Warning: There are spoilers in this review. Please do not read further if you have not read this book.
Winter is the disappointing final installment of the promising Lunar Chronicles. Coming in at over 800 pages, I thought that this was going to be an epic conclusion. Sadly, I found it to be uninspired and far too repetitive.
Cress was my favorite of this series. In it, Meyer is at her best. Her fairy tale re-telling of Rapunzel was brilliant. She took the elements of the classic tale and gave it a science fiction twist. There’s adventure, danger and an inspiring heroine.
Winter reaches for that mix with the re-telling of Snow White, but it never makes it.
I started going through the stages of mourning with the ending of this series.
First, I was in denial. This couldn’t be the last of it. That’s not how the story ends… it can’t be!
Then, I was angry. These were characters I cared about. They deserved inventive and unique endings and not necessarily all perfectly happy ones wrapped in a bow. I know this isn’t a popular opinion but, sometimes there isn’t a happily ever after. Every single one of the protagonists ends up together. How predictable and trite.
On to bargaining. I thought that maybe if I waited to write my review, that I’d like it more. Perhaps time passing would blunt the edges of my disappointment. Perhaps I needed to accept that this book was written for the young adult audience and look at it from that point of view.
Then depression. So many readers loved this series, maybe my opinion was just wrong. Maybe I wouldn’t know what a good story was if it punched me in the face. Maybe I disliked this series just to be contrary to popular opinion.
Finally, acceptance. I did not like Winter. I didn’t like its emphasis on physical appearance and connecting that to internal characteristics. How many times did we have to hear how ugly Levana was under her glamour? And don’t we find out in this book that it wasn’t her fault? That she was physically abused and then taunted because of her appearance? So, yeah, let’s talk more about how repulsive she is.
I didn’t like how the worst thing that Meyer could think to write of her antagonists was “He/she was INSANE.” We get it.
I didn’t like how the characters would turn to each other and talk through obvious motivations. Do you think she/he did that/this because she knows we’re coming/going/trying to escape? Yeah, I do! Now stop talking and go face your destiny. We could have saved almost 200 pages if the characters would have acted instead of talked endlessly about acting.
And Iko’s happy ending was that she got a bunch of dresses and color-changing eyes? That was the final straw for me. She was my favorite character and she deserved an ending that matched her unflagging spirit, loyalty and optimism.
I listened to this entire series on audiobook. Was it worth the hours of my time? I guess that depends on what which book we’re talking about. If this series had ended on a book the quality of Cress, this would be a very different review.
My apologies if this is your favorite series. No book appeals to every reader. Winter just wasn’t for me.
Thanks for reading!