Winter is the fourth and final book in The Lunar Chronicles series, which means that this review will contain minor spoilers for the first three books: Cinder, Scarlet and Cress. I don’t have reviews of these up on the blog, but I have written super short individual reviews on Goodreads (linked). Now that I’ve completed the series, I’m very tempted to reread the whole thing from the start! It’s my favourite series of all time so I definitely want to post full reviews for the first three books someday!
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?
I can’t believe it’s over… I don’t want it to be over! I don’t want to let go of my babies! If you couldn’t already tell, I absolutely loved this book. It was by far the best one of the series and even though it’s over 800 pages long, I couldn’t read 1000 pages more.
Winter picks up a couple of weeks after the events of Cress. The book starts off a little bit slow, with nothing much happening for the first 100 pages. We get to see characters be reunited with their loved ones, and there are some really great interactions between them. But as much as I enjoyed this section and thought it was adorable and sweet, the book really started picking up for me when more concrete plans started forming. The rest of the book was so action-packed and intense, it had be completely hooked and I couldn’t let go of this book at all! The whole plot was extremely well-thought out and there were so many surprises and heart-stopping moments that I was just holding on for dear life and hoping Marissa Meyer wouldn’t break my heart. The final showdown was incredible and was the most intense and epic climax I’ve read this year. Everything was properly resolved, in a realistic manner, and I’m still heartbroken at the thought of having to finally let these characters go. There is nothing about that plot that I’m disappointed with or underwhelmed by – I am so incredibly happy and in love with this book right now.
The fairytale retelling aspect of Winter was also superb for me. Like with the previous three books, even though I had an idea of what was going to happen, I still ended up being surprised a lot of the time. The book is also so long that the Snow White retelling only makes up a small portion of the novel. Everything felt so original and it never felt cliched or expected. (Winter’s “dwarves” were the most unexpected thing ever!).
What I loved most about Winter was that it was set almost completely in Luna. We’ve heard so much about Luna in the previous books but this is the only one to be set on the moon! I thought it was an extremely interesting world and I loved learning more about the politics and the different sectors that the people lived and worked in. All of the things that intrigued me about Luna in the previous books were addressed in this book and it was amazing to be able to see things that were only referenced previously. There is a lot more mental manipulation in this book and it was so epic to be able to see different groups battle each other with their Lunar gifts. It was exciting to see what Cinder could do with her gift and how that interacted with the computerised nature of her brain. I also really loved seeing and learning more about the Lunar Sickness. I found it to be fascinating!
Winter was a well-loved princess who was prettier than a bouquet of roses and crazier than a headless chicken.
Which brings me to the characters… I absolutely loved Winter! She has a severe case of the Lunar Sickness from not using her glamour and she’s coo coo crazy. She has intense hallucinations and talks gibberish half the time, but I loved her quirkiness and her kind nature. She refuses to manipulate people with her Lunar powers, preferring instead to allow her Lunar Sickness to get worse instead. I adored almost every scene she was in and thought she was so endearing. I just wanted to hug her to my chest and protect her. I thought it was so sweet that Jacin was always there to protect her, and even though their romance was a little bit ordinary, I loved it anyway. Marissa Meyer just writes the most swoon-worthy romances!
I loved seeing Cinder and Kai, and all the other couples reunited! As much as I love the plot and all the epic action, the characters and their bonds really are the stand out for me. I love the banter between the characters and how they look out for each other. I never want our crew to split apart!! I honestly cannot pick a favourite character because I love them all equally. I was a little bit sad that Wolf was gone for a large part of this last novel because I absolutely love him! I know that he’s the least favourite character for a lot of readers but I really enjoy seeing him together with Scarlet.
Overall, there’s nothing that I can fault. I absolutely loved this final book and the whole series in general. Winter definitely tops all of the sci-fi books that I’ve read this year, and I’m probably going to go and reread the whole series over again right now. I cannot wait for the short story collection to come out early next year!