Here we go….
The grand finale of the Lunar Chronicles!!! (But not the finale of these books because apparently there’s also a short story compilation! Woohoo!)
Now, I have to talk about this nightmare. Here it goes…
So, Evil Queen stuff is nothing new. She tries to kill Snow White. Feeds the girl a poisoned apple. Definitely not parent of the year.
But this book, how to describe it…
The Lunar Chronicles (excluding the final book(s) I’ve yet to read) aren’t the heaviest for source material. Cinder’s action was minimal. Scarlet took it up a notch, what with throats being ripped out and gore. (Did I not mention that in the last review? Strange.) And Cress, while having some dark moments (not really), wasn’t all that bad.
But this book goes beyond any of that YA fluffy stuff. It’s about lust and greed and manipulation.
**If you haven’t gotten the chance to read the Lunar Chronicles series, read this one before you read Winter. I think it’ll generate some sympathy for the protagonists, unite with them in their common goal, and give you more perspective on this villain.**
Spoilers are ahead (Because this book is useless unless you’ve read the other books and it doesn’t provide any real new info)
Let’s talk romantic subplot first.
So 15 to 16 year old Levana has a crush on this guy who’s a little older than her. (Older enough to have a pregnant wife and not be remotely interested in her.) Of course, as all 15-16 year olds do, she over-analyzes moments in her head, until she comes to the conclusion that him being nice to her is a sign that he’d leave his wife for her. (The wife that he just so happens to dote on and be madly in love with. Sure, kid.)
But behold! What a convenient opportunity is brought to sweet Levana, when this dude’s wife dies in child birth! She proceeds to hit on him, RIGHT after she finds out. And when he’s given his two weeks of grieving, she then manipulates him into kissing her.
“Kissing? What’s wrong with kissing?!”, you might ask. Well it doesn’t stop there.
It suggests that a month later she forces him into sleeping with her (and I don’t mean nap time), and then to marry her.
And she’s happy. For a hot minute. They’re going to be a nice big happy family.
Except they aren’t of course. And when her happiness wanes, they’re all just miserable until she finds her next kick.
Taking a side note from that, let’s dive into her (surprise, surprise) unhealthy relationship with her sister and the birth of her power hungriness.
Now everyone who lives on the moon has the ability to control other’s bioelectricity? Um, basically, they control and manipulate minds into either seeing or doing things. A planet full of Professor X’s, if you will.
When you’re young and your mind is still in development, a lot of manipulation can hinder that. So the author’s excuse for our main character turning into a psychopathic villain is due to just that. Along with some neglect from her parents and abuse by the court and her sister.
So when her sister kicks the bucket, she becomes queen regent. And all is well. She’ll just have to add her niece to her perfect family.
But her niece, Princess Selene, will become the queen when she’s thirteen. And Levana thinks she can do a better job than her sister’s little minion.
So, she manipulates the nanny to burn themselves alive in the nursery.
She’s got her family. She’s got her crown. But how can it end there. She has a ravenous appetite for power now. And there’s no stopping it. (It’s like me with a tub of cotton candy. Can’t stop halfway through.) When she looks at Earth, she’s all like, “I need that.” So she manipulates some guy to kill her husband (the guy she’d worked so hard to manipulate before and get for herself) and then she kills the murderer.
It’s like, WHAT THE HECK IS YOUR PROBLEM LADY?! It’s like you were tortured as a child or something. Oh, wait. (But that still totally doesn’t justify it.)
Look, there’s no swearing. But it was one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read. I mean, to be inside of the mind of a dark and twisted person who justified all of her actions by illogical reasoning…. it makes ya feel kinda icky.
I have no sympathy for her. I don’t know if the author was intending that or not, but this chick was bat-crap crazy.
But seriously, I don’t know. If that was the point all along- making you hate her- then it worked. Bravo. I was just hoping to feel some sort of sympathy for her. Now I just want her die. (What? She’s fictional! It has to happen! A woman like that has gone too far off the deep end. And after making me read that one… It better be a good, deserving demise.)
Man, I guess we’ll just have to stick with the best adaptation of the evil queen being Regina from OUAT. Cause that woman is 👏👏👏