Backlist Briefs – Mini Reviews for WINTER and OUR DARK DUET
Also by this author: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2), Heartless
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4
Published by Feiwel & Friends on November 10th 2015
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark 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? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer's national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.
Winter is the fourth and final book in Melissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles. In Winter we not only continue the original story that Meyer has created in the midst of her fairytale retellings of Cinderella, Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel, but we also get a Snow White retelling added to the mix. As always, I’m most impressed with the way Meyer manages to seamlessly weave so many retellings into this series without losing any of the originality of the overall storyline.
As the lovely, quirky, and perhaps somewhat mentally unstable Snow White character, Winter is a welcome addition to this wonderful cast of characters that I’ve come to love so much. I was definitely more attached to the characters I’ve known longer, but I grew to love Winter too and wish I had had more time with her. What I especially liked about the introduction of Winter was that her presence really served to cast Levana even more firmly into the role of the evil (ummm, psychotic?) stepmother. Have I mentioned how much I loathe Levana?
Speaking of Levana, one of the coolest parts of this final book is that we finally make it to Levana’s home on the planet Luna. Meyer gives the reader a vivid look into the lives of the Lunar people and the ways they are forced to live because of Levana. I don’t want to give away anything else about the plot, so I’ll just say that I loved getting to see these amazing characters in action one more time working together to fight against the tyranny of Levana and free the Lunar people from her once and for all. (Even Iko is a total badass and it’s just so much awesomeness!) Because it’s so focused on the resistance and taking Levana down, Winter is truly action-packed from start to finish. That’s pretty much my favorite kind of read ever, so I loved every page of it. I’m so sad to have finally reached the end of this series, but I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ending. 5 STARS
Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
Also by this author: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1), A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)
Series: Monsters of Verity,
Published by Greenwillow Books on June 13th 2017
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Also in this series: This Savage Song
THE WORLD IS BREAKING. AND SO ARE THEY.
KATE HARKER isn't afraid of monsters. She hunts them. And she's good at it.
AUGUST FLYNN once yearned to be human. He has a part to play. And he will play it, no matter the cost.
THE WAR HAS BEGUN.
THE MONSTERS ARE WINNING.
Kate will have to return to Verity. August will have to let her back in. And a new monster is waiting—one that feeds on chaos and brings out its victims' inner demons.
Which will be harder to conquer: the monsters they face, or the monsters within?
Victoria Schwab really blew me away with Our Dark Duet, the final book in her Monsters of Verity duology. Not only was it filled with dark and creepy monsters and the action-packed goodness that I enjoyed so much in This Savage Song, the first book in the duology, but it also literally reduced me to tears by the end.
There’s so much to love about this book, but Kate Harker’s growth as a character is probably at the top of my list. She is now a spike wielding, monster-killing badass and I adored her even more in this book than I did in the first one. My love for poor tortured August is still strong in this book too, and I rooted for both he and Kate as they valiantly battled their demons, both literally and figuratively.
Schwab’s worldbuilding and pacing are spot on in Our Dark Duet too. I love this world she has created – it’s dark and creepy with monsters literally lurking around every corner, which just makes for such an intense and suspenseful reading experience. The pacing was incredible too as it mirrors what is going on with Kate and August. It starts off at a steady and even pace as Kate and August are each battling a lot of internal demons, but then once they come together to battle a monster that appears to be even worse than the Corsai and Malachi we met in This Savage Song, the pace increases to almost a frenetic pace. The second half of the book flies by and is filled with blood, explosions, destruction, and death. I devoured the nearly 500 page book in 24 hours.
Don’t even get me started on the ending, which just shattered my heart into a million pieces. Schwab has done it again — Our Dark Duet is truly a heartbreaking piece of writing perfection. 5 STARS