Title: Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)
Read My Review Of: Cress (Book #3)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Hardcover, 824 Pages
Published November 2015
Summary: 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?
Okay, guys. Okaaaaaay. I just finished reading this book and went right to writing the review because I knew I couldn't wait or I wouldn't be able to put all of the gusto into this review that it deserves...so without further ado, here we go!
First of all, the cover lust with this book! All of the Lunar Chronicles books have amazing covers, but this one specifically is just gorgeous. I'm so glad that I bought my own copy to save and admire all of the time because honestly, that cover...*heart eyes*
If you know me as a reader at all, you'd know that I've loved the Lunar Chronicles from the start. I think that the entire idea of them is a stroke of creative genius by Marissa Meyer -- I've read retellings before, and even written some of my own, but she completely hits the nail on the head with these. The Lunar Chronicles are similar enough to their fairy tales of origin that you understand the subtle references without feeling like you're reading the entire story all over again. The stories are both true to their origin and completely original -- not to mention super complex. You can just tell how much work Meyer has put into this series, and let me tell you, it shows.
(This is a brief moment of pause for me to warn you that there's an excessive amount of raving about how awesome this book is up ahead, so if you're feeling a bit grumpy today, I suggest you head out now.)
I've followed this series since I picked up a copy of Cinder when I was in middle school. (And now I'm about to graduate high school, which is pretty weird and really puts into perspective the fact that I can technically say I grew up alongside this series.) So I've grown pretty attached to all of the characters, and the storyline itself, so I was definitely a bit worried that after I finished this book and the series was officially wrapped up for good, I'd be heartbroken and therefore not like the book as much.
Boy, was I wrong.
This book is literally OVERFLOWING with adventure and love and danger and deceit and a whole bunch of stuff that keeps you on your toes 24/7. When I first learned that the book was over 800 pages long, I was worried that it was going to be a CHORE to read, because I thought to myself, There's no way that a book that long can hold my attention the entire time. Man, was I wrong. This book held my attention from Page 1 to Page 824. (There were actually several times during the school day where I'd been lectured by a teacher because I was reading instead of doing whatever classwork I was supposed to be doing.)
As the summary explains, Winter is pretty much all about the rebellion being risen to finally overthrow Levana and establish proper rule back on Luna. So the book takes you through everyone's stories (in third person), switching off between the main characters every now and then, as everyone dealt with the rebellion in their own way. So you get to see the story through several different key characters throughout the story, and I thought the diversity was refreshing. An 800+ paged book is tough enough to read...an 800+ paged book in only one character's point of view probably would have been downright painful.
(As soon as I said that, I realized that every 500+ paged book I've ever read has been in at least a dual-perspective. Huh.)
(There are some major spoilers ahead so please skip to the next paragraph if you haven't read this book yet!) My favorite part of the book was definitely the ending, when you got to see how everything wrapped up for everybody. Especially when Kai proposes the idea of marrying Cinder -- I've always shipped them, and I couldn't think of anything better for the two of them. (I actually got super giddy and squealed a little when he asked her to consider being his empress.) Thorne and Cress are another pair that I was really happy to see ending up together, adorable and happy. Same with Wolf and Scarlet, and Jacin and Winter. Basically, I loved reading about how awesome everything turns out for their original gang -- it was definitely fuzzy, heartwarming, and (in certain cases), a tad bit sexy.
Guys, there were times that I seriously couldn't put this book down because I was dying to know what was going to happen next. It was the first time that a book's made me feel like that in a long time, and I can't even explain how refreshing that was. And for those of you who have been around here for awhile, you'll know that I don't just pass out five-star reviews like it's nothing...this book seriously, honestly, absolutely deserved a perfect rating. I'd give it an above-five star rating if I could.
All in all, Winter was a fast-paced, fantastic read that I'd definitely recommend to anybody -- if you're hesitating about the size of the book, I can assure you that the 800 pages will fly by like it's nothing, because this book gives you a SERIOUS case of "Just One More Chapter" Syndrome. I'm so, so sad that this series has finally come to a close, but I can say with certainty that this book couldn't have gone out on a better note if it tried. Everything in the book ends up being settled nicely and you're really not left with any frustrating questions. Marissa Meyer is an epic GENIUS with The Lunar Chronicles, and if you haven't started this series yet, I definitely recommend that you open a new tab, head to Goodreads, and add Cinder to your TBR right this second. I absolutely promise you that you won't regret it.