Published by Feiwel and Friends on November 10th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction, Legends, Myths, Fables, Retelling, Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Amazon // The Book Depository
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?
this series is one of my favorites and the last book didn’t disappoint.
WINTER is 800 pages aka HUGE, but it didn’t feel that big since there was so much going on. the action was non-stop. there were some parts of the plot where i felt could’ve been cut short, but i suppose adds up to the big picture. the ending felt very satisfying and finished, which is rare to find. in most conclusions, i’m always asking for one more chapter but WINTER was satisfying throughout. all in all, marissa meyer didn’t hold back on the storyline and action. there were a lot of shocking (ish?) plot twists and it surpassed my expectations. however, my only complaint is how predictable the outcome would be. other than that, i love this book!
there really isn’t much i could say without spoiling! if you’ve read up to CRESS, i’d definitely recommend picking WINTER up. this series is one of my favorites and i would recommend it to everyone. (like seriously, i feel like i’ve gotten at least 20 people to read it.) (i’m not joking.)
spoiler-filled discussion beginning. please do not proceed to read this post unless you’ve finished WINTER and all the previous books in the series. (i warned you!) (no, seriously, go away and go read the book. you can come back later.)
here’s a recap, i suppose
is it just me, or did this book feel like multiple books? there was SO MUCH going on in the plot. being my idiotic self, i didn’t take notes because i didn’t want to distract myself by stopping every few pages, but that means i forgot a good portion of what happened. i just know IT WAS INTENSE. i was holding my breath the entire time. i’m recapping to see if i remember what happened even though i literally just finished it. i need a refresher for my brain, but if you remember everything, feel free to skip to the next portion. (though you’ll miss my sassy side comments, which are the BEST.)
“Even if I believed I was doing good–for who am I to presume what is good for others?” (pg. 269)
we start with prince, erm, EMPEROR kai making his descent back to earth and convincing the queen that he despises cinder and hopes for the marriage to continue. (oh, and let’s not forget: kai and cinder are officially a THING) queen levana thinks it’s a perfect idea to hold it on luna (god bless) and they’re on their way to the moon. cinder glamours the crew and they all stowaway onto kai’s ship. MEANWHILE, jacin is off the hook since he exchanged his life for a piece of information about linh garan’s invention.
the crew gets onto the moon and you think all is well until levana’s like NOPE, CHECK THE SHIPS. things get a little messy and eventually, they manage to escape except for cress. (and thorne is torn into pieces and although it hurts me i found this vital part to be so good because THORNE LIKES CRESS AND IS BASICALLY ADMITTING IT WITH HIS PAIN.) anyway, cinder, wolf, iko, and thorne manage to get to wolf’s mom’s house and they’re sorta safe. AT THE PALACE, cress is found by precious winter and she helps cress hide in jacin’s room. theeeeen the queen summons jacin to kill winter (i totally saw this coming, but totally didn’t see this coming) and he manages to get winter and scarlet to escape to RM-9, while cress is still at the palace. scarlet and winter make it safely (well, as safe as you can) to wolf’s mom’s place and yay! our team isn’t in complete shambles anymore.
the crew continued to publicize the video cinder recorded in the rampion and our revolution begins. all’s good until thaumaturge aimery shows up with a bunch of other goons and start KILLING PEOPLE. maha kesley is forced to kill herself (the tears!!) and cinder tries to fight back but it ends up going awfully. cinder and wolf are captured then shipped off to the palace (again). luckily, scarlet, thorne, iko, and winter are (mostly) safe thanks to the help of officer kinney. (i feel like this is a new character but i know marissa meyer has a knack for having characters from previous stories make cameos so…. i have my suspicions. where did this guy come from?! keep in mind that i read CRESS last year, SCARLET two years ago, and CINDER three years ago and forgot a bunch of stuff.) (ohmygod it’s been three years since i began this series. MOVING ON.)
jacin and cress manage to escape the palace and stumble upon thorne and iko, who were on their way to save cinder, who is on her way to her own execution. kai and levana are getting married (gags) and cinder’s trial/execution is the entertainment. cinder’s dragged in, being sassy as ever, and manages to terrify queen levana then JUMP OF THE BALCONY AND SURVIVE. (also, adri and pearl are here? *rolls eyes*) this entire scene was so crazy because it felt like the climax, but things got EVEN MORE EPIC FROM HERE. we’re literally in the middle, which is crazy because this is already crazy.
queen levana fakes a video saying the “imposter” died during the fall when actually, jacin, iko, cress, and thorne found cinder. she’s in terrible shape, but they manage to (sorta) patch her up to one piece. her internal computer isn’t working anymore, and that becomes important later. they plan on releasing the video of queen levana without her glamour (from cinder’s internal computer) to the public later. MEANWHILE, scarlet and winter have stumbled upon a group of wolf-mutant-soldiers and convinced them to join their cause. queen levana finds out that winter isn’t actually dead, and kills the poor girl herself, using sour apple petites (!!!) that have a dose of the disease. (side note: i personally thought this part of the plot wasn’t all that necessary, but i still liked how she incorporated the snow white fairy tale SO WELL)
jacin, iko, and cinder plan on sneaking into the lab to find the cure and save winter; cress and thorn plan on attending kai and levana’s coronation so cress can sneak into the media room and release the video, as well as open the outer gates for the people to attack. jacin, iko, and cinder make it in time to save winter and scarlet! cinder, iko, and the wolf-soldiers make it their trek to the palace while jacin, winter, and scarlet (i think) go to the other sectors and begin rallying people. thorne and cress get into the palace (and manage to CONFESS THEIR LOVE TO EACH OTHER – let’s be honest, that’s the most important part of the book – as well as being super duper adorable), but thorne gets captured and cress has to get to the media room on her own.
“Pretend you belong here, and everyone else will believe it.” (pg. 588)
on her way to the media room, cress meets kai, who helps her sneak in. cress does her thing (which is so epic, btw) and gets the video out AND opens the gates just in time. *releases breath* we also find out wolf has been mutated again and is under the control of another thaumaturge and we’re not even sure if he’s wolf anymore. 🙁 they continue on with their coronation until cinder makes her grand entrance (which is fantastic and oozing with sass, btw) and queen levana is furious, as usual.
they fight. people die. the video’s released and queen levana goes INSANE then literally runs away. the goddamn thaumaturges are taking over the people and things are not looking good. but at least we find out that wolf is still wolf. cinder’s forced to go track down the queen, with iko in tow. kai threatens the people with his crazy bombs. (and there’s that part when he’s like, “what would cinder do?” then decides to slam his portscreen against something hard and it ends up fixing it. BRB LAUGHING MY HEAD OFF.) winter goes crazier from using her powers to kill and control aimery (OHMYGOD THIS PART WAS SO INTENSE AND LIKE WHAT THE –). and…. yeah.
cinder manages to find levana on her throne, and thorne being controlled by her. they battle it out with their mind controlling and it’s actually SO INTENSE. cress appears and shoots thorne’s fingers; he stabs her then stabs cinder; cinder wins over levana briefly; levana LITERALLY stabs cinder in the heart and cinder shoots levana and everything goes black. *exhales* as for the rest of the book… they live happily ever after. (i kinda wish there was a little more epilogue BUT there’s going to be an entire short story on that so it’s all good)
these characters and relationships make me feel a lot of things
specifically cress and thorne. THESE TWO GIVE ME ALL THE FEELS. i adored the two of them in CRESS, but in WINTER they were even better. i thought my favorite was cinder and kai, but nope, i love cress and thorne so much more. the speech thorne gave at the end? golden. *crawls away to a corner and stalks the cresswell tumblr tag*
winter is an EXTREMELY unexpected character. i thought she was absolutely ~insane~ from her brief appearance in CRESS, but she’s actually fine. well, i think she’s fine. winter is a somewhat crazy person, but she knows she’s a crazy person (and that therefore that makes her not crazy in my eyes). she was the most complex out of everyone else and i absolutely adored her. she’s sneaky and clever and wonderful. i thought she’d be some crazy, power-hungry lunar when jacin mentioned that he was supporting winter’s reign, but that wasn’t the case. although she’s kinda useless, winter is spectacular.
the snow white retelling is perfection.
the way snow white is retold is so good! it’s interesting because the love interest is the huntsman instead of the prince. it now makes 100x more sense than the actual fairy tale. the reason why jacin (the huntsman) can’t kill winter (snow white) isn’t because she’s too beautiful (well, sorta), it’s because he looooves her and has a personal connection. when winter mentions how sour apple petites are her favorite, you know she can’t decline them. queen levana glamouring herself; winter isn’t killed instantly (making it more logically when she’s alive in the end); also, my personal favorite: JACIN KISSING HER AT THE VERY END WHEN SHE’S “SICK” AND SHE WAKES UP. slow claps to you, marissa meyer.
so after all this raving, i have this teeny-tiny complaint: everything was really predictable. i knew levana was going to die. i knew cinder was going to win the revolution. i knew everything was going to be great and it’d be the perfect happily ever after. it’s exactly what i wanted to happen. so, why am i just the slightest bit disappointed? i wasn’t surprised by the outcome, is what i’m trying to say. it was interesting to read HOW the outcome would be, but i also wish the ending would surprise me – make a bigger impact or something. on the flip side, if it were any other ending, i would’ve been mad so i’m not sure what i’m trying to say. MY THOUGHTS FRUSTRATE ME.
besides that teeny-tiny thing, this book is so spectacular! i love how complete the series feels. i love how interesting and complex the plot is. i love how all the characters live happily. i love how it’s practically perfect in every way. it’s great. so great.