Sunday, March 20, 2016

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series!
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.
Marissa Meyer on Cinder, writing, and leading men
Which of your characters is most like you?
I wish I could say that I'm clever and mechanically-minded like Cinder, but no—I can't fix anything. I'm much more like Cress, who makes a brief cameo in Cinder and then takes a more starring role in the third book. She's a romantic and a daydreamer and maybe a little on the naïve side—things that could be said about me too—although she does find courage when it's needed most. I think we'd all like to believe we'd have that same inner strength if we ever needed it.
Where do you write?
I have a home office that I've decorated with vintage fairy tale treasures that I've collected (my favorite is a Cinderella cookie jar from the forties) and NaNoWriMo posters, but sometimes writing there starts to feel too much like work. On those days I'll write in bed or take my laptop out for coffee or lunch.
If you were stranded on a desert island, which character from Cinder would you want with you?
Cinder, definitely! She has an internet connection in her brain, complete with the ability to send and receive comms (which are similar to e-mails). We'd just have enough time to enjoy some fresh coconut before we were rescued.
The next book in the Lunar Chronicles is called Scarlet, and is about Little Red Riding Hood. What is appealing to you most about this character as you work on the book?
Scarlet is awesome—she's very independent, a bit temperamental, and has an outspokenness that tends to get her in trouble sometimes. She was raised by her grandmother, an ex-military pilot who now owns a small farm in southern France, who not only taught Scarlet how to fly a spaceship and shoot a gun, but also to have a healthy respect and appreciation for nature. I guess that's a lot of things that appeal to me about her, but she's been a really fun character to write! (The two leading men in Scarlet, Wolf and Captain Thorne, aren't half bad either.)


I'm not a huge science fiction fan, in books anyway, which was enough to give me a pause and wonder of if I'd enjoy Cinder. I ended up reading it through in one sitting. The characters are well developed, the descriptions are on point, and the story line is pleasantly unique.  I love both Kai and Cinder in this story. The author did a wonderful job at creating an emotional atmosphere and putting a new spin on the beloved fairy tale. The secondary characters are well placed and and just alluring as the primary without creating a jumbled mess.  The main plot twist is pretty evident from the beginning, but the build up is nice. I am very much looking forward to reading the second installment in The Lunar Chronicles.
5 Stars!

No Place Like Home (Tallenmere Series #4) -Stand Alone- by Mysti Parker

In Port Valor, it’s dangerous to be different. Especially for sixteen-year-old Mirabelle Hearton, whose psychic abilities could put her entire family in danger. To protect them, she left the city and her childhood sweetheart, Lysander Devlin, behind to live a life of servitude in Leogard’s Temple. Ten years later, someone discovered her mind-bending talents and forced her to send an innocent woman into exile.

As punishment for her crimes, she must return to Port Valor to seek out a dangerous mercenary called The Tyger. He's already threatened the lives of her family and is rumored to have killed countless others for the right price.

Mirabelle’s time is running out. She has two months to bring the Tyger to justice or succumb to an excruciating death from an irreversible curse. As frightening as her mission is, facing Lysander again may be the greatest challenge of her life.

Despite their difficult reunion, she and Lysander must band together to face an evil force that could sap the very souls from everyone they love. Mirabelle must also make a choice—catch The Tyger and redeem her sins, or give into feelings long buried and risk losing everything.
This book may be the fourth book in a series but it's a stand alone novel so it's not necessary to read the other books beforehand. However, as someone who has read the Tallenmere series, I'd recommend it to any adult fantasy lovers.

No Place Like Home is enticing.  It will excite you, speed up your heart rate, then rip it out and piece it back together. It's story line is unique and enthralling. For readers it's an adult romantic fantasy world that one can easily lose reality to, but for a critic it's pure seduction.

 Mysti Parker is extremely talented with her innate ability to imagine and create worlds relinquishing us readers of the continuous cliché titles that now clutter the Indie Author Realm. One of the most important appeals of a book for me personally is that is also well written. As a book blogger I've started refusing to read titles for this reason alone. When I come across a book that eludes to a 5 star rating early in the storyline and doesn't distract me with literary issues, as such is presented in this particular novel, I am over the moon. Writers like Parker are the reason I'm a book junkie.

Anyway, I literally fell in love with this novel from the first page. I wouldn't say the plot twists are enough to shock the senses, though I'm beyond picky about those, but they are pleasantly unpredictable and surprising.

The male protagonist is a swoon worthy, tortured soul who has endured repeatedly having his heart mutilated. The female protagonist happens to be one of the people to do the mutilating. Her reasons, however, are honorable. But her choices to protect those she loves causes her endless misery and her life is used as a bargaining chip to so-called noble characters with nightmarish intentions.

If you love fantasy, adventure, mythical beings, and a complicated love story this should be your next read.

This book is deserving of every single 5 star rating it receives. I really hope there will be more books in the Tallenmere series.