Fairest by Marissa Meyer (2 stars)
Kel Friday, March 13, 2015 review
Fairest isn't bad, but I was a little disappointed. Levana failed to terrify and, though she's definitely dangerous, the whole story left me with a kind of meh feeling.
Fairest by Marissa Meyer
Genres: YA, SFF, Fairy Tale Retelling
Published on January 27, 2015
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Final Rating: 2 stars
In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.
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.
Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.
I think my main problem is that Levana struck me as more of a lonely headcase than a villain. She's dangerous, for sure, but...she failed to appropriately horrify or terrify me.
I didn't care about Levana. I didn't even love to hate her. She whines about wanting to be a different kind of ruler than her parents- one who is fair and just and makes Luna great- then she purposely ignores the fact that her tactics are even more extreme than her predecessors'. I don't think I'm a fan of selective self-denial. She's too self-aware (and remorseful) in other areas for this to ring true.
Levana is weak. She's never 100% convinced that bad things have to be done, that it's for the best, no regrets. She understands what she's doing is wrong, she understands there's another way, and she never makes any attempt to take advantage of the many opportunities available to learn about and experience a different lifestyle. You want to ignore opportunities to change? Fine. But quit whining and own it.
Surprisingly, I was more interested in Channary's story. She comes across as fairly one-dimensional, but then you see small indicators that there's a lot more going on under the surface. That intrigued me. So maybe the problem was that I was in Levana's head and everything was being explained to me? That's a possibility. I might have been more engaged if the narrative didn't spell out her every thought, fear, hope, worry, etc.
The book is decently written and a quick read, but I hope Levana steps up her game in the final book of the series. Right now, when I think of her, I think "pathetic." Time to channel your inner Maleficent!