Thursday, March 3, 2016

"Winter" by Marissa Meyer

The conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles lives up to the rest of the series, even though it's considerably longer. The rest of the review will have spoilers for the rest of the series, so read no further if you want to avoid them.

"Winter" brings the fight to Luna, and it really is a book of war. This war has been brewing since "Cinder," and I admire Meyer's ability to bring everything to a plausible head in just four books (and a prequel novella). Even so, I was a bit bored by the battle scenes, but that's a personal preference more than anything else. I would have liked to see them summarized and edited down, especially since the book is so long already, but I can see how other readers would appreciate the detail and explanations of exactly how it all comes together.

Winter has a focus character is interesting, as her refusal to use the Lunar gift is driving her mad. She's aware of this, and her internal struggle with her madness and how it impacts those around her is a central theme. It's also a great counterpoint to the struggles Cinder has with her decision about whether, when, and how to use her gift. There's a lot to unpack with this particular version of mind control, and it's a strong example of what elevates this series above a standard YA series.

Like the earlier entries, this book also does a great job tying in the threads and characters readers know & love from previous books. Wolf has a particularly strong arc this novel, as he faces his Lunar trainers/captors/army superiors again and must cling to his humanity in the face of renewed conditioning.

Of course there's a happily-ever-after ending, these are fairy tale re-tellings after all. I didn't think "Winter" was the strongest installment in the series, but it was a fitting conclusion and gave a satisfying resolution to all characters and plot lines. At this point, I'd be more interested in prequels of the generation before this than a continuation of the main plot.

Verdict: Affirmed. The series is well worth your time, as I've said in every review so far. I highly recommend it for fantasy, science fiction, and fairy tale fans. Audio narration is great on the entire series, and the story lends itself well to that format.

"Winter" by Marissa Meyer, published November 10, 2015 by Feiwel and Friends. Audio narration by Rebecca Soler, published November 10, 2015.

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