Aw, guys, I loved this book. I admit I was hesitant to start reading it because I heard nothing but great things about it, but I’m glad to say that I wasn’t disappointed. 🙂 There were a few things that irked me, and I didn’t think were fully resolved, leaving things rather open-ended, but overall, a lovely read. Well, I say read, but I started Cinder as an audiobook and continued to listen to it. The narrator, Rebecca Soler, does a great job!
Title: Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release date: November 10, 2015
Genre: Young adult, dystopian, fantasy, sci-fi
Length: 823 pages (hardback)
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) “Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark 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.”
I definitely think Meyer did a fantastic job handling the multiple POVs. Sometimes it can feel very jumpy and not cohesive, but that wasn’t the case here. When you have such a variety of characters, each playing their own important yet separate role, sometimes POVs can be muddled but Meyer created a distinct voice for each of the characters that held until the end of this series.
As the title suggests, we meet Princess Winter, step-daughter of Queen Levana. Winter is unique in that she specifically chooses not to use her Lunar gift. I think most of this stems from the way she’s seen her step-mother use her gift, yet it also affects Winter in a bad way–she hallucinates wildly and vividly, and the only person who is able to calm her is her royal guard, Jacin Clay. But if there’s one thing Levana can’t stand about Winter, it’s the young girl’s beauty, recognized famously throughout Luna despite the three savage scars on Winter’s face.
So we pick up right where Cress left off: Scarlet has been captured and is a prisoner on Luna, Cinder and the Rampion crew have kidnapped Kai from Earth, and their goal is to reach Luna to introduce Cinder as the lost Princess Selene, rightful ruler of Luna. Of course, that’s easier said that done. But I liked how Meyer kept putting obstacles in the characters’ way. Think they’ve done it? Think again!
I adored the friendships and all the character building we get, even in this final book. Iko has grown to be one of my favorite characters as well–I love how much life and vibrancy she has even though she’s an android. I thought it was super cute how Thorne is so unsure about Cress, and I absolutely loved Scarlet and Wolf. They’re my favorite! I came to appreciate Kai and Cinder more as I read the final chapters of the book, too. I also enjoyed the deeper world-building, and how Levana has ruled Luna over the past thirteen years. One of the lessons I’ve taken from this series is that the choices we make really make us who we are.
Take Levana for example. She could have been a completely different person if she had not made the choices she did, and yet, even toward the end we see how it set up for the “bigger picture.” I will admit, however, that one of things that did irk me was Winter. Yes, I understand that she has the “Lunar sickness”, which is what happens when a gifted Lunar does not use their ability and that, yes, she was abused on some form by Levana while growing up, but Winter’s behavior seemed very childish. I thought she would mature a bit more as the story progressed, and maybe even embrace her gift, but she didn’t. At least, not in the way I thought she would. I actually expectedher to steal the story. Jacin didn’t really grow on me much either, but I appreciate how he understood Winter.
Most of the things the things that made me happy were Scarlet and Wolf. I love how fierce Scarlet is. I mean, the whole cast of characters are, especially with all they’ve been through. Another thing that left me feeling a bit empty was the ending. Not that I didn’t like the way it ended, that’s definitely not it. I liked how Cinder relied on Kai in various situations, and I love how mature Kai was. He really was, though, from the beginning, and he had to do a lot of learning in the earlier books. He stepped in when Cinder needed him. But yet… I felt like there could have been more. Maybe that was the whole point since Meyer wrote Wires and Nerve? I don’t know.
This is definitely a fun series, and I’m glad I read it. These have become some of my favorite characters and the entire crew is true #friendshipgoals! 🙂