Almost the end of the year already! And so this month’s LSH challenge was (quite appropriately, if I do say so myself) to read a book that was published this year. I knew right from the start what I wanted to look for: Now that Winter is out (and since, for possibly the first time ever, I’m in a real mood for sci-fi), I thought it was about time that I finally picked up Fairest, which I’ve been reliably informed should be read before reading Winter. Luckily, my library had a copy, though I did have to order it in from another branch, which meant quite a long wait. Fairest was published in January 2015.
The prequel to The Lunar Chronicles, in which Levana’s – the series’ “evil queen” character – backstory is explored. I’d heard some pretty mixed things about this book, so I was a little uncertain what I would think of it when I started, but – to my delight – I ended up really enjoying this book.
Levana herself isn’t a character that I ever thought I could like, based on her portrayal in the main series, but she’s portrayed surprisingly sympathetically in this novel… and although I still don’t exactly like her, I did find myself feeling incredibly sorry for her. Fairest offers massive insight into the person Levana might have been, had her life been a little different – she obviously cares a lot about Luna, and might well have made a competent (or even good) queen, if she weren’t so paranoid, and if she and the people around her didn’t all have the bioelectrical powers that the Lunar people are known for in this series.
Her sister Channary is vicious and shallow, and probably one of the worst possible influences on Levana (she actually reminded me quite a lot of Joffrey from A Song of Ice & Fire), and while this doesn’t even come close to justifying Levana’s actions throughout the series, it does make me understand them a bit better. One of my favourite things about this book was watching the degeneration of her character: How she starts out as a lonely child, but becomes gradually more and more caught up in her own delusions, until she’s able to convince herself that all the horrific things she’s doing are for the good of Luna.
The romance was also absolutely perfect – as creepy as it was heart-wrenching. Evret was probably my favourite character in the story, and I really loved how he was the only one who ever seemed to make Levana question her actions, even if their relationship on the whole was rather disturbing. Overall, I’d say this book was a very pleasant surprise, and it’s definitely made me excited to read Winter!
[Find out more about the Library Scavenger Hunt by following this link!]