Now that Bunnybean is tearing her way through the Lunar Chronicles books, I figured I might as well try and finish up the last book (I don’t count the new book of “related short stories” that just came out), Winter.
I wasn’t all that excited about reading it, to be honest. I loved Cinder and Scarlet, and really liked Cress. And then I read Fairest. And I despised it. It really almost ruined the entire series for me. It was so heavy-handed and annoying, I honestly didn’t care about any of it anymore.
And I have mixed feelings about Winter, now that I’m finally done.
As this is the last book in the series, I’m too tired to explain what’s going on. If you’ve read these books, great, keep reading. If not, stop reading this, and go out and read Cinder. You won’t regret it.
What did I like? Well, the basic plot was fine. We needed some closure on all of the main characters, and of course we needed to make sure that something terrible was going to happen to nasty Queen Levana. And we got all of that.
All of our main characters, plus a few new ones, stood up to various evils in order to bring down Levana and bring harmony to relations between Earth and the Lunar colony. Seriously, something terrible was thrown at our heroes pretty much every chapter, and yet, they kept at it, never stopping until Cinder (aka Princess Selene) is able to take her rightful place on the Lunar throne.
I liked that nothing came easy to this bunch, and that Cinder and her friends end up making a lot of mistakes along their way, mistakes that even end up costing the lives of some of their allies. And that they actually learned something from these mistakes, and changed their approach to getting Cinder on the throne.
And I’ll be honest…while I really didn’t much care about whether or not Cinder and Kai or Scarlet and Wolf ended up together, I was nervous about Cress and Thorne. I’m glad we got a happy ending for those two.
What didn’t I like?
Well. How much time do you have?
First of all, Princess Winter. All of it.* Ridiculous. No.
This was a character that I understood the need for, but just didn’t work for me. And Jacin? Yes, I get that they’ve been friends forever. And I understand that she’s a beautiful princess. But their romance was really just a bit icky.
*I will give Winter a pass on one subplot — the alliance of the wolves to the rebels. This was actually ok.
But my major problem with this book was the editing. This book was over 800 pages long, and it felt like it. There were plot points that were repeated again and again (really, how many times can characters wonder about whether or not they should escape in tunnels? Or how many times do we need to be told that Levana is using her lunar gift to manipulate the masses? SO MANY TIMES, I GUESS.), and entire scenes that were completely unnecessary. If it had been half as long, I think I would have liked it a lot more.
Sloppy details bugged me so much. On one page, we have Scarlet, recently rescued from the menagerie. She hasn’t bathed or done laundry in ages and her trademark red hoodie is filthy. When she meets up with her friends, she is constantly fidgeting with her hoodie strings. They offer to wash her dirty sweatshirt, and then put it in the laundry. Over the next few pages, Scarlet is STILL described as playing with the hoodie strings in great detail. And then the clean sweatshirt is given back to her. So messy and such bad editing. If Scarlet had just left her hoodie alone, we could have cut 25 pages.
Sad that such a wonderful story ended on such a low note. I’m glad I read Winter, but wish it had been a stronger entry in the series.