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 breath-taking 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?
At the time of writing this review Goodreads have rated this as 4.48 out of 5
Winter’s toes had become ice cubes. They were as cold as space. As cold as dark side of Luna. As cold as –
“…security feeds captured him entering the AR-Central med-clinic’s sublevels at 23:00 U.T.C…”
Thaumaturge Aimery Park spoke with a serene, measured cadence, like a ballad. It was easy to lose track of what he was saying, easy to let all the words blur and conjoin. Winter curled her toes inside her thin-soled shoes, afraid that if they got any colder before this trial was over, they would snap off.
I realised that my review for ‘Cress’ was a little on the long side (so sorry, I speak lots and write lots clearly) and so I made a concerted effort to curb the length on this one.
I think it’s just that my enjoyment for ‘Cress’ shone through a little too much in that excessively lengthy review which also included some thrilling exposition on the fairy tale Rapunzel. As ‘Winter’ is based on Snow White there isn’t so much needed in the way of thrilling exposition here as Snow White is one of the most popular and well-known fairy tales of them all.
Now, the silly thing that I did was that I read ‘Winter’ and then waited almost two months to write a review. Oops. Fortunately, I managed to write some scribbles on an old envelope. Unfortunately, those scribbles don’t seem to amount to anything much. Oh hum (or Hi-Ho? Get it? Get it?) This review is mostly based on memory =but a good book would be memorable right?
And yes, you’ve caught me out, this is a shorter review because I waited such a length of time to write it not because I was trying to spare you my ramblings.
All the gang is back! This final instalment in the Chronicles stays with the new protagonist voice for each edition and this one introduces Winter. Now, I like that Winter is not your typical Snow White because in this instance the concept of ‘Snow White’ doesn’t refer to colour of skin (Winter is black – yay for even more diversity) but of her pure and wholesome nature which is juxtaposed with her childhood best friend and lurve interest Jacin’s sarcastic and stoic personality.
What I didn’t necessary like was that in the final instalment of a series we have two new viewpoint characters. Although I can understand the impact that Winter and Jacin needed to have on the plot I couldn’t help but think it would have been better to not introduce new viewpoints at this stage. Even with a huge leap in pages of ‘Winter’ – up 261 pages from ‘Cress’ – I didn’t think there was room for what was eight different character viewpoints as it meant characters had to be spread a bit thinly to give them all the time they deserve.
I think also I found Jacin too unlikeable to care about which is a shame as I felt that it was mainly Scarlet (who I really like) and even to an extent, Wolf, had been shunted over to make room.
Thorne and Cress are still my favourites though, I could read a million spin-offs of those two. Which brings me to another point – where were my endings?! There wasn’t much of a wrap up for all the characters, more a case of ‘off to the next adventure’ which I think has been done in order for the creation of tie in stories but *slams fists down like a toddler* I want a definitive ending especially after investing in the characters over four separate books. Grumbles.
For the final book we enter the stage of ‘the final battle’ and as we move location from Earth to Luna we finally get to experience what has been hinted at all through the previous stories. What is Luna like you ask? ‘I don’t really know,’ is the answer. The world-building for Luna felt less detailed than the world-building for Earth. There are lots of bio-domes to keep people alive and there is typically a lot of suffering in the outer districts, I mean sectors whilst The Capitol, I mean Artemisia live in ridiculous levels of luxury.
It’s OK, because we have a figurehead of the revolution in Katniss, I mean Cinder dammit, who is somehow able to inspire a planetary wide revolution against President Snow, gah I mean Queen Levana.
Just in case you have missed my extreme subtlety there was a lot of The Hunger Games/ Mockingjay-esque devices in parts and so that’s all I could see. I wish the author had spent the past four books building up more of a realistic underground revolution scenario where residents of Luna are mistreated and angry and already preparing for the rebellion. But I suppose that’s not this story.
This ending all felt a little too easy, Cinder comes and claims her birth right and people follow her blindly. No wonder Queen Levana had such an easy time ruling them.
I seem to be whinging about ‘Winter’ but despite its flaws I did like it. It wasn’t my favourite of the series, as that honour still belongs to ‘Cress,’ but it was a fun read overall. I have my frustrations with it (outlined so eloquently above, ahem) and I think nothing is more frustrating than knowing this could have gone out with an explosive, impactful bang but instead the writer gently guided the plot and several characters out the back door when the party was done.
I would still give it 3 out of 5 just in terms of its overall enjoyablility (is that a real word?) and would recommend ‘The Lunar Chronicles’ to those who enjoy fairy tale retellings and YA fiction combined. But I think this was a slightly more sparkling wine than champagne.
I’m off to watch Tina Turner the musical now. Not at all book or ‘Winter’ related but I’m excited and want you to know!
Lesson Learnt: WRITE THE RUDDY REVIEW JUST AFTER YOU’VE FINISHED READING THE BOOK, GERRY. Envelopes are not a great place to store notes.