Monday, 4 December 2017

Winter

Winter

by Marissa Meyer

3 out of 5

Synopsis
Don't miss the thrilling fourth chapter of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series.

Princess Winter is admired for her grace, kindness and beauty, despite the scars on her face. She's said to be even more breath-taking than her stepmother, Queen Levana....

When Winter develops feelings for the handsome palace guard, Jacin, she fears the evil Queen will crush their romance before it has a chance to begin.

But there are stirrings against the Queen across the land. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder and her allies, Winter might even find the power to launch a revolution and win a war that's been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter claim their happily ever afters by defeating Levana once and for all?



Review
While Cinder prepares for a revolution on Lunar, she will have an unlikely new ally in her cousin. Winter, the beloved princess that has allowed herself to be driven crazy, rather than use her lunar gift.

One word review: long-winded. (I will leave it to you to argue whether hyphenated words count as one or two words...)

I got this as an audiobook, and it's the longest book I've tackled, possibly ever. At 827 pages, and ninety-odd chapters, it is a beast.
Unfortunately, for me, many of those chapters dragged and it was an effort to keep going, rather than a delight in having so much Lunar Chronicles to wrap up in.
It could have done without the first two-thirds. And without the last tenth or so.

Yeah, the first half to two-thirds just plain annoyed me. I ended up on the verge of disliking our main character Cinder. Which is such a shame, because I absolutely loved her story in the first couple of books.
Basically, a huge chunk of the book breaks down into sections where Winter is acting crazy - Lunars who don't use their gift get driven to insanity by it. She's smarter than she seems, and did grow on me throughout the book.
And then you have Cinder and the grand revolution...

Two things that really wound me up about Cinder's part of this story:
1) She keeps losing members of her crew, because they have decided to heroically sacrifice themselves, or Levana and her cronies manage to catch them. Cinder follows in the footsteps of Jack Sparrow and Jeremy Clarkson in the sense that "any man that falls behind, gets left behind".
They make no effort to rescue Scarlet, or Cress, or Wolf; or try to find out if they're even still alive.
They carry on, showing a little bit of stress at their "friends" disappearance, but doing bugger all to solve the situation.

2) Which leads onto the second thing: they spend a lot of time doing bugger all.
When their plans for stirring up a revolution comes off the rails almost immediately, because it involves Cress and (mild spoiler), they get split up early on.
So Cinder and co. head out to find relative safety, and spend days hiding, doing nothing, hoping something will go in their favour.
You know, all that wasted time, they could have been contacting the outlying sectors, sourcing allies, making plans.
Luckily for Cinder, Cress manages to play the video that announces Cinder's return, and that she will be marching on the palace on the day of the coronation.

*sigh*
Other than that, there are a few minor niggles.
It gets very repetitive, as various members of the main cast are taken over by Lunar mind control, and try to kill their friends. Various members are in peril, but they escape death just in time; or their deaths are put off for some ludicrous reason.
It kinda reminded me of James Bond or Doctor Evil, with a very convoluted way of killing our main characters, and assuming that they are dead.

Overall, it was an OK story. I did enjoy parts of it, and I was happy to complete the Lunar Chronicles.

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