A mostly Young Adult book review blog run by a mother and daughter team.
If there’s one thing that I know about Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles it’s that it is a series that I was never able to put down. Admittedly, I got into the series a bit late in the game. I missed out on all the hype associated with waiting for Scarlet and Cress to come out. I finished the entirety of The Lunar Chronicles in about a week over the summer and was left feeling pretty dead knowing that Winter wouldn’t be out until later on in the year. Winter is, as all fans of the series know, the big conclusion to the epic series.
After kidnapping Kai and saving him from nearly crowning Levana as Empress of the Eastern Commonwealth, Cinder and her companions devise a plan that will take their fight against Levana directly to her home planet of Luna. Princess Winter is Queen Levana’s unwanted stepdaughter. Levana despises the princess for her breathtaking beauty sans glamour and has gone to extreme lengths to dampen her looks—including having Winter carve her face with a blade. Having gone years without using her gift, Winter has been plagued with vicious delusions and always relies on her childhood friend, Jacin. But Winter’s feelings for Jacin are forbidden and she knows that there is no possible way for the two of them to be together. When Cinder’s plan to take Luna’s throne for herself begin to fall into place, their worlds collide. The battle for Luna’s crown will begin and the fate of both planets will hang in the balance in the final novel of the Lunar Chronicles.
There is so much happening in Winter. If fans of the series are expecting a final novel that will pack a punch with each chapter, that is exactly what they’ll receive. Every moment in Winter is filled with conflict and action. In theory it sounds like there will never be a dull moment. We’re introduced to the character of Winter—a retelling of the classic character ‘Snow White’—and get to see what her life has looked like leading up to the events taking place in the novel. Personally, I adored Winter and her plucky, quirky behavior. Having spent years without utilizing her gift, Winter’s mind has begun to degrade, leaving her somewhat childish and naïve. There’s a lot of innocence surrounding Winter’s character that I found refreshing. Out of all the characters in the series, Meyer has easily made her my favorite. Easily, readers will be able to find a soft spot in their hearts for the series latest protagonist.
I won’t lie, I was somewhat disappointed by the way that Winter was executed. Meyer’s prose is still on point and riveting as always, but I strongly felt like Winter wasn’t the sole focus of the novel. Where Cinder, Scarlet, and even Cress all felt like novels oriented toward the retelling of a fairytale whilst also furthering the plot of the series, Winter felt like the opposite. Throughout reading, I constantly felt like the novel was focused more on furthering the plot of the Lunar Chronicles as opposed to telling us the titular character’s story. Winter does take a bit of a backseat to her cousin Cinder’s storyline as readers wonder if Cinder’s revolution will prove successful.
That being said, I won’t deny that Winter was a good book. It kept me engaged. It kept me excited. It kept me flipping pages until I could reach the very end and constantly kept me guessing. The action that took place in each chapter was always enjoyable, but I was also beginning to pick up a pattern while reading. It felt like a lot of the action sequences that would ensue had a bit of a uniform structure to them which, in turn, made points of the novel very predictable. I was still interested in what was happening—but at the same time, I was also a bit pouty whenever my predictions rang true.
I definitely do think that Winter is a very good choice for a final novel in an amazing series. Personally, I’m not entirely content with the way that everything ended—but what can I say? I’m a picky reader. If you’re a fan of The Lunar Chronicles then there’s no doubt in my mind that you will love Winter and that you will be weeping as you get closer and closer to the very real ending of the series. Luckily for all of us, it isn’t the very last that we’ll ever have of the series—we still have Stars Above to look forward to.
I would recommend The Lunar Chronicles to readers who are looking for fairytale retellings with a futuristic twist. Readers who are looking for a series that has the perfect combination of lightheartedness and darker, serious moments should definitely give it a read. Any readers who are looking for a series that mixes action and romance perfectly should also definitely pick up the series. Lastly, if you’re looking for a novel that you can easily finish in one sitting, The Lunar Chronicles is for you.