone still remembers everything—how I destroyed my relationship with Patrick the night everything happened with his brother, Gabe. How I wrecked their whole family. Now I’m serving out my summer like a jail sentence: Just ninety-nine days till I can leave for college, and be done.

Day 4: A nasty note on my windshield makes it clear Julia isn’t finished. I’m expecting a fight when someone taps me on the shoulder, but it’s just Gabe, home from college and actually happy to see me. “For what it’s worth, Molly Barlow,” he says, “I’m really glad you’re back.”

Day 12: Gabe got me to come to this party, and I’m actually having fun. I think he’s about to kiss me—and that’s when I see Patrick. My Patrick, who’s supposed to be clear across the country. My Patrick, who’s never going to forgive me.”

12. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

13. The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

14. The Cage by Megan Shepherd
“When Cora Mason wakes in a desert, she doesn’t know where she is or who put her there. As she explores, she finds an impossible mix of environments—tundra next to desert, farm next to jungle, and a strangely empty town cobbled together from different cultures—all watched over by eerie black windows. And she isn’t alone.

Four other teenagers have also been taken: a beautiful model, a tattooed smuggler, a secretive genius, and an army brat who seems to know too much about Cora’s past. None of them have a clue as to what happened, and all of them have secrets. As the unlikely group struggles for leadership, they slowly start to trust each other. But when their mysterious jailer—a handsome young guard called Cassian—appears, they realize that their captivity is more terrifying than they could ever imagine: Their captors aren’t from Earth. And they have taken the five teenagers for an otherworldly zoo—where the exhibits are humans.

As a forbidden attraction develops between Cora and Cassian, she realizes that her best chance of escape might be in the arms of her own jailer—though that would mean leaving the others behind. Can Cora manage to save herself and her companions? And if so . . . what world lies beyond the walls of their cage?”

memelistWhat are some of the books you are looking forward to in 2015?  Do we share any in common? What books do you think I should add to my TBR?

Join Our Meme! Only one more day and the topic is: Top 14 Books in 2014

Top 14 of 2014: Day 5

top14of14

 

Due to me pushing Save instead of Schedule, this post is a day late. So sorry! Hope you like it!

Instead of taking a week off after the Christmas holiday like I have every year since A Midsummer Night’s Read opened, I am joining forces with Krista from Krista’s Dust Jacket and Kim from Kimberly Faye Reads to host a Top 14 of 2014 meme!

Not only are you able to participate in this meme, but we will each be hosting giveaways on our blogs including extra entries if you participate and add to our links! Feel free to use the graphic above in your posts.

Today’s topic is:

Top 14 Favorite Characters

1. Meadow from The Murder Complex

2. Cinder from The Lunar Chronicles
Cinder has a lot of self doubt and hatred left from her life as a cyborg, but over the course of the first novel (the only one I’ve read so far) she becomes much more self assured and learns her true worth.

3. Morpheus from Unhinged
Morpheus is temptation, he is chaos, he is sexy as hell.

4. David from Rebel Belle
Much like I’ve mentioned before, David is the delightfully nerdy love interest in the novel, and he loves Doctor Who. I cannot stress how important his love for Doctor Who is to his characterization (not really, but I love him for it).

5. Nova from Nova trilogy
Over the course of these novels, Sorenson did an excellent job of making Nova more and more relatable as she overcomes her emotional past relationship and becomes a much more solid character.

6. Cassie from The Naturals series
She is basically a criminal behavior profiler like on Criminal Minds.  She has had an interesting past, including a character that wanted to kill her. She’s pretty awesome.

7. Death from The Arcana Chronicles
Much like Morpheus, Death is temptation.  However, he is more rigid, but still sexy as hell.

8. Clara from Winterspell

9. Laurel from Love Letters to the Dead
Laurel has a lot of flaws, and she isn’t the strongest character or person at the beginning of this novel.  But she grows immensely and I think that is why she became one of my favorite characters–her journey is amazing.

10. Bree from Loop
She can be a bit demanding and a little bit sarcastic. What isn’t there to like?

11. Britt from Black Ice
To me, Britt’s journey in Black Ice is a bit similar to Laurel’s from Love Letters to the Dead.  While she starts off as a relatively weak character that is hard to relate to, her journey throughout the story really just allows her to grow and flourish.  Plus, she is doggedly stubborn and I love it.

12. Mrs. Q from Belzhar
Yes she is a secondary character, but she knowingly gives these journals to the students she knows needs it the most. I would have loved to have her as a teacher.

13. Linda from Lies We Tell Ourselves
Linda was an expertly crafted character.  She is not only an outsider because of her race during desegregation, but she also harbors feelings for women that also put her outside the norm during her time.  She becomes stronger and determined. I’d love to read more about her and where she ends up next.

14. Emi from Everything Leads to You

memelistWhat were some of your favorite characters of 2014?  Don’t forget that it doesn’t have to be just from books that came out in 2014, it can include characters from books that you just now read in 2014! Join our Meme!

The next topic is: Top 14 2015 Books on your TBR

 

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