Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4
Published by Feiwel and Friends on November 10th 2015
Genres: young adult, fantasy
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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?
It’s difficult to review the last book of a four book series. Especially without talking about anything that happened in books one-three. So there will probably be some spoilers in this review. But rest assured, I will absolutely make sure that they are properly under spoiler tags. Except for the trigger warning. That needs to be there. That said, if you can’t control yourself from peeking, that is so not my fault. Also, if you still don’t want to read it anyway, I completely understand.
I really liked Cinder (book one). I liked but didn’t love Scarlet (book two) because I wasn’t attached to Scarlet or Wolf, and I sort of thought the plotline was cheesy. I LOVED Cress. It’s still my favorite book of the series, Cress and Thorne are my favorite ship, and also my favorite characters. Winter was awesome. I liked it a lot, but it did not surpass Cress as a favorite.
But the introduction of a new protagonist (Winter), and a reintroduction of Jacin, almost made me love it as much As Cress. Overall, I’d say it’s my second favorite book of the series. Because I really liked it, but there were times when I thought it was a bit draggy and repetitive. I think it could have been tightened up, more so towards the beginning. It took a good while to get some action going, and I was a bit bored for the first hundred-ish pages.
Side note: I don’t think I have ever hated an antagonist more than Levana. She is INSANEEEEEE. There’s a difference between Levana cray and Winter cray, and I loved Winter’s cray. Levana made me super uncomfortable. I know books have to have conflict and all, but her bloodlust and hate for her niece made me want to put the book down, and sometimes it made me not want to go back. I don’t know what it was exactly that bothered me so much, but the level abuse she leveled at her staff and family just really affected me more than most things. So here’s your warning. It is ABSOLUTELY worse than previous novels. and possibly triggering if you are sensitive to torture and violence.
Also, worth noting, there is an animal death, and I am not going to put this under a spoiler tag, because I wish I had known before I read it so I could have skipped past that part. It was brutal for me. I have 4 pets. I don’t want to read about animals dying. And I know Lyn would want to be told if an animal died, as would I. I wish I had been warned. But I read it when I first came out and I don’t think a lot of people knew then.
As for the story itself, the relationships, the writing, the rebellion, I loved it all. Although, I can say nothing happened that I didn’t see coming. Except for the animal death. That was shocking and traumatic.
I think, once you are three books deep into a series and already really attached to the characters, you’re going to pretty much enjoy this book no matter what. Was it perfect for me? No. But was it a satisfying ending to a long journey for me as a reader? Did I enjoy the story and the writing? Yes. It was mostly suspenseful, and I loved the story, and that’s all that’s important.
If I put my critical hat on, what am I unhappy with? The pacing, mostly. I wanted things to happen faster. The book was about fifty pages too long, and I believe that would have made a world of difference and would not have affected the character development or emotion of the story one iota.
And here is the big spoiler: View Spoiler » The stakes aren’t high enough. No one dies except for Levana and Aimery. All the good guys live and all the bad guys die. There are how many protagonists in this series overall? Cinder, Cress, Scarlet, Winter, plus love interests Wolf, Kai, Thorne, and Jacin. Plus Iko. And not a single character dies. Sure, stuff happens to them, but it’s nothing super drastic, and they all come out basically okay. I honestly thought Wolf was going to die. Or maybe Scarlet. Or maybe Thorne (GOD NO) or Jacin. But nope. With this many characters, death needs to happen. « Hide Spoiler
That’s why this is getting 4 stars and not 5. But I love Marisa Meyer’s characters, so yes, I will come back for her next book, Heartless.