*This review contains spoilers, especially if you haven’t read the previous Lunar Chronicles books.*
“She was prettier than a bouquet of roses and crazier than a headless chicken. Fitting in was not an option.”
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
Feelings: FINALLY! I’ve been waiting years for this books, desperately wanting to see how all the loose ends would get tied up. I LOVE this series and completely fell in love with this cast of characters. I thought the ending was satisfying and ended in a pretty good place.
Issues: Surprisingly, I think this book was too long. While part of me thinks my own statement there is malarky because I love Meyer’s writing so much, another part of me thought that a good chunk of this text was extra fluff. Some of the extra detail cut down on the moving action, but at the same time I’m super invested in these characters so I liked as much info on their lives as possible. It’s a conundrum, really.
I was pretty confused on what was going on with Wolf after he’d been taken prisoner and given the new wolf-like “upgrades”. It really seemed like he had been successfully reprogrammed to be pro-Levana, but then during the coronation, he tried to stab the queen? That felt so random and disconnected.
Characters: Cinder – our main hero and lead protagonist. I said before that I was satisfied with the ending, but I have one little hiccup. I didn’t love how she said she wanted Luna to be a republic. WHAT? She’d just fought to get her crown back and embraced her destiny, then it felt like that wasn’t good enough. So, she’s going to be Kai’s Empress at some point…so she’s going to leave her own people up on the moon and go back to earth…aaannnddd we’re back where we started, just without a crazy Lunar queen. I really wanted her to have all these plans to improve the Lunar royal legacy because it had a pretty crappy reputation and she had a huge opportunity to make it better, with her cousin by her side.
Wolf & Scarlet – I’m happy that they both survived and are going to get to live a calm life on the farm back in France. I was sad that he was manipulated and physically altered again because he’s already been through SO MUCH. The poor fella at least got some closure by getting to see his mom again. In the long run, he still had Scarlet and tomatoes…so I guess it all worked out in the end.
Thorne & Cress – I DIED when the Lunar woman glamoured herself to look like Cress and he confessed his love for her. YES! Finally something real from Thorne. They’ve both had a lot of character development in the last two books. Thorne has finally realized his hero potential and his true feelings, while Cress has matured and found her real worth. They’re probably two of my favorite characters in this series.
Jacin & Winter – Holy cow, Winter is coo coo for Cocoa Puffs. I mean, seriously. There were so many times where I thought, oh okay…she’s not that crazy then BAM…I’d be very very wrong. Jacin had a really different voice than the other cast members, which was really refreshing. He’s so protective like Wolf, but not nearly as aggressive. She had a lot of Snow White’s qualities, kind and caring to everyone. I think they balanced each other out really well and they really needed each other.
Comparisons: I really enjoyed this interpretation of Snow White. Levana asked Jacin to kill Winter, like how the evil queen has the huntsman kill Snow. I thought it was cute how when Winter arrived at the Kesley house (in the mining district…very 7 dwarves-ish), she started to clean, a very Snow White type quality. Then later, Levana glamours herself to look like an old woman and gives Winter an apple candy, eating one for herself. The one Levana ate was fine, but the one she gave to Winter caused her to be put into the chamber, filling my mind with that classic Disney image of Snow in her glass casket thing. Finally, Jacin gave her the cure and kissed her.
Final thoughts: I would have really liked some Lunar history and religious background. They referenced the Greek goddess Artemis, but I would have appreciated some more information there. In the end, I really enjoyed this books. The characters are so strong and resilient, funny and heartwarming. I was hooked for about 97% of this book, which is saying something because it has more than 800 pages.
My reviews for the other books in the series:
Book 1: Cinder
Book 2: Scarlet
Book 3: Cress
Goodreads rating: 4.6/5
Amazon.com rating: 4.7/5
My rating: 4.5/5
Happy reading! – Caitlyn