Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: November 10th, 2015
Standalone/Series: Fourth book in the Lunar Chronicles
Genre: Fantasy – Sci-Fi – Young Adult
My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: New all-time favourite!
What it’s about:
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 was the perfect, amazing ending to this lovely series. It’s hard to believe that this book was 823 pages long because it feels like it flew by. A bit too fast even, because now it’s over. And I’ll never again be able to read about what the characters are doing or enjoy their banter and interactions, which just makes me sad.
“See that eye roll? It translates to, ‘How am I possibly keeping my hands off of you, Captain?’”
“Yeah, keeping them from strangling you.”
Kai folded his arms, grinning. “How come no one told me I had such steep competition?”
Cinder glared. “Don’t encourage him.”
Because let’s be honest: the characters and their interactions are really what make this series so great. The worldbuilding is good. The plot is great. The writing style is fun. But the characters, they are just phenomenal. I was smiling like a loon during every scene where they were together. Their banter is just so much fun and felt so real. Yes, there is a lot of romance and the romance is great, but the friendships are amazing too. I think Cinder and Thorne are my new favourite friendship ever, though they are in tough competition of Cinder-Iko, Scarlet-Winter and even Thorne-Kai. But come on: that high-five alone catapulted them directly to number one.
Anyway, focusing on Winter here. In this installment we again meet Winter and Jacin and learn more about them. I loved Winter. She is so fun and sweet and completely delusional but it makes her such an original and lovable character. I was hesitant about her at first, but you just can’t help but love her. She’s charming like that. I especially loved her in her interactions with Scarlet because pairing the strange and crazy Winter with the realistic and painfully honest Scarlet is just genius.
“What did you bring me today? Delusional mutterings with a side of crazy?”
I’m ok about Jacin. I did not like him in the previous book, but in Winter you really start to understand why he is the way he is. And you can’t help but feel for the guy when you see how he is with Winter. He’s still not my favourite of the gang, but he does fit in nicely.
“You should hate me. I’m an idiot. I made a mistake.”
“You may be an idiot, but I assure you, you’re quite a lovable one.”
I also really liked the fairytale elements in Winter, probably the most of all the books. The evil queen, the fairest of them all, the apple candy, the true love’s kiss. They were all incorporated so originally, and so perfectly. That’s not to say that I did not love the fairytale aspects in the other books, but in Winter they just felt more magical for some reason.
The plotline was great. The entire book is a fast paced, action-packed adventure from start to finish. I loved that the gang was on Luna and that the revolution was finally coming into play. I really liked how this revolution was written too. It was definitely not easy and a lot of bad stuff went down. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and though the story is a fairytale retelling, I was very worried about the happily-ever-afters throughout the entire book.
Overall, this was just a really, really satisfying ending. Endings are pretty hard to write, but this one is definitely up there in the top 5 best series endings ever. I have a few little nitpicks about it, but honestly I am totally willing to overlook them just because this series and these characters made me so very happy.
“I can’t believe this is happening. I can’t fight like this, or start a revolution, or be a queen. I can’t do anything like this. I’m broken. I’m literally broken.” Iko settled a hand on Cinder’s shoulder. “Yeah, but broken isn’t the same as unfixable.”
“Did you see any rice in there? Maybe we could fill Cinder’s head with it.”
Everyone stared at him.
“You know, to…absorb the moisture, or something. Isn’t that a thing?”
“We’re not putting rice in my head.”
“My point is that I am going to figure this out, like I always do. First, we’re going to find a way to get into Artemisia. We’re going to find Cress and rescue Cinder and Wolf. We’re going to overthrow Levana, and by the stars above, we are going to make Cinder a queen so she can pay us a lot of money from her royal coffers and we can all retire very rich and very alive, got it?”
Winter started to clap. “Brilliant speech. Such gumption and bravado.”
“And yet strangely lacking in any sort of actual strategy,” said Scarlet.
“Oh, good, I’m glad you noticed that too,” said Iko. “I was worried my processor might be glitching.”
“It’s just like the one Scarlet had.” He flipped the gun in his palms, running his thumbs along the barrel. “She shot me in the arm once.”
This confession was said with as much tenderness as if Scarlet had given him a bouquet of wildflowers rather than a bullet wound.”
“Thorne’s voice pitched high in imitation of the queen. “The impostor of my beloved niece is vanquished … Let us put this messiness behind us while we go forward with the coronations … I am a psychotic, power-hungry nut basket and my breath smells really bad under this veil.”
“Thorne, on the aisle, held out his hand as Cinder passed. She snorted and accepted the high five before floating up the stairs.”