This rather silly but fun young adult series did a great job at distracting me during a difficult time last year. My car was stolen and my boyfriend purchased several books from Sam’s Club to keep me from panicking. Cinder, the first of the Lunar Chronicles was one and I found myself shockingly drawn into the series. An Asian cyborg Cinderella who turns out (SPOILER) to be Princess of the Moon with psychic powers (like everyone on the moon has of course)? BONKERS but totally enjoyable. I quickly went out and purchased the following two books that were out at the time and consumed them quickly. Scarlet and Cress were both also off the wall crazy as space sci fi fairytales should be but still enjoyable.
Spoilers for the last three novels up ahead!
But now we get to Winter, the fourth and final installment of the series. This is the weakest of the series in my opinion and frankly kind of falls apart. I think it ends up getting bogged down by far too many characters and far too many completely heteronormative pairings. There is not a single man or woman introduced who does not serve as a love interest to the last man or woman introduced. Everyone in this space ship is paired up and somehow in all of space are ‘perfect matches’.
Winter, focuses on the same named Princess of Luna, who has gone mad from not using her psychic powers. However, don’t let her childlike demeanor and inability to tell reality apart from hallucinations trick you into thinking she is not going to have a love interest or maybe not be trusted with huge amounts of responsibility just because people think she is charming and pretty. The book of course also focuses on the adventures of our other characters and pairings each introduced in previous books. This is where it starts to get fairly lopsided as characters do different things, you hear about them for several chapters and then switch POVs and don’t hear from them for a long time. This might work for GRRM but it doesn’t really work for a lot of authors and here I think the book suffers for it.
Winter had none of the darkness of fairy tales and honestly, that’s why I don’t like the show Once Upon a Time so it made this book less than its predecessors.
And here I will get into Spoilers for Winter itself so DO NOT READ if you don’t want to get spoiled for the book:
I feel like Cinder was so successful (with me) as well as Scarlet and Cress because they were not afraid to pull punches. Cinder works so hard to save her sister, who instead dies in her arms. Scarlet tries to save her grandmother, instead she watches her eaten to death. Cress’s love interest goes blind and she meets her long lost father only for him to get sick with a disease and die. These books, much like fairy tales themselves, had a rather dark element. Here? Its completely lost. The aforementioned love interest gets his sight back, any injury is repaired and fixed or healed, and while they literally lead a rebellion the only people to be lost are people we met in this book, and honestly didn’t have enough time to connect with in the first place. I feel bad for saying it but it would have been better if a main character had died. Actions seem to have no consequences and I ended up feeling let down at the end wondering if that really was it.
Well the rest of the series is a kind of bonkers fun, and it was still better than The Corrections so…..3 stars.