I have really enjoyed this series. It grounds itself in familiar fairy tales and then reaches into new territory that is terrifying, political, and romantic. In Winter, we take a closer look into the inner workings of Luna, and learn about the almost Hunger Games-like set up of the moon (sans actual Hunger Games). We have the central city (a la the Capital) and outer sectors that do different things like mining, farming, lumber, etc (i.e. districts).
The aristocrats that live in Artemisia dress really weird and use their powers/glamours to be as beautiful and stylish as possible, while the people in the outer sectors struggle to get by and are forced to watch propaganda-ish videos every day projected in by the queen. Now that I’m writing it down, it sounds exactly like the Hunger Games societal makeup, right down to the trains and tunnel systems that connect the sectors/districts. Hmmm…weird.
The setting is interesting and compelling, but the story lost me on this book. They have captured the Emperor, everyone is paired off and loves each other, Wolf is still mourning the kidnapping of Scarlet (who is being held in Winter’s menagerie on Luna), and Thorne and Cress have this “will they or won’t they” vibe that is obviously going to result in “will they.” So we have all the love stories going on, and at the same time we have Cinder trying to get to Luna to start an uprising now that she understands that she is the long lost Princess Selene that Queen Levana tried to have killed years ago. They get onto Luna hidden in the Emperor’s ship because the wedding has been moved there.
If that paragraph is confusing and muddled, you get how reading the book felt. You’re keeping track of the love stories, the political stories, the past, the present, the new culture on Luna – all while holding your breath to see if Cinder can pull it all off. The best part of this book is the conclusion. I could see how some might see it as anti-climactic, but I would let you know that it happens in a very realistic way.
The ending scenes are rather gruesome, and I appreciate that Meyer wrote the riot and war scenes without holding back. The realism of how an uprising like this might actually take place, and the consequences involved really pump up the suspense and should spark conversations with young people about dictatorships and society in general. It’s basically the Hunger Games uprising on the moon, so if you liked Mockingjay you’ll like this book.
This wasn’t the best book of the four, but you have to read it to get to the intense, amazing, suddenly kind of half-satisfying ending, so go get you some.