Author: Marissa Meyer
Find the author: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Pinterest
Also by this author: Cinder, , Scarlet, Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5, 0.6, 1.5, 3.1, 3.6), Heartless, Wires and Nerve, Wires and Nerve, Volume 2
Publication date: November 10th 2015
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? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer's national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.
Spoilers for Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in this review, but NO SPOILERS for Winter.
I can’t tell you really ANYTHING that happens in this Winter because it’s all so damn glorious and if you haven’t read the other books, it just won’t make sense anyway. It’s like going into Return of the Jedi never having seen Luke Skywalker struggle with The Force. This book does not even pretend that you haven’t read the rest of The Lunar Chronicles – in fact, it demands that you read the others. And let’s face it, you wouldn’t be picking up the 800+ page series ending book without knowing what happens first.
But…if you have read the other books, I can at least focus on Winter-Jacin a bit. Winter is the stepdaughter of Queen Levana, and she’s…pretty messed up. If you read Cress, you know that she’s a bit strange, but she also saved Scarlet from being killed by Queen Levana. She has what’s called “Lunar sickness,” which comes on as a direct result of not using her Lunar gift. That’s right, Winter refuses to use her mind control abilities because she thinks they hurt people, but she’s slowly going kind of nuts. She gets visions of pretty horrific things, and it’s hard for her to keep in touch with reality.
The one person who helps is her childhood friend and secret long-term crush Jacin Clay, who understands and takes care of her (and also loves her), but is wary of starting anything with her because she’s a princess and he’s a guard. At the beginning of the book, Jacin has come back to Luna after betraying Cinder’s crew…and he’s being put on trial. And that’s all I can really say about the events of the book.
What I will say is that Winter might be my favourite of the four heroines in this series – and I was surprised by this, because I really, really loved Cress. But in Winter, Meyer has created a heroine who is mentally fragile, and yet, incredibly strong-willed and determined, loving yet mischievous. It’s such a fantastic contrast, and it’s one that I worried might not be subtle, but I needn’t have worried: Meyer shows all the colours of Winter in a way that feels natural and right for the character. I don’t want to give too much away, but man, Winter is FUNNY. And smart, and defiant, but also really messed up. Her romance with Jacin felt believable and wonderful, and was a gift in the midst of this insanely fast-paced book.
And speaking of fast-pace – I am deeply impressed by the way that Meyer handled all of the different viewpoints in this book. Yes, it’s written in omniscient third person, but flipping between all of the different viewpoints can’t be easy. There were at least 10 different viewpoints, and almost 100 chapters, and it’s a real feat of writing that I found the switching of viewpoint effortless.
The other thing I will say about the book is that in spite of a backdrop of revolution, of serious action…every one of our beloved characters develops in this book and becomes stronger. This was what made the book a success to me – not just the action and knowing what happens, but that each one finds something in themselves, despite mistakes and challengers, that changes them into something more than they were in previous books. That’s what made this series – and this book – epic for me, and had me cheering through the stressful moments and the fears.
Also, the kissing doesn’t hurt either.
Heart-Squeezing Romance: I began this series not really getting why people were swooning so much over Kai and Cinder…but with this book, I LITERALLY SHIP EVERYONE. I was swooning left, right, and center. The swooniness was in total overload in this book, and I LOVED IT.
Vibrant World-Building: It was SO great to finally see Luna after hearing about it for so long, and Meyer uses her talents to give us the details – the throne room, the palace, the outer sectors…I loved reading about it all. I also loved that while there were details, they were always tasteful and in service of the plot. No overload here.
Diversity: If you don’t know already, The Lunar Chronicles series is chock-full of diverse characters, from an Asian prince, to a black princess, to a half-cyborg. I love the fact that the diversity in the characters has absolutely nothing to do with their characters – no one makes a big deal out of any of the races – but we see parallels to our prejudices in the the way that cyborgs vs. non-cyborgs, and gifted Lunars vs. ungifted Lunars are dealt with.
The Final Word:
I can’t decide if this is a 4.5 or 5 star book because it is brilliant and epic and perfect but so damn long that I don’t know if I could ever re-read it, and that’s a factor in my rating. But it probably should get 5 stars for daring to be as epic as it is…and for successfully ending an incredible series with me shipping every couple, and loving every single scene.
Have you read Winter yet, or the rest of the Lunar Chronicles? What did you think of the ending? Hit up the comments and let me know!