Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Length: 827 pages
Source: Library Audio Book
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?
Protagonists: So with the introduction of this book there are SO MANY POVS, so instead of giving you a crazy run down I'll try to keep it short and sweet! First we have our ever resilient heroine Cinder, who has accepted who she is and is ready to not only begin a revolution but take her rightful place as Queen of Luna. Cinder is an amazing character, given the tragedies in her past she pushes forward to stop the injustices Levana has done to not only the people of Luna, but the people of Earth as well. Next have Winter, I loved Winter so much, She's a bit crazy from Lunar Sickness, not using her Lunar gift, but she's actually a lot sharper than she lets on. She doesn't let her mental illness stop her from doing good and helping others when she can. The rest of the protagonists are also still amazing, I love how diverse and different they are and how fleshed out and complex they either have become or become over the course of this book.
Romances: So there are a lot of romances in this book, and it took me until this book to really realize how undeveloped a lot of these romances really are. Unlike other YA novels each main romance wasn't solidified in one book where the characters are all dreaming about their futures by the very end of the book and have solid stable romances. In fact at the beginning of this book nobody is really quite sure where they stand with their love interests, except maybe Cinder and Kai, but there's that whole Levana engagement in their way so I count that too. Over the course of this book though there are great romantic scenes with each couple that strengthen their bonds without overshadowing the main story line.
World-Building: In this book we get our first real look at Luna, kind of, if you've read Fairest you also get a look at it there too, but there's a broad look at everything here as well. This book is all about Cinder's planned rebellion and bringing the fight with Levana to a head. This book is also, like the others, a fairy tale retelling. Even knowing that for some reason I didn't expect this book to be so on the nose with it's retelling of Snow White, I mean there aren't really seven dwarfs but still, I expected it to be more vague even symbolic in places, but I really enjoyed all the little Snow White plot points mixed with the main story and the sci-fi twists given to this classic tale.
Predictability: So I have to say I thought I knew what I was in for with this book, I knew there'd be some twists her and there maybe, but I was truly surprised with how many crazy and at times stressful twists there were. I have to say though I was disappointing by how one twist involving Wolf turned out. It was initially very tense and it felt like it was ramping up into something huge but kind of resolved itself before then. That being said though there were many times throughout this book that I was kind of in the dark about how things would turn out other than happily ever after... maybe.
Ending: So this book has a very large final confrontation, split up into stages. There is a final battle, but the real final climax involved members of our core group and Levana, I actually liked how it was handled, it was a very stressful climax and I wasn't quite sure how or if anyone would come out of it unscathed. There is a very long cooldown period after the climax, mainly because there are a lot of characters' story lines to wrap up. I didn't mind the long ending because I liked seeing how things turned out after the battle. I do have to say though it only felt really long when it came to the last section of the last chapter, I felt like the characters involved were tiptoeing around their words and being needlessly vague whereas an upfront conversation would have been much smoother. Did everything tie up neatly, not exactly and the ending isn't overly idealistic, but I will say that even though I do hope Meyer will write more sci-fi fairy tales set in this world, I don't have too many lingering questions.
So I thought long and hard about this and while I loved this book and how it ended, and I'm sad to see this series that I love so much go, I was a bit disappointed with a few things so I can't quite give it five stars, nonetheless it's still a fantastic end to this epic series.