Winter by Marissa Meyer
Division 4 & up
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
5 out of 5 stars
The fourth and final installment of The Lunar Chronicles is a retelling of Snow White…but on the moon – or Luna, now that it’s been colonized. Winter is the beautiful stepdaughter of the evil Queen Levana, and suffers from lunar sickness – a mental side effect of Winter’s choice not to use her Lunar gift of manipulation. Winter is exhausted by her stepmother’s constant cruelty and taunting, so she is more than happy to lend her support to Cinder’s rebellion. Our favourite cast of characters from the previous books are all featured prominently: Cinder, Kai, Iko, Thorne, Scarlet, Wolf, Cress; and the illustrious Queen Levana makes herself very unforgettable.
This was such an excellent conclusion to such a fun series. I know that this whole series sounds ridiculous. When I tell people that they should read the Lunar Chronicles, and they ask the follow up question, “What’s it about?” And then I stumble along saying something like, “Uhhh, it’s a retelling of Cinderella, but it’s set in the future in New Beijing, and Cinderella is a cyborg mechanic, and the moon has been colonized, and the people who have been living on the moon have developed these weird mind manipulation powers that people on Earth have no defense against…I promise it’s so much better than I just made it sound.”
Listen. I don’t know why you would be reading this review of the fourth book if you hadn’t even opened the first book, but if you haven’t cracked open Cinder, do yourself a favour. Just give it a try.
Now, let’s talk about Winter. I love her so much. Her conviction to not use her “gift”, no matter the consequences, was amazing. She is such a strong character in a completely different way than the other characters. Cinder’s just a badass, Scarlet has so much attitude and gumption, Cress is a genius. But Winter’s strength comes from her resolve to stick to her guns. Even though that decision is literally driving her crazy. So. Good.
While this series is definitely plot driven, its strength comes from the characters. And this installment gives us so much of the characters. The characters that I love to love, the characters that I love to hate, the characters that I learned to love, the characters that I learned to hate, they were all in there. They were all there, and all adapting to a new situation, all bracing themselves against the impending revolution. It was grand.
The Lunar Chronicles is an epic series. I cannot wait for the film rights to be purchased by Lionsgate or some other production company, because this is a franchise that I would love to watch onscreen. Winter tied up all of the ends that needed to be tied in, but it left room for my imagination. Which is imperative at the end of a series. I absolutely cannot stand it when I have invested time and brain power in a book series, and the author decides to do all the work of an ending for me with their epilogue. No nineteen years later here.