The Queen's Army (Lunar Chronicles #1.5)
By Marissa Meyer
Published: November 21, 2012
It is time. The boy must leave his family to serve in the Queen’s army. To be chosen is an honor. To decline is impossible. The boy is modified. He is trained for several years, and learns to fight to the death. He proves to the Queen -- and to himself -- that he is capable of evil. He is just the kind of soldier the Queen wants: the alpha of his pack.--Goodreads
Gotta love the dramatic-ness of the summary. The "It is time" part just makes this sounds like a joyride. Congratulations to us the readers, because this isn't just any ordinary novella that is totally irrelevant to the plot and is a boring intro to the new guys. Well, yes this is an intro to a new guy, but it's dark, nitty gritty stuff ready to totally make the Scarlet-desperately-needed-person (SDNP) to blow up for Scarlet. I had almost forgotten and gotten over my thirsting desire for Scarlet, until I stupidly let myself read this, and now I must thank the author, Marissa Meyer, for totally destroying the rest of my childhood with your amazing series.
So far, you guys must all be thinking, "What the heck?" this has nothing to do with "The Queen's Army." What a rip-off, give me back the 10 seconds I took to read your beginning paragraph. For this, I do apologize. Deal with it, I'm going to start my short rant on this short story that explains the whole story behind Z, a new character confirmed to appear in Scarlet. Notice, I haven't read Scarlet yet because of it's ridiculously far away release date in February, so I cannot state whether this is a perfect way to tie the two books together. However, what I can say is that this was a tale that will defy the expectations one had after Cinder.
This novella that is too short for it's own good begins with Z, a lunar with extraordinary athletic prowess. He is expected to be drafted into the Queen's Army, and is extremely excited for this high honor. Despite his original anticipation to be drafted, Z realizes that this isn't rainbows and ponies anymore. The grittiness of the the Lunar world is fully revealed when he and his family are torn apart, never to be seen together again, and the army implants machinery to turn him into an ultimate warrior, a wolf, along with others. We see Z fighting for his humanity through out this novella. It's such a tragic path that he is treading, and I cannot wait to see more of him in Scarlet.
The terrifying beauty of the Lunar Chronicles is basically nonexistent. Everything in this dystopian world is meant to be corrupt and despicable, which makes me really scratch my head at why I love this series so much. There's so much strife between the lines that burst through the seams of the story. It's so dark and terrifying, I can't imagine it any better than how Marissa Meyer describes it. I loved how "The Queen's Army shows us the world of the Lunars that we've only heard rumors about. This world is evil, pure evil, which of course makes me love it even more. Hey, more pain for the characters, more gain for us, the readers!
"The Queen's Army" is an extremely short expansion on the world of Cinder, for us who have yet to read Scarlet. There isn't much going on to really make this short story stand out, but there's just enough to keep us on our toes for what's the come. I wish there was a bit more expansion on the tension between Z and his brother, but for now, I'll take what I can get. It's fascinating to see Z try to fight the animal instincts that the army is trying to force upon him, but his acceptance of his beast behavior is what really makes me fall for this novella. The positioning of humanity and savagery is explored in such a simplistic, yet complex way that really takes ahold of the reader for the short period of time it can.