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?
Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4)Featured
What worked: Everything! There is so much to love about this book. Meyer is able to effortlessly weave the backstories from the previous three books in such a way that I feel those new to this series will have no problem following along.
I love how all the characters finally come together. Cinder is now accepting that she is in fact Princess Selena and rightful heir to the Lunar throne. She gathers her friends and others for a bloody show down with Queen Levana.
Each of the characters arc in this book. Cinder's determination to fight for her rightful crown means she comes face to face to her deadliness enemy, Queen Levana. Winter stands up to her stepmother with deadly consequences. Scarlet doesn't back down either, even when Levana strikes back through Wolf. I think the one character who shows the most growth has to be Cress. No longer is she the 'shell' that is in outer space and at Levana's command but rather an important ally in Cinder's quest for her throne.
The build up to the final battle is filled with tension, action, and drama. Even at over 800 pages, this book is a real page turner. I couldn't wait to find out what happened when Cinder and Levana had their final confrontation. It's a real nail biter!
This twist on fairy tales cumulates into one satisfying conclusion. The only issue I have is I want to know what happens next!
First of all, I blame Marissa Meyer very much. On the day I read this book, I was supposed to be finishing up two essays and a few more pieces of homework. Instead, I spent all of the time reading this book. When I was done, I end up having to finish my work in an hour before I went to bed. And all that reading and procrastination made me very grumpy in the morning. But it is very worth it, just because of the book.
Despite my actions, my advice is to read this book of 800+ pages on a freaking weekend than a weekday. Start on Friday night. Then read throughout Saturday and Sunday, if you're a fast reader like me. (I read this in a single day.) Word of warning: This book is very, very addictive.
Let's start with the main character of this story. Of this particular story, that is. And that would be Princess Winter, who is basically the most lunatic lunar who has ever lived. She sees blood where one sees cleanness, and she becomes progressively crazier as the book goes on. Still, it doesn't stop her from kicking a few heads along the way. Though she does get terrorized quite a bit, she always swings back to life (and makes me admire her a bit more). With a little more craziness inside of her head.
Have I mentioned how much I like Jacin? No? Then I guess I should start talking about it. He is really good at having a blank face, and he loves Princess Winter more than he ever should love her. The romance is so cute, and the only romance that tops them is Cinder and Kai. And not by much. (Mostly because Cinder and Kai has been in all four books while Winter and Jacin are only in two-ish.)
The plot has a huge overdose of events. With the sheer amount of events and scenes, Marissa Meyer could have spin three books out of this one. Seriously. It's very complicated and complex. If you dare to write the Wikipedia article's summary of the plot, then I wish you all the luck in the world. I also advise Excel. Very good at recording data, time, and etc.
The ending is definitely a... Oh. Spoilers. Sorry, guys.
Overall, WINTER is an awesome book. I'm forever thankful that Marissa Meyer never split this book into three parts. It's a killing conclusion to the Lunar Chronicles, and I, as a not-really-Captain, salute this book.
Rating: Five out of Five
Winter is a loose retelling of the story of Snow White, and tells of Princess Winter of Luna, the stepdaughter of Queen Levana, who is slowly losing her mind to lunar sickness. It follows her development through the awful treatment Levana deals to her, and her reaction to meeting Cinder and the rest of her friends.
This was probably one of the best finale book I have ever read in my life. Winter's character was so different to any other character that has been introduced in the previous books, and it's such a nice breath of fresh air. I loved that she was royalty but never acted upon it, and that even when she was at her worst with her hallucinations, they never got the best of her and she fought through them. She was such a well developed character and written beautifully.
Also her 'crazy' personality worked so well with the other characters, especially contrasting Scarlet's organised and straight forward personality. I loved the two of them together and the dynamic friendship that was created.
One of my favourite things about this book however, was that we finally got a change of location. The book was almost entirely set of Luna, which as of yet we hadn't managed to visit in detail. I loved how Meyer created Luna and made it sound like the beautiful place it's known to be, but also highlighted the poverty stricken areas, and not just the royal palace. It was such a nice change to read about Luna and I loved the change of perspective and the change of narrative this created.
The development of characters is something that Marissa Meyer is always so good at, and she really shows that talent off in this book. Starting off with Levana, Meyer writes her character so brilliantly you can see her mental deterioration and also just how badly she rules Luna. I loved that we got to see that side to her, and not just how she is on Earth. It's so subtle but also so plain to see, and Meyer's writing really stands out fantastically by developing Levana.
The development of the rest of the characters such as Cinder and Kai is also so brilliantly well done, I loved the people they turned into, especially compared to how they were in the first book. Marissa Meyer really is the queen of character development.
I also once again love how she so cleverly linked her version of the fairy-tales with aspects of the original fairy-tales. It's so brilliantly written and I love this unique aspect to the stories.
So much happens in this book, and it's so fast paced, but it's so amazing! I loved how the series came to a close, and everything that happened throughout the book. It was so brilliant, beautifully written and I just LOVED it!
The Lunar Chronicles is one of the best series I've ever read and I definitely recommend them! This was one of my favourite finale books, and it definitely doesn't disappoint!
I've tried so hard to convince myself to rate this book 4 stars. I've loved this series and Cress' ending left me drooling over the awesomeness that this book was supposed to be. This book was not awesome though and all the people who are experienced reviewers and who reviewed this book poorly expressed all my issues with it. I've got though pesonal issues that I'd like to write myself here. First of all (spoiler alert!)
Winter (the character) was already my favourite character before even starting this book because her introduction in Cress was amazing. I was so intrigued by this Lunar who refused to use her powers (causing herself some serious damage) that I just wanted to read from her perspective more. Now, in reality, Winter was an idiot. That's it, I said it. I couldn't picture her as a 17 year old girl, in my head she was a child (FYI she looked like Rue from the Hunger Games in a pretty white dress) who every now and then burst into songs and freaked out at every given occasion. Obviously I didn't want to be entertained by her mental illnes but the way it was described was lame. The Lunar sickness was supposed to be something rarely experienced by a different race that us Humans but instead Winter had this sporadic outbursts just meant to add pathos to an already difficult situation.
Then, HOW THE HELL DID SHE MANAGE TO CONVINCE MORE THAN A HUNDRED WOLF-SOLDIERS TO BE ON HER SIDE?! She just squeaked and hallucinated and shrank the whole time!!! That's not how you convince people who've been working (aka manipulated) under the same governament for their entire life to change side! Oh but she was so beautiful, that's the real key! Nobody needs capable people, just pretty ones.
Plus Winter's relationship with Jacin was so annoying that I was forced to speed read everytime they were mentioned together. You cannot tell me that they've got a past and that they're in love and just assume that I'll get it. I need to understand the romance, not to just see how much these people are hot for each other. No, that doesn't work for me. Also, the "I don't use my powers because that's unfair and because I've been a victim of awful manipulations by the hand of my aunt" could have been such an interesting topic to explore more instead we had this idiot who couldn't really argue her life choices.
Levana was such an interesting character in the previous books. I hated her, surely, but she was still a captivating villain. But why was she such a badass villain? Because nobody loved her and she was ugly. Booh oohh, guess what? Lame. I've always loved the way Marissa Meyer could use the plotline of a classic fairy tale to then create a whole new situation with whole new meanings. So I was expecting something more than the ugly Queen who hates the pretty Pricess. I just think that female villains are always played out as character who just want to be loved and I personally find that kind of trope overused. Plus, if I can defend Levana a bit, that bit in which Cinder showed Levana's true identity was kinda bitchy. It didn't have a real purpose, nothing would have changed. Someone's a bad ruler wether s/he looks like Beyoncé or the Grinch and that's what you tell people, that's how you demonstrate that what they go through on a daily basis is not supposed to be the norm, that's how you lead a revolution. I mean, by then everybody kinda suspected that Levana was hiding something underneath the veil, showing it was plain revenge. Plus the entire justification of "Levana is horrendous not because she's scarred but because she's oh so evil" was a mere way Cinder used to feel better about herself.
Cinder yooou f-ing idiot! Why did you even think of forgiving a madwoman who's killed thousand of people, manipulated even more and that EVERYBODY knows is going to attack you again as soon as you let your guard down! Idiot! IDIOT!!! Again, cliché used to create pathos.
The romance. Too freaking much of it. We're in a war zone for heaven's sake! Why's everybody kissing and drooling over one another?! Then... If Wolf got changed yet once more why doesn't he remember Scarlet in the first place but then the only thing he does during the battle is protecting her? Wasn't he supposed to go on a killing spree? I personally hate the trope of the "power of true love is stronger than anything else", it is so outdated and cheap.
Finally the ending. Again (my vocabulary is not very rich, I apologise) lame. Everything wrapped up so nicely, nobody got (fatally) hurt, nobody was traumatized by having witnessed that much bloodshed, peace and love and everybody finally got laid. The end. It was just so boring to read that I couldn't wait for it to end.
Other problems I had with the story were that it was slow paced, many twists were dismissed too quickly eg: Kai cutting Levana, Winter almost dying, Maha dying, Wolf being modified again, they were all presented as "Oh hey, this very terrible and awful thing just happened and theeen... No, everything's good, let's move on!".