winter the salt compass madeleine hagan

Currently Reading: Winter

Concentrate. I keep telling myself that.

I’ve got a dissertation to research, chapters in my current creative writing project to write, and a stack of library books on my nightstand that is growing faster than I can read them. So what am I doing? Checking Instagram of course.

You see I want to be reading. I’m almost 200 pages into Winter by Marissa Meyer, and I was so excited when it arrived in the library after my hold request was made just a few days ago. The book came out in November and I just haven’t gotten the opportunity to read it until now.

Winter by Marissa Meyer is the 4th book in The Lunar Chronicles with a Snow White spin on it. Other titles in the Chronicles include Cinder (#1 – Cinderella), Scarlet (#2 – Little Red Riding Hood), and Cress (#3 – Rapunzel).

Most of the fiction/fantasy books on my reading list this summer are fairytale based, due to the topic of my upcoming dissertation, and these are some of my favorite spins on the classic tales. Plus, they’re all woven into one main story with each book focusing mainly on one newer character (each as their titles suggest).

The problem is, the villain in this story is very very well-written. Let me clarify. I’m only about a quarter of the way through this book and already everything seems to be going wrong for the characters I have come to love over the past three books.

The suspense is terrible. I used to fly through books at a million miles an hour because I just couldn’t take suspense. I want to know that the characters I like get their Happily Ever After and – in this case – the evil queen is brought to the justice she deserves. I think my speed-reading skills have somewhat declined in the past 5 years though. I just can’t read as fast. That, or my patience with figuring out the ending has diminished significantly.

Either way, with this particular book, there are just way too many pages left for things to be going wrong already. This leaves me with the conclusion that things are going to get a lot worse before they get any better. By better I mean completely sorted out with none of the main characters dead because I’ve come to really like all of them.

This is all because of the Queen. If it were any old boring villain I wouldn’t care as much. This one is actually evil, and will stop at nothing to keep her throne. She’s dangerously manipulative (literally…mind control), power-hungry (world-domination type thing), vain, and murderous in the absolute worst ways. She relishes in opportunities to torture people and executes anyone if there’s the faintest whisper that they might have loyalties to anyone other than her (treason).

In a way I’m glad that the book is keeping me guessing. I’m not really sure how this is going to end, and I prefer books that are this way. If I can guess too easily it’s difficult to pick the book back up. So the fact I’m nervous to pick it up again is definitely not a slight to the book at all. I only managed to put it down for dinner and writing this. I just really don’t want to turn the page and find out the Queen is murdering someone I really like.

In sum, the villain of this story is very convincing. The Queen is evil through and through, if not even insane, and the potential she has for harming the good characters is real and keeps me turning pages faster and faster. Well done.

Back to the book.

(Phew no one died on this page.)

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