Winter by Marissa Meyer

This is the epic conclusion of The Lunar Chronicles. Will Cinder reclaim the Lunar Throne, her birthright? Will Kai ever marry Levana? Will Scarlet and Wolf ever see each other again? Will Cress ever stop being so damn clueless when she’s thinking about Carswell Thorne? Will everyone make it out of this adventure alive? Some things we do know: Kai has been kidnapped by Cinder and the crew of the Rampion. He’s now solidly on Cinder’s side. Scarlet has been taken in (as a pet) by Princess Winter. She is crazy-pants. Letumosis, a disease plaguing the Earthen Union, has mutated and can now infect Lunars. Luna is the only place able to manufacture the cure to letumosis. Levana isn’t just sadistic and cruel, she’s becoming unhinged. And it seems these days like it’s more of a matter of who can take who down first.

In Winter, Cinder is reassembling and redistributing her allies. In the resistance, everyone has a role to play. Rally enough sectors to overpower the thaumaturges, and Cinder wins. Convince enough Lunar citizens that Cinder is the lost princess Selene, and Cinder wins. Avoid run ins with Levana and stay alive long enough to take the throne from her, and Cinder wins. The hard part now will be hitting all of these goals.

Winter fell flat of my expectations, at least in quality of story-telling. It felt like a step backward in all the pacing and character development we’ve learned in the last 3 adventures we’ve taken together. I will admit, though, this book it much swoonier than any (maybe all of) the last books in the series. Cress and Thorne are my favorite. I’m a sucker for a good redemption arc. But I also imagine Kai to be the sweet and concerned, but also aware of a woman’s independence kind of man, and I dig that too. Wolf and Scarlet are so devoted to each other, and Jacin and Winter are definitely the star-crossed lovers we all hate to love.

I liked Princess Winter a lot; she’s kind and she’s broken. This makes her relatable in a way; though many non-fictional people don’t suffer with delusions like Princess Winter does, they do have to fight with the demons in their mind just to get through their days. What’s unique about Winter is that this mental anguish is self-imposed. It’s a result of the Lunar Sickness that develops when somebody with an active Lunar Gift doesn’t use it for long enough. It’s common in Lunars who are hiding on Earth, but why doesn’t the Princess use her gift when not using it causes her so much strife and pain?

 

Jacin has always guarded the Princess, both from threats others who would wish her harm and threats from herself. Jacin is her crutch; he gets her through her hallucinations and allows her to maintain her functionality. They also happen to be madly in love with each other, although they are from two different classes on Luna, which makes any relationship they may have entirely improper. Because that’ll stop them.

This book either needed to be shorter, or it needed to be two books. On the one hand, it had the feel of Harry Potter and the Endlessly Long Camping Trip. Cinder and her merry band of misfits were shuffling back and forth between the sectors and Artemisia and things weren’t really happening sometimes. But on the other hand. A lot of stuff happened. This is the first time we really had a chance to get to know Princess Winter. The entirety of Cinder/Selene’s rebellion happened in this book.

This is stupid, but I don’t care. I wanted them to spend more time on the dresses and the crowns. Selene is a queen, for goodness sake. Give me royalty. Give me regality. I’m with Iko; I’m here for the gowns.

Someone should take the time to explain those Sailor Moon references the Acknowledgements in these books keep alluding to. It’s not like I’ve never seen Sailor Moon, but I’m just not catching them. That’s not actual feedback, I’m just lost.

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