Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pub Date: November 10, 2015
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Science Fiction
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Synopsis from Goodreads:
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?
“Yeah, but broken isn’t the same as unfixable.”
Please bear with me. For fear of spoilers, I always tread cautiously when it comes to reviewing the final book in a series. If you couldn’t already tell from the number of pages in this book (827, to be exact), a lot of things happen. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet but if you know anything about me, you can expect a review that is vague and awkwardly-worded.
For those of you who have never heard of The Lunar Chronicles, this series is a loose retelling of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Snow White (with a sci-fi twist).
It is the closest thing to Science Fiction that I have ever read and I am glad of it. Despite the prospective romances (and believe me, there were several), I was still bored out of my mind… some of the time. I did not have an issue with the content or plot, but more or so the way in which it was executed. Throughout the series, I could tear out dozens of pages and it would still be just as informative, if not more exciting, than before. Sometimes there was just too much going on and my eyes would glaze over, but perhaps that can be attributed to the large number of main characters.
It took me longer than I would have liked to become invested in the story but the characters made it all worthwhile. You will root for the ladies: Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter. You will cheer for their love interests: Kai, Wolf, Thorne, and Jacin. But most importantly, you will grow attached to their friends/supporters: Iko, Torin, Ryu, and Maha. I am very impressed with Meyer for being able to develop each character so well. Each “princess” and “prince” is very different from the next, and that just added so much more depth to the story. The banter between them is fantastic. I know that no one likes a smartass, but Thorne is an exception. Any conversation involving him is a pleasure to read.
The downside of having such a large pool of characters is that the conflict is multiplied. I was frustrated by the fact that it was nearly impossible for the gang to be reunited. Someone would always get captured, or have their limbs removed, or be turned into some sort of creature, or contract a deadly virus, etc. As soon as one of the characters would find the others, they would get separated again. I suppose it was all part of the plot so that things wouldn’t seem too “easy”. I don’t know.
It all ended quite conveniently anyways. It was an ending that I was okay with. It might be a happily-ever-after to some, but it may not be for others. It was somewhere in-between for me. Even though things wrapped up conveniently, there was a lot of realistic damage left behind. No one was left unscarred and I particularly liked that. I am so excited for Stars Above, which I am told is a novella that takes place after Winter (so fingers crossed for a wedding… or five, haha).
Also, is anyone else shipping Iko and that guard? Someone needs to expand on that! Their banter (although minimal) was enough to spark some novel ideas in my head. They should have their own story, honestly.
As much as I enjoyed the series as a whole, Winter’s pace was a little too slow and annoying to me. I would keep it at a 3.5 stars, but the fact that it’s the final book made me round it up. Why, you ask? Because I am never, ever satisfied with endings. It doesn’t matter what kind it is. The problem is, things in real life never end. Something else always happens. Even if characters die, the world goes on without them, and because of that, no story is ever truly over. So yeah, without me going on a philosophical rant that leads to an existential crisis, I’m bumping the rating up to a 4 because it was an ending that implied the possibility of something more.