Genres: YA Sci-Fi Dystopian Romance
Released on November 10, 2015
The moon and earth are at war, Kai is ‘kidnapped’ by the criminal Cinder and her band, and Levana rages and worries back on Luna as her minions fail to discover where the Princess Selene can be found. Scarlet is still imprisoned as the oddball Princess Winter’s ‘pet’ earthen and Winter and Jacin works to keep his Winter safe from the cruel jealousy of her step-mother Levana. Meanwhile, Cinder has a daring plan and it launches to action-packed grand finale of this book. Whew boy! What a ride it was.
Winter is the fourth full-length book in The Lunar Chronicles series. This Snow White retelling must be read in order.
So this one might seem intimidating with its 812 pages. Steady now, its formatted with larger font and wider spread lines. It’s probably the equivalent of more traditionally formatted books that are half that. It read pretty fast, though yes, like the others, I found my interest lay with certain plot paths more than others.
Like the previous books, there are several narrators from each of the main characters from previous books including Levana. The chapters finish out scenes and then shift to another scene. Cinder and her group are constantly going different directions, regrouping, and heading out again. Its a big cat and mouse chess match affair. Levana seems to be keeping all the important pieces and getting in some strategic moves, but never under-estimate the power of a pawn, right?
Though, I have to say, Cinder made some really stupid moves a few times. I know it just increased the tension and grittiness of the story and I can’t fault her a few times, but there were two choices she made that got people hurt, killed, and messed things up royally. If it weren’t for others working together, her mistakes would have gotten them and all the people believing in her killed.
But, she did have some skilled people and lucky moments so her mistakes weren’t as damaging as they could have been. And, to be fair, she’s inexperienced, scared, and making decisions on the run. Nobody’s going to get it all right under those circumstances, and the fallout will be higher for the bigger decisions she’s being forced to make. I think when I sat back and realized just what this young woman is doing that I could take a softer and more sympathetic view toward her.
Princess Winter was an outstanding favorite for me in this book. Like Cress, she’s gentle and lived her whole life under a sadistic tyrant, but she finds a way. She was a fun friendship pairing with the fiery Scarlet and a delightful love interest with loyal, yet cynical Royal Guard, Jacin. Jacin was a fantastic hero and sacrificed much for Winter.
The big showdown was breath-taking and kept me riveted to the amazing end. All had their roles, but I got my Cinder and Levana match-up and it was all I could have wanted.
There was a niche long denouement that left things in a good place and answered for the future while leaving room for a little more if the author ever wishes to (yes, she did with Iko’s graphic book adventures).
So, its over and I now reach desperately for the Stars Above short story and novella collection to help ward off my book depression from finishing the series. I highly recommend this YA sci-fi dystopian fairytelling romance series.
I read this book on a library loan.
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