Mild spoilers ahead.
“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?”
Now, onto the story!
What I liked:
- Marissa Meyer, once again, manages to take our well-known fairy tales and give them a new, beautiful twist. Obviously, there are plenty of allusions to the original stories, but it still manages to feel like an original story in and of itself.
- All of the characters, really. Cinder, trying hard to be a leader worth looking up to, even though she grew up a simple cyborg mechanic. Kai, who I really warmed up to in Winter, after all he does to help the gang out and stop Levana. (I take back everything bad I ever said about him.) Scarlet and Wolf are perhaps the most beautiful pair I’ve ever seen. (Again, possible bias.) All I’m going to say about Cress and Thorne is finally. And small, nervous, socially-awkward finally Cress gets her chance to be really heroic. Iko didn’t get a real love interest, which I was kind of hoping for, but even if she is a mere android with a faulty personality chip, I love how chipper but also how loyal she is. Last, but certainly not least, are Winter and Jacin. I think Meyer did a really superb job crafting Winter as a character, and I like the dynamic between the two.
- I was right. We did get to figure out why Levana wanted Earth. Also, if you didn’t get this vibe from earlier books, Levana is really psychotic.
- That climax scene was really intense. Wow. You know how when you’re in a really interesting part of a book, and you’re so eager to figure out what happens next that you basically end up skimming? Well, that happened here, except I had to force myself to slow down because if I didn’t, I’d have missed the most crucial moment.
- The ending was pretty neat and tidy. I loved it. All of these characters had changed, but you could still see their original selves shining through, and seeing the difference from where they were and where they are now… it’s beautiful. And sad, because it’s over, but it was lovely while it lasted.
What I didn’t like:
- The first half of Winter drags a little. It more than makes up for it in the second half, in my opinion, but the biggest issue in the first half is that the characters keep alluding to the fact that they’re pretty much on a tight schedule, and then in one instance, the story skips ahead a whole month, and then a little later it does the same thing, but for a week. It was just a little disconcerting. Don’t get me wrong, the first half has some really suspenseful moments. It’s just the random, and a-little-out-of-place time jumps that we must contend with.
As much as I loved the intensity of the second half, the first part of the book dragged a bit. Because I loved Winter, and I loved the rest of the characters coming together in this final moment, I’m going to give this book a 4.5 star rating, and would highly recommend the series.