Winter by Marissa Meyer is the fourth and final book in the young adult sci-fi series The Lunar Chronicles. Each book focuses on a specific fairy-tale retelling though each book contains the characters from the previous ones which link and intertwine together. Winter is a fairy-tale retelling of Snow White and follows Princess Winter the step daughter of the evil Queen Levana.
That’s all I can really say about this book without spoiling the series. While this is a non-spoiler review of Winter there may be a few mild spoilers for the other books in the series. If you haven’t read The Lunar Chronicles yet then please do! It’s such an amazing, fun and entertaining series filled with romance, action and adventure. To learn more about the first book in the series Cinder, you can check out the Goodreads page here. But seriously, please read it so you can come back and we can discuss the pure awesomeness of it!!
As a whole I adored this book and everything about it! Even though it’s the thickest book I own I was able to fly through it and finish it within a few days, which were honestly some of the best days in my life! Well not actually… but you know what I mean. 😛 While there were a few small issues I had (which I’ll address later), overall I was able to overlook them and still accept the novel for the amazingness it is. I think Meyer did a fabulous job of wrapping up the story which I can only imagine how hard that must have been. Again, the ending wasn’t exactly perfect and I feel that a few details were rushed over but I feel like it could have gone a lot worse, so I’m still happy.
The first thing I really want to talk about are the characters. We got to see all of the characters we knew and loved from the previous books in Winter, and it was amazing as you can imagine. We’ll start with Winter and Jacin first since they’re the newest characters. It did not take me long to fall in love with both Winter and Jacin and their relationship (I’m still working on a ship name…Wincin? Jater?) I really liked how different Winter’s character was from any others in the series and from any other books in general. Her crazy personality was refreshing and really interesting in terms of why she was like that. I loved how while Winter was beautiful and charming she was not vain or self-obsessed at all making me love her even more. Personally, I felt like Jacin’s character was a little underdeveloped. I feel like this was because there was so much happening in the series it was hard to concentrate specifically on developing each and every character and Jacin’s character suffered. Though that didn’t mean I didn’t like him. His interactions with all the characters were super fun especially with Thorne. I really loved his protectiveness over Winter and how much he obviously cared about her while Winter still clarifying that she could do what she wanted. For a book named Winter though, at times it felt like Winter and Jacin were barely in it and only had a few mages inputs to the plot. Though again, I’m sure this was to allow the story to be focused on the overarching plot and story arc of the original characters.
Scarlet and Wolf were my least favourite characters in the last book, but gosh have the tables turned. I loved and appreciated Scarlet and Wolf so much more in Winter! I’m still not sure if this has to do with the book itself or just the time I was reading it but I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. For some reason I appreciated Scarlet’s badass-ness and strong personality a whole lot more this time around. I also liked reading about her relationship with Wolf a lot more and for the first time really started to ship them together.
Let’s talk about Cinder and Kai. Obviously I continued to love both of their characters in this book. In this book it was nice to see the contrast shown between the two of them especially in terms of their leadership. I found this really interesting to see. I also liked how even though they do have their romantic moments many of their interactions were more serious and regarding issues such as politics and oh you know, the whole rebellion thing going down. Seeing such a powerful couple being wise enough to put their responsibilities before their own personal wants made me like them a whole lot more. I also liked seeing Cinder becoming more confident and taking a leadership position as the leader of the revolution.
Now obviously I’m leaving the best for last, Thorne and Cress! Since I read Cress almost two years ago I fell in love with both characters individually and as a couple. They are some of my all tie favourite fictional characters and one of my top 3 OTPs. If you are a fellow Cresswell fangirl trust me when I say that this book will totally satisfy your fangirling heart. There were times while reading some of Cress’ and Thorne’s chapters where I literally had to put down the book and jump around the room in circles while containing squeals of happiness. Seriously guys, this actually happened… I think Marissa Meyer did an amazing job at creating Cress and Thorne’s relationship that fit with the characters and the story so perfectly. I also loved how their relationship made them bring out the best in each other and really helped their own character’s development. This was honestly my favourite part of Winter and I’m sure going to miss Cresswell a lot now that the series has concluded.
Honestly I think without all of the fantastic characters of The Lunar Chronicles this series would not be as amazing as it is. The wide and varied cast of characters kept the story entreating and interesting. I think Marissa Meyer deserves a standing ovation for the amazing job she did at creating all of these believable characters and doing an equally fabulous job at creating their unique relationships between each other.
If I had to live in any dystopian world, the world of The Lunar Chronicles would be my top pick. Throughout the four (well technically five if you include Fairest…) books I’ve loved getting to know all the details of the world. Especially in Winter I really liked learning more about life on Luna and what conditions were there. In Fairest we did get to see a little bit but it was interesting to see the different perspectives of citizens on Lunar rather than just from Queen Levana.
Overall I found the plot very enjoyable and engaging. The book was fast paced and action packed which was good for such a long book. This however did come with a few issues. Parts of the ending did feel a little rushed and at times the book felt strangely paced. For example, a few important scenes felt really rushed over while other, not quite unessecary but not as important scenes seemed to be set out really detailed and slowly.
I also had a few issues with how believable and realistic certain aspects of the plot were, especially toward the end. Honestly, by the end of the novel I was shocked with the number of characters that survived. A lot of the time it seemed like the heroes got out of bad situations just by pure luck. There were some attempts to explain these situations but these were rushed over and pushed aside. You could argue that this was because Marissa Meyer didn’t want to make the book any longer but I feel like a few scenes could have surely been removed or edited down to make room for these important details.
Another problem I had were with a lot of the Rampion Crew’s plans for the ‘revolution’. First of all, we barely see the crew training making me question what the hell they were all doing during the times when they were supposedly ‘planning’. All that we did see of the characters during this time was them sitting around interacting and having deep and meaningful talks with each other, which honestly I’m not complaining about. I do admit that the series is definitely more character based, so in the end I do partially understand the author’s decision to focus more on character relationships in order to make it the star of the novel. Though, what I cannot overlook is the lack of training certain characters received. What frequently frustrated me throughout the book was the fact that no one taught Cress anything about how to fight! Perhaps they didn’t have enough time or they were busy doing but seriously, couldn’t they have taken a few hours out of their day just to do that. Also why didn’t Cress teach a few members of the Crew some of the basics on hacking? I mean this could be a quite difficult thing to do but we never saw any attempt of this happen.
At the end of the day these problems were really small and hardly noticeable if reading the book for purely entertainment purposes. I also recognise that the books are fairy tale retellings so obviously not everything is 100% believable. In the end I’m happy with the decisions Meyer made in terms of the plot and ending of the book.
So there we have it, my very long, rambly and hopefully non spoilery review on Winter. Please leave a comment on your thoughts on Winter and whether or not you agree with anything I said. Thank you so much for checking out my review, I’ll see you all later!!
Gabby The Dauntless Warlock xx