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books and reading

Winter

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Whew! When I downloaded this book to listen to, I had no idea it was 800+ pages and 23+ hours long. I always listen on 1.5 speed, so that helped, but when I had to return it to the library in just a couple of days and had over 4 hours left, I had to double up to 2x speed. I can’t say it was easy to listen to that way, but I managed to finish in time and am pretty sure I fully understood what happened.

After Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Fairest, I was ready to see how it all ended. And with 800 pages of action, twists and turns, double crosses, and plenty of chaos, I wasn’t disappointed. I’m not a big fantasy/fairy tale person, but these books are really fantastic. Each one was better than the one before, just because I got more and more immersed into their world. I was always rooting for our heroes, and Scarlet is my favorite.

Even though this one was long, I didn’t feel like words were wasted. Everything moved the plot forward, even when our heroes had to take back a couple of steps. Nothing is solved easily, but nothing was in the first three books, so you don’t expect it to be in this one. These are excellent books for teenagers, but as an adult, I really appreciated how well-written they were and how the heroines were all different from one another but still awesome in their own rights. I will be recommending this series as much as I can.

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books and reading

Fairest

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I’m almost finished with Winter, after having read Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress. A friend recommended that I also read Fairest, which features Queen Levana. I was a bit turned off because of how much I hate Levana. She is easily the worst villain I’ve read in a while. She has zero redeeming qualities. Which I guess, makes her a great villain. But I just can’t wait for her downfall.

In this origin story, we meet Levana and Channary as young women. You see how Levana ended up married to Winter’s father, how Princess Selene came to be, how Channary died, and what happened to cause Levana to always have to use her glamour. As fun as it was to see Winter and Selene as little girls, this book did nothing to make me feel sorry for Levana. She is a wretched person, and I look forward to seeing her demise by the end of the series.

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books and reading

Cress

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I’ve been on a mission to finish series that I started ages ago. I read Cinder a few years ago, then made it through Scarlet last year. And this series is one that I really am invested in. The storytelling is really well-done, and the female heroine characters are fantastic. Each main character is loosely based on a fairy tale- Cinder is Cinderella, Scarlet is Red Riding Hood and Cress is Rapunzel. The final book in the series, Winter, is Snow White.

This story finds Cress living on a satellite, doing the bidding for an evil woman. Cress is a techno whiz, so this fits in the “woman in STEM” category in the PopSugar Reading Challenge. There’s a lot of backstory for the series that I’m not going to get into here. Basically, Cress is miserable and wants to help Cinder and her gang. They are able to communicate, and Cress is rescued. There’s a big battle and most of the gang gets separated. Cinder’s mission is still to stop Queen Levana’s wedding, so there’s a bit of plot there with Levana and Kai, as well.

I listened to this one, which really is a different reading experience than physically reading. I also listen on 1.5 speed because I needed to return the book to the library and wanted to make sure to finish. This series is one that I recommend a lot as a good example of female strength, but without a lot of teenage drama. It’s more sci-fi than a lot of books I read, but it’s well-written and well-developed, which helps the reader sink right into the world Marissa Meyer has created.

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books and reading

The Winter Over

I started Winter’s Tale a couple of years ago, but never finished it. I got about 1/3 of the way through and was just so utterly bored that I gave up. And for the 2017 book challenge, I had to have a book with one of the seasons in the title, so I made the commitment to giving it another shot. And, obviously, by the title of this post, I didn’t do it. I just finished 2 700+ page books and am working on another (IT….wow….just wait for that review) and I just couldn’t make myself try this book again. So, I headed to my kindle to see if I had another book that would qualify. Thankfully, through the Kindle First program you get with Prime, I had The Winter Over downloaded and ready to go. Fortunately, this was just a mere 300+ pages. Totally doable.

I really hate cold weather. I live in a relatively warm state and I can barely stand the winters. So books about cold weather really make an impact on me. And this book oozes frigidity. Not just the cold weather, but the characters themselves are standoffish and cold to each other. You know something suspicious is going on really quickly. The story revolves around a science expedition in Antarctica where they are transitioning between the summer season where there are dozens of crew members to the bare bones winter season with just over forty members. Just before the last flights out, one of the members is found dead, outside frozen to death. And let me just say this book isn’t about monsters or aliens or anything supernatural. The book is very straightforward and you know early on that people are the natural enemy. There is a mystery to be solved and the author, Matthew Iden, gives you a lovely trail of breadcrumbs to follow to figure out just what in the hell is happening.

I truly selected this book simply for the title, but I really enjoyed it. I’m a big fan of a well written thriller and this is one. I was able to solve a few of the mysteries along the way, but overall, was pleasantly surprised with how everything turned out. This is a new release, and I recommend you get your hands on it. Be sure to bundle up first because the icy descriptions can permeate your brain, sending you into the shivers.