- Author: Marissa Meyer
- Genre: YA Sci-Fi
- Publication Date: November 10, 2015
- Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
- Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4
TRIGGER WARNING: hallucinations, torture, death of an animal, violence, gore
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?
Levana must be stopped. Clearly. But no one seems to be able to do that, right?
Enter Cinder and her crew. Somehow it falls to them to save the world. They’ve kidnapped Kai to stop the wedding, but they have to come up with some kind of plan, and they still have to get Scarlet back.
And in keeping with tradition, this book adds in a new character, Winter (aka Snow White). She was introduced in book 3, but she’s now a major character, and I couldn’t help but love her … along with everyone else, apparently. Except for Levana. And speaking of which, I honestly thought that Adri was the stepmother from hell, but she’s got absolutely nothing on Levana.
Winter has willingly relinquished use of her Lunar gift, but it has serious repercussions. It’s known as Lunar sickness, and includes hallucinations and delusions. She still sticks to her decision to not use her powers, and instead focuses on keeping her mind busy and just reminding herself that the hallucinations aren’t real, even though that doesn’t always work.
“She’d started having the hallucinations when she was thirteen, a little more than a year after she’d made the decision to never again use her glamour, to never again manipulate someone’s thoughts or emotions, to never again fool herself into believing such an unnatural use of power could be harmless.”
While Earth isn’t a perfect place, Luna is infinitely more problematic. It’s ruled by a freakin’ tyrant, after all. The people in the outer sectors are treated horribly so that the people in Artemisia can live extravagantly:
“Light spilled from open doorways, music danced along the window ledges, and everywhere was the smell of food and the clink of glasses and shadows kissing and sighing in darkened alleyways.”
And she keeps her guards in line through a combination of mind control and threats to either themselves or their loved ones:
“Though she’d never made the threat aloud, Jacin had known from the beginning that Winter would be punished if he ever stepped out of line. His dream of being a doctor had stopped mattering a long time ago.”
Cinder and her allies are basically the only hope of saving Luna and Earth, and they aren’t very confident. They don’t even have a plan for most of the story!
“Though she always did her best to hide it, Cress knew Cinder wasn’t always as brave as she pretended. It was sort of comforting to think they might have this in common.”
Initially, the story moved a little slowly, but then it started picking up and moving faster, kind of like a snowball rolling down a mountain. As always, I love the spirit and camaraderie between the crew members. The humor and witty banter between the characters made me want to keep reading, and I couldn’t wait to see them take Levana down! There were so many plot twists that I had no idea what to expect, and I loved the way elements of the original fairy tales were preserved while twisting the stories into an entirely new concept at the same time.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 19
Categories: Book Review