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Book Reviews

Review: “Winter,” Marissa Meyer

December 14, 2015
Review: “Winter,” Marissa MeyerWinter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)
Written by Marissa Meyer
Published November, 2015 by Feiwel & Friends
824 pages
Genres: Dystopian, Re-Tellings, Sci-Fi
Purchase: The Book DepositoryBookworldBooktopia
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four-stars

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Spoilers in full review. I really like this series, but I don’t think I would class it as one of my favourites. The final instalment, Winter, was a great finish and a bittersweet farewell to the characters I’ve come to know and admire – but to be honest, I’m so glad they’re ALL DONE WITH THE DRAMA. Wow, Marissa Meyer really knows how to put her characters through the wringer.

 “What did you bring me today? Delusional mutterings with a side of crazy?”
Scarlet


What initially daunted me about Winter was the whopping size. 800 pages!? What could possibly happen in 800 pages!? Well, let me tell you – a whole lot.

Cinder, Kai, Iko, Scarlet, Wolf, Thorne, Cress, Winter and Jacin (whew, have I missed anyone?) were put through trial after trial in this book. It was a double-edged sword for me in this respect. While I definitely think a FINALE book needs to up the stakes in all regards, I felt incredibly tired and weary after reading a handful of chapters. Just when one fight or problem was resolved, there was another. Queue break.

This, for me, made getting through Winter very difficult. I wasn’t able to read this one in one or two sittings… I had to work to get through it. Saying that, however, when I did pick up the book again and read it, it was always incredible enjoyable and I couldn’t wait to see how things were going to unfold.

 “She’s our lost princess. And she’s coming home.” – Winter

Taking down Queen Levana once and for all was never going to be easy, and it wasn’t. I would have felt cheated if Cinder and company merely snuck into Luna and overthrew her within the first few chapters. There was a lot of ‘rallying the troops’, etcetera in this book and it was what was needed.

It was fantastic to see life on Luna a bit more in depth, and just how much evil Levana’s reign was doing both on her home planet and Earth. I’m so glad that I read the novella, Fairest, prior to diving into this one – it really fleshed out the world and backstory of the characters such as Levana, Winter and Jacin. Winter gave so much more in the world-building department, as well as how all the governments were ‘supposed’ to work together in the big picture.

“I am your guard. I’m here to protect you and keep you out of trouble, and that’s it.”
Jacin

This book also lets us take a closer look at Princess Winter and her relationship with Jacin. I don’t know why, but I never really warmed up to Winter herself. I thought her story may have come a little more full-circle in terms of the Lunar sickness, too, but we never really learned about how that was resolved… I mean, we had a hint about the direction it was going in… but we have to assume whether or not that was successful. I wanted ANSWERS (but more on that later)…

The Winter/Jacin relationship was nice and a little different from the others in the way that they were friends as children, too. Their friendship built a nice foundation for maybe something more. I liked how different their personalities were, too… but I never really found myself completely rooting for them to get together. Things were so back and forth with them.

“She was going to have to train herself not to stare at him quite as often as she was used to. That would be no easy task.”

My favourite relationship in The Lunar Chronicles remains to be Cress and Thorne. I just love their dynamic! She brings out the best in him, and vice versa. Kai and Cinder are nice, but more on the same level as Jacin and Winter for me. As for Scarlet and Wolf? I never really was a fan of the two of them together… I just don’t know why! It seems so forced.

There were a few times I thought things were coming to a crescendo action wise (OH MY GOD, IS THIS THE PART WHEN LEVANA’S REIGN IS GOING TO COME CRUMBLING DOWN?!) but then Marissa Meyer threw us off again and our characters were back to square one. Characters were never safe, with some of them being captured, tortured, modified and controlled…. I really had no idea who would survive and who wouldn’t.

All in all, it was an exciting book… each character was vital in the plan and the ending couldn’t have been as it was without everyone’s input. That’s probably one of my favourite thing about this series – everyone was integral to the story and brought something new to the table. Teamwork, yay!

“One should never save cake for later when it can be eaten now.”
Winter

Without giving too much away, everything ended a little too… CLEANLY. I thought for sure we would lose more than we did, especially some of those side characters… I wanted to FEEL more, and I kind of just felt like… ‘Oh, was that it?’

There’s sort of an epilogue that isn’t an epilogue, too. Things just weren’t wrapped up to my liking in some regards. We always knew Cinder didn’t want to be queen, but for her to just turn around and say she will abdicate as soon as everything’s in order? Hello? I felt a little bummed about that one. She didn’t seem to have any real connection to Luna or its people, despite everything she went through in Winter. I understand her viewpoint that eventually another ruler would come along and do something like Levana did, but at least stay on and lead the people as much as you can without leaving the planet asap.

As for Winter and Jacin and what I mentioned earlier… DID Winter overcome her Lunar sickness? Was the Lunar chip distributed? I guess we get to make our own minds up, but I LOVE it when we get a solid answer from the author, especially after a four-book series.

Ultimately Winter was a really great read, but the ending disappointed me. After so much action and trauma, I wanted to be rewarded with a great picture of how things ended up – I didn’t want any unanswered questions.

This series is a great one to start if you’re looking for something new and unique in the way of re-tellings. I’ll forever be able to recommend it to fellow readers just by telling them ‘IT’S ABOUT A CYBORG CINDERELLA.’

About Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles. She lives in Tacoma, Washington. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, any occasion that requires a costume), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg.

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