14 November 2015
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Winter came. And it was long. Good Gods, was it ever long. 823 pages long, to be precise. EIGHT HUNDRED AND TWENTY-THREE pages, people. It took me a day and a half of doing almost nothing but exclusively reading to power through this puppy.
But I did. I succeeded. The end has come. And you know what? I'm not all that depressed. I thought I might me. It's the end of an era, after all. But after 823 pages, I think I am reading to say goodbye.
It's not bad, mind you. It perhaps feels a bit tedious in a few certain points, and I am certain a decent chunk of it could have been whittled down. But we do have four main characters we are dealing with now, and they all have to get their happy endings. And that takes time. It also takes romance. Like, a lot of romance. Some of it is so sickening sweet it almost makes me want to puke. Some of it is a little cliche, and some of it feels a little out of place. For Winter, who was only just introduced at the end of Cress, it feels rushed, because her entire story has to be condensed into the pages of this book, while fighting for page time with the Kai/Cinder drama, the Scarlet/Wolf drama, and the ever lovable Cress/Thorne will-they-won't-they. All while trying to overthrow Levana and put Cinder on her rightful place of queen of Luna. Which is probably why it is 823 pages long.
I think the only issue I have with Winter that prevents me from absolutely loving it is that I now realize that Meyer used to write Sailor Moon fanfiction, which makes a buttload of sense as you are reading this novel. The capital city of Luna, after all, is Artemisia City. And, and I realized before I even knew of her Sailor Moon roots, Artemis is the name of the adorkable white cat in Sailor Moon. And Sailor Moon was the lost princess of the moon, stuck on Earth, that had no recollection of her royal lineage. To which I realize now, WAIT, WHAT? You mean not only did Meyer borrow a lot of elements from classic fairy tales, but she basically ripped off the main plot for the entire series from Sailor Moon? Well, that bummed me out a little. Because even though the series is still very unique and original, it just feels like cheating a little bit when you start borrowing that much material from other sources. The writing also feels a little easy in some parts, almost as if you are reading a fan written fan-fic instead of the conclusion of a series from an internationally best selling author.
I'm not trying to sell Meyer short, though. Even though I am a little bit bummed about that, I still devoured Winter. I love Winter herself, with her genuine goodness and her goofy craziness. She and Jacin are adorkable, even if she - like Cress - is a little too obsessed with love (which I guess is understandable, though, considering how isolated both have been for pretty much their entire lives).
And Thorne. Oh Gods, Thorne. Meyer does have a particular talent for well placed comic relief comments. Thorne is the king of them, and I even laughed aloud a few times.
While I feel like it isn't the perfect ending I could have hoped for, and felt a little repetitive in a few places, I think it wraps up the series well. It also has a buttload of action right there towards the end, where most series of this caliber tend to build up to a strong climax and then fizzle out in the denouement so quickly you wonder what all the fuss was about). I will miss these crazy characters. I will read this series again. I will no doubt go see the movies when they are inevitability made (Winter will be split into at least two). But I will not stay up all night obsessing about this final volume in the series. I will simply return it to the library and add it to my Black Friday shopping wish list.