Friday, November 13, 2015

Title: Winter
Author: Marissa Meyer
Narrator(s): Rebecca Soler
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, book #4
Length: 23 hrs 30 mins
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: November 10, 2015
Source: purchased hardcover for shelf and audiobook for immediate immersion =)
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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?

So, yeah, that was me on Tuesday, upon waking and realizing it was Winter release day. I had pre-ordered a hardcover, but I'm an impatient person -- I mean, really impatient -- and I wanted to avoid anyone spoiling it for me, so I immediately downloaded the audiobook. I had no idea how long this book was expected to be, so when I saw that the audio was 23 1/2 hours long, I did a double-take. But it makes sense with all the loose ends and character arcs the author had left to tie up.

I'm not going to go into the story because if you've made it to this point, you know what's at stake. You know Levana is batshit. You know what sacrifices Cinder and company are willing to make to bring her reign of terror to an end. And you know who you ship and where your OTPs stand. I pretty much stand by what I said in my review of the Cress audio and so I'll just put this here:
Sooo worth it to hear Rebecca Soler bring these characters to life again. I don't think I'd like these books half as much if it weren't for her narration. That's a lie. I'd still love them, but it just wouldn't be as much fun because I wouldn't make Cinder sound as feisty in my head, Kai wouldn't seem nearly as regal, Scarlet wouldn't have that slight French accent, and Thorne, well, okay, Captain Carswell Thorne will always be that swoonworthy rogue. But you get the picture. Some audiobooks are just books that are being read to you via some unknown narrator, but the Lunar Chronicles on audio is like having a movie going inside your head. It's impossible not to put yourself in the story, to imagine everything as it's happening and hope for the best right along with the rest of the crew. Rebecca Soler's narration of this series is pure magic, and even if I were to get an advance copy of Winter -- assuming they will exist -- I'd still probably opt for the audio version because it's just. So. Much. Fun.

No matter how much I started off enjoying this series, I'm constantly surprised by it. Each book just gets progressively better, introducing new characters and new villains and new romances. And somehow, no one ever gets left out or sidelined in order to concentrate on a different story arc. No matter who the leading lady is in each book, the others are not forgotten. I follow the author's blog and Twitter and I know how crazy-organized she is and has to be in order to keep all of these storylines in check, so I can imagine how easy it might be to let a character fall by the wayside. But Meyer never does, and you seriously have to applaud what a masterful storyteller she is.

And I love seeing how everyone's story is coming together, how everyone fits into this giant picture Meyer undoubtedly has in her head. Her reimagining of some of my favorite childhood fairy tales is beautifully done, and I love how the author has woven bits of science and fantasy into her stories to create something fresh and vibrant and completely her own.

In this installment, it's Snow White's turn in the spotlight, with Winter as the damsel in distress, living with her deranged stepmother on Luna, within her own hero's grasp and yet so far out of his reach. It is so funny to me that while reading, I get so caught up in the story that I don't remember it's a retelling until one of the elements in the original story comes to pass, and then I'm like OMG YAAASSS!!!

I loved Meyer's take on Snow White, but I don't know that I could say I loved it more than any of the other heroines' arcs...because I love them all equally, obsessively, and completely. Don't ask me to pick a favorite because I absolutely CANNOT and WILL NOT and SHOULD NEVER be forced to do such a thing.

I will say that I appreciate the author's efforts to make her characters so dynamic and diverse, most obviously in Winter. You've got mental instability, bi-racial coupling, interplanetary-coupling...there's something for everyone and everyone for someone. Those ships...MY GAWD.

The swoons and kissing scenes in this book are pretty epic. I liked to pretend that I didn't hear it the first time and go back and listen again. And again. To the point that someone would see me blushing and ask what I was listening to and I'd finally have to move on. =)

  • Winter and Jacin are adorable. But they let that whole class thing get in their way for far too long. Winter is whimsical and Jacin is resolute, and they're kind of perfect for each other.
  • Cress and Thorne are yin and yang. She's innocent to the world and he's taken advantage of all it has to offer. I'd ship Thorne with just about anyone, though, as long as I got to hear his quips. I shipped him with Cinder at first because their banter was ah-mazing.
  • Scarlet and Wolf are my OTP. They just...the bond, the love, the strength there...THAT IS LIFE. Even after everything they've been through and suffered, they still have the strongest relationship of all.
  • Cinder and Kai are...they're the bones of the story. Without them, everything else falls apart. And together, they are a rock.
Obvs, I could have used more kissing. ALWAYS MORE KISSING. And I would really have liked to see a bromance develop between Kai and Thorne. I saw something there at one point, and I didn't want it to end. Maybe we'll see more of it in Stars Above? Maybe more kissing, too, yes?

I don't know if it was because I was listening or the pacing just really picked up in the second half, but it flew by. Like, I may need a re-listen very soon so I can parse some things out. (Or, I guess, I could just revert to my hardcover.) It was just so jam-packed with ALL THE THINGS HAPPENING and the mind-melds and manipulations and it was like who's doing WHAT? And NO, DON'T DO THAT...STAAAAAAHPPP!!! For a minute there, I thought I might never recover.

And then I went to my happy place and this is basically all I remember:

Worth it, though. SO. WORTH. IT. This is one of my absolute favorite series, and I've listened to all of the books on audio and I REGRET NOTHING. Every character, every story line, every single minute spent with these books has been amazing. Marissa Meyer is on my auto-buy list, and if she's not on yours yet, then you probably haven't read one of her books because if you had, you'd be hooked. I just loved these books so much. I could re-read them again right now. And I just might because I seriously don't know what to do with all these feels!

About the author:

Marissa Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and three cats. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, color-coordinating her bookshelf . . .), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was given a small book of them when she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg. Cinder is her first novel.

Find Marissa:

Website | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads | Pinterest

Previous posts in this feature:

Of Metal and Wishes
The Kiss of Deception
Between the Spark and the Burn
Blue Lily, Lily Blue
This Shattered World
A Court of Thorns and Roses
The Heart of Betrayal
Of Dreams and Rust


  1. AAACKKK my pre-order isn't even dispatched yet. *cries a thousand tears*

  2. omg omg it's not really OUT? Ahhhh!!! lucky you
    Penny For My Thoughts

  3. I just read this and HOLY CRAP!!! I preordered the Kindle version and started reading it on release day. It is a massive 800 pages, but I would not change a single one. I LOVED Cress and Thorne. The kissing was pretty epic between all the couples. OMG, I CANNOT BELIEVE IT IS OVER!!!! I freaking love this series!!


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