Friday, January 29, 2016

Review: Winter

Winter by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles #4
Published: November 10th 2015 by Feiwel and Friends

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?
Winter is the official conclusion of The Lunar Chronicles Series, though thankfully we still have Stars Above to look forward to.  As a big fan of sci-fi as well as an admirer of Marissa Meyer's ability to weave futuristic dystopian themes and classic fairytales, I had this book pre-ordered as soon as it had a cover. Despite that, it took me almost two months to actually pick up this beast and plunge into its depths. The reason being? I simply wasn't ready to say goodbye to this cast of phenomenal characters. Even though I knew that they would likely all get their happily ever after, I didn't want their adventures to end - I didn't want to say goodbye. Eventually though, I couldn't hold out any longer: I needed to know how the story would end for everyone and to be honest, I lived in fear of being spoiled... so it felt right to make this book my first read of 2016.

While the beginning of the book was a bit slower than I was expecting, I knew that given the number of pages - and the fact that I was nursing a double book hangover - I just needed to be patient and things would pick up.  And boy was I right! When things do start moving here, it is NON-STOP intensity and at over 800-pages, I was worried I wouldn't survive my nerves, the setbacks, the emotions, the serious violence and the SUSPENSE.  Oh stars the suspense was masterful and nearly incapacitating! See, Winter takes place almost exclusively on Luna, which could only mean one thing: one hell of a ride. It was pretty brilliant that the last book in a series had a new world to explore and fresh world-building. Luna is majestic, opulent and alarming. More than once I was struck by how Luna was like shades of The Capitol in The Hunger Games whenever Meyers described the oppression, the surveillance, the tyranny and how the sectors lived in poverty and fear while Queen Levana and her court basked in privilege.  As our heroes plotted their revolution, we'd get glimpses of how utterly complex their plan needed to be to succeed, given how elaborate and complete, Queen Levana's control over Luna truly is.

Where Meyers really shines is in her ability to keep adding new and compelling characters into the folds and getting them to team up and interact with the rest of the crew.  Winter is no exception, introducing us to Princess Winter as well as really allowing the reader time to better know Jacin, which we'd previously met in Cress.  Beyond those two (mostly) new characters, which I grew to love, we were treated to chapters from all our returning favorites: Cinder, Kai, Scarlet, Wolf, Iko, Cress and Thorne. I was amazed at how every character was given room to develop, though not as much as they might have done with a solo-offering. Nonetheless, each and every one of our beloved characters is given his/her turn to shine...and to pull at our heartstrings.  I have to say that although I love each and every one of these characters, Cinder and Kai have always been standouts for me, with new favorites Cress and THORNE(!!!) rounding things out. Honestly though? I loved every.single.character. more than ever before and I grew to love Winter and Jacin as well and all of them became one pretty spectacular family. Seriously. So.Much.Love. ♥

Sometimes when all the action wraps up at the end of a beloved series, it seems like the words 'The End' show up too soon, without leaving us readers enough time to see how the characters remaining settle into the aftermath of their battle.  I'm happy to say that there were enough pages left over to make sure every character got their proper send off, every ship given it's time to sail.  Truly, Winter was an impressive, emotional and fitting ending to The Lunar Chronicles.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

20 comments:

  1. You basically wrote down my thoughts in this post :D I loved Winter and I think Marissa Meyer did all the character arcs justice with this one. Looking forward to Stars Above now! And this was a really awesome review Micheline ^^

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    1. That's awesome Soudha! Meyer did a truly brilliant job with every single character's storyline, every single ship as well as wrapping up loose ends! I am in awe of her skills! I can't wait for Stars Above too :D Thank you my friend ♥

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  2. "Where Meyers really shines is in her ability to keep adding new and compelling characters into the folds and getting them to team up and interact with the rest of the crew."

    YES! I can't even imagine how hard this series was to write as she kept adding new characters to the mix while keeping the previous ones in play. SO GOOD! I need to read this immediately Micheline, I can't believe I haven't picked it up yet. Fantastic review!

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    1. This installment especially really had me in awe of her skills, juggling so many character arcs, storylines and ships and still managing to make it all gel together cohesively and compellingly. YES, read it ASAP Jenny :D Thanks!!

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  3. Glad you enjoyed this, I'm hoping to listen to this one in audiobook soon because I was sad I didn't get to it last year. The length is frankly intimidating! But if it lives up to all the praise, it will be well worth it :)

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. Glad to hear you'll be reading/listening soon :) I hear the audiobooks are REALLY good so when I decided to reread the series I might just do so on audio! Yeah, it's a beast in physical form, I can only imagine the length on audio XD Hopefully it'll deliver for you!

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  4. Aww Micheline! I love this review! You have me so excited to hurry up and get to these! I read Cinder so long ago, so I think I'm going to reread it before I start on the others! I love when authors develop such memorable characters that stay with you long after the story ends!

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    1. YAY! I love reading that Jessica^^ I think rereading Cinder would be the perfect way to get yourself back into the story and ready for the rest of the series :D

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  5. I've only read the prequel and the first book in this series, Micheline, so I didn't read your review, apart from noting that you really enjoyed Winter :) And I'm very happy about that, as I usually enjoy the same books you do, and of course, it's on my bloated TBR :)
    Have a wonderful weekend and happy reading.
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. Totally understandable Lexxie^^ I thought this was the perfect ending for this series so hopefully you'll love it too when you continue the series! Thank you ♥

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  6. I'm reading this one right now so it's interesting to see your perspective! (Thanks for the spoiler free review by the way!) I, too, am loving all the characters. It's the fourth book and we are still seeing new sides of them all. Character development <3 I'm scared and excited to see this wrap up. Nice review :)

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    1. Oh awesome - and of course, I always try to be completely spoiler free in my reviews :) I can't wait to read your thoughts on this! I'm amazed at how each character was given time to evolve here too^^ Brace yourself for intensity and feels to come haha! Thanks ♥

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  7. I think this is my favorite cover out of all of the Lunar Chronicles books- so pretty! Sooo, I kind of stalled with this series after Cinder and need to get back on track ... eventually, lol. But I'm so happy to hear that all of the characters' story lines wrapped up nicely, especially since there were quite a few of them!

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    1. Same here Lee - I love the colours and the way the apple seems so magical XD I thought I remembered you started the series but I wasn't sure! Hopefully you'll get back into it eventually LOL! Yeah it was quite a feat to accomplish, but Meyers did it!

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  8. Yes, I was the same - putting off reading it because I just hate to say goodbye to all of these characters I grew to love so. I just don't know how Marissa Meyer does it, balancing all those characters so expertly and never letting anything get bogged down plot-wise. I definitely saw The Capitol and the surrounding districts in Luna, as well. But it was so fascinating and I loved it. It's always hard to say goodbye to a beloved series and write a final review for it, but you did it here remarkably <3

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    1. Yup, letting go is a big deal for me too - especially when it comes to beloved characters/series :) The way Meyers handled all the different POVs, storylines and ships without letting the plot get bogged down as you say is nothing short of phenomenal! Ok! I knew it couldn't be just me that saw The Capital and Districts on Luna - it made it even more creepy than I could have imagine o.O Thank you so much Aylee ♥

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  9. I'm SO happy you emjoyed Winter so much!! I loved all the characters so much too and it was so hard to say goodbye. Which is why i'm SO SUPER excited about marissa's news today about the graphic novels coming out with Iko as the MC! WAY TOO EXCITED ABOUT IT! :D

    -Wendy @ Book Scents

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    1. I really did Wendy but yeah it was incredibly hard to say goodbye to these amazing characters. I NEED Stars Above and those graphic novels like air :D

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  10. Oh I just loved this read! I'm with you on her ability to offer new characters and give them all time to grow on us! I am with you on the favorites. Cress and Thorne may actually top my list :D Then Cinder and Kai and Winter and Jacin with Scarlet and Wolf rounding it out. I heard the news that Meyer is doing a graphic novel series for Iko! I'm looking forward to that as well as Stars Above. I'm so glad you enjoyed this. I felt like it was a great finish to this series.

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    1. Meyers really is uber-talented isn't she?! I think Cress and Thorne might be my favorites too but since we've known Cinder and Kai the longest, I feel more attached to them somehow. Winter and Jacin definitely fit in right after though and like you, Scarlet and Wolf round things out :D At least we have Stars Above and the graphic novels now to look forward too!! Thanks Jaclyn^^ I agree!

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