Thursday, October 11, 2018

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) by Marissa Meyer

Narrated by Rebecca Soler
Synopsis (via Goodreads): Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark 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.
“Right now, a kiss is the going rate for near-death experiences. It's kind of a point system.”
Warning: review may contain spoilers for other books in this series. 

When I first started listening to Winter, I thought there was a glitch on my phone, because Libby (my library app) said it would take twenty-four hours to listen to the entire book. After doing a little research, I discovered the physical copy has 827 pages, so it made more sense.

Despite the length of the book, it never felt like the story lagged. It kept a nice pace, and there was always something new happening to one of the characters. They were constantly splitting up, so the perspective and the place would often change. I think it gave a broader view of the world and the different issues the characters were dealing with.

I adored Winter and Jacin! He has loved her since they were children, and not once did he think she was broken. He didn't chastise her for refusing to use her gift, and he was always trying to be there for her when it mattered. Even when he's away, he's thinking of her and trying to return to her side. I really enjoyed their relationship, and how selfless they both tried to be for one another.

I also liked Winter's interactions with Scarlet. I thought the two of them shared a special relationship, even if Scarlet was locked in a cage for most of it. Winter did everything she could to ease Scarlet's suffering, and she thought of her as a friend long before Scarlet felt the same way. When Scarlet called Winter crazy, or referred to her delusions, it was an endearment and said with affection.

I thought Meyer did a wonderful job adding new characters every book. Each new book would focus on someone new, but characters from previous books still played a large role. It made the story more complex and interesting. I loved viewing the story from multiple perspectives, and not always knowing what everyone was thinking. I felt like it added a little more mystery and suspense to the overall story.

I liked the fairy tale connections, and was relieved when they didn't overwhelm the story. Meyer has created something that's entirely her own, while still dipping her toes in the stories we've heard our entire lives. I loved the twists she added, like the spin on Snow White's apple, and how they applied to her books.

Thorne was a little unlikable when he was initially introduced, but he quickly grew on me. Especially after he met Cress! I really liked that Cinder, Cress, Scarlet, Winter, and even Iko, were strong female characters that depended on themselves. They knew when to ask for help, but they didn't wait around for someone to save them. They fought for their friends and the people they loved, they were smart and innovative, and they took the initiative to improve the lives of others.

I thought Winter was the perfect culmination of the other books, and really enjoyed how the final book in the series played out. I was curious how the author would end things, and if everyone would survive, and I'm pretty satisfied with the ending. I was left feeling hopeful and imagining new lives for the characters. They may be on separate paths now, but they've forged friendships that will last a lifetime. I think everyone got the ending they deserved, while still leaving things open for the future.

I'm looking forward to reading Fairest next. I know some people recommended reading it before Winter, but I decided to wait before learning about Levana's history. I'm sure it would have helped me to understand why she was the way she was, but now I still have something to look forward to!

I highly recommend this series to everyone. Rebecca Soler is one of my favorite narrators, and I thought she did a marvelous job with these books! The Lunar Chronicles was such an enjoyable series, and one that I cannot wait to read again. The characters were fantastic, the world was incredible, and the delivery of the story was perfection.

19 comments:

  1. You finished it! Congratulations! I am happy it was worth the time commitment.

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    1. It definitely was! I thoroughly enjoyed the entire series and plan on buying physical copies for my shelves. The audiobook was beastly, but totally worth it. :)

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  2. Yess!!!! I listened to the audiobooks for the Lunar Chronicles, and then I went back and read the physical copies.

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    1. It's a series I plan on re-reading in the future! I really loved the audiobooks, but I like to have physical copies of my favorites. <3

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    2. Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! :D

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  3. I’m glad you loved it. I adored this series and think Meyer does an amazing job at doing her own thing while bringing in elements of the fairytales. I really loved Jacin too. Enjoy Fairest. I liked it.

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    1. Did Fairest make you like Levana at all? I don't think I've seen too many reviews for that one, and the audiobook is longer than I was expecting. I'm curious what Meyer has to say about her past, and how it shaped the person she was throughout the series.

      I loved how devoted Jacin was. He threw Cinder under the bus so he could stay alive for Winter. He was even willing to sacrifice his family to keep her safe. The dude was dedicated! I also enjoyed Winter's teasing and their restrained affections.

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  4. I still need to read this one but Fairest was so good! VERY dark though.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. October is the month for dark books! It fits the mood of the season, I think. You really need to read Winter! I loved it! I thought it was very believable, and Meyer shows the characters making difficult decisions. They sometimes had to choose between friends and loved ones for the greater good. Levana was just awful. I think she believed the things she said, which only made her more dangerous.

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  5. I had a lot of the same feelings when I read this book - I thought it was the perfect book to end the series, introducing new characters while still bringing in the older ones. I loved how strong all the female characters were, and I also loved the ending!

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    1. I had a few issues with the ending, but nothing major. I wish they had been able to do something about Wolf's mutations. He was clearly unhappy with what they did to him, and he felt uncomfortable in his own skin. If they were able to make the modifications, they should have been able to remove them, or at least minimize their effect on his body. I understand they were worried about his mind, but I think he would have been happy with a normal body and fewer teeth.

      I also wanted to know more about the device in Cinder's body, the one that surpassed her gift without making her crazy, and it's application for the future. Winter volunteered as the guinea pig, but I wanted more details surrounding that. Did it work? Did her mind heal, or just stay where it was without degrading further?

      The strong female characters were awesome, and I loved how the males treated them equally and with respect. They didn't think they were stronger or smarter, but knew everyone had something to offer. Cress may have been small, but she was brilliant. Cinder had the benefit of cyborg parts in a fight, but she didn't always know how to use them. Scarlet had a strong will and a hot temper, and she was loyal to her friends and family. Iko always wanted to give everything she had for others, and she was a vital part of their team. I never thought of her as an android -- she just seemed so human.

      The ending was great, truly, I just wish a few issues had been elaborated on. I thought the final sentence was absolutely perfect! I loved the flow of all the stories and how they came together in the end. <3

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  6. Wahoo!! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one as well!

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    1. It's definitely a series I will read again in the future! I need to buy physical copies for my shelves. :)

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  7. I ADORED this series and funny thing is I didn't even realized how long the books were even though I don;t like long books! Glad to see you loved it too!

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    1. It's because they didn't feel long! The story was always engaging and kept my attention, so it never felt like the story dragged. I think the author did a wonderful job spacing everything out, and there was just a lot of information to cover in the last book. It was such a good series, and I really liked how it ended!

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  8. I listened to Winter too and I was scared of how long it was. But it was so good and I don't think it felt that long either. It was such a good conclusion to the series. Great review!

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    1. When the audiobook started and saw that it was 24 hours, I thought there was no way I'd get through the entire thing in a reasonable amount of time, but I was wrong. The story was just as addicting, and I found myself completely immersed in the book. It's crazy that I spent 24 hours of my life listening to an audiobook! It was totally worth it, though. Great series!

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“Stuff and nonsense. Nonsense and stuff and much of a muchness and nonsense all over again. We are all mad here, don't you know?”
― Marissa Meyer, Heartless