Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer (@jessicadhaluska)

Posted November 18, 2015 by Jessica in Jessica, Reviews, Science Fiction, Young Adult / 16 Comments

Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer (@jessicadhaluska)
Winter by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Published on: November 10 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 833
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
One Star
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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?

YA-Romance scifi !#@ horrific hotmess twisted

I’ve been a champion of THE LUNAR CHRONICLES for years now. I saw CINDER featured for months and months on Fantastic Fiction (b/c before I started using Goodreads), and I was simultaneously intrigued and horrified by the concept of a sci-fi YA retelling of a fairy tale. Honestly, I don’t remember what finally convinced me to pick it up. I was just glad I did.

Now I’m not so sure. The first two books were fantastic, and while I wasn’t quite as fond of the third, it wasn’t awful.


After finishing WINTER, I added two new bookshelves—a record—to my Goodreads collection:

1. you-should-be-ashamed-of-yourself
2. are-you-effing-kidding-me


For a multitude of reasons.

And for the second time this year (though for very different reasons), this will be a two-part review—a nonspoilery review first, followed by a spoiler-tagged RANT.

I hate WINTER, Part I:

1. Unexplained plot threads.

Threads. As in plural. I can only talk about one here, but there are many more, and two of them are HUGE.

Meyer got away without having to focus on the romantic evolution of most of her MC couples in WINTER. Cinder and Kai have been around since book 1. Scarlet and Wolf, almost as long, plus Wolf’s animal instincts make it believable. Winter and Jacin, b/c they’ve loved each other FOREVER.

Cress and Thorne? Not so much.

Cress has very real, very legitimate issues with Thorne and his incorrigible need to flirt with any and all present females, and Thorne is a life-long womanizer. But these obstacles never get directly addressed. We’re just supposed to accept that Cress is “different” and Thorne really has changed, without any concrete evidence to support those claims.

Call me cynical, but I’d learned that lesson by the time I was twenty.

2. Winter and Jacin feel like guests in their own story.

I didn’t go back and do the math, but I’d guess that only 5 – 10% of this monster was spent on Winter and Jacin as a couple. I’ll grant you that the time spent on their coupleness was fantastic. I’ll even say that it was as fantastic as the stuff we saw with Scarlet and Wolf (my personal favorite couple).


These moments were so few and far between that they were completely overwhelmed by ALL THE OTHER THINGS.

In the end, I was convinced their love was real. I just didn’t care.


There was entirely too much happening in this book. I don’t know if Meyer couldn’t maintain the quality of writing we’ve become accustomed to, or if she was frazzled from trying to fit everything in, but WINTER was choked with clumsily handled side plots.

Parts of the story evolution are so lazy, it’s almost like Meyer expected the leftover adrenaline from all the BAD THINGS—the one area where she continued to excel (unexpectedly dropping truly horrible obstacles on our MCs)—to carry us right over the discrepancies (that I’ll discuss in spoiler-tagged section).

And for a lot of people that probably worked.


Not me. B/c OCD detail-orientedness.

4. EXTREME repetition for added shock factor.

I almost DNF-ed this book. I was 80% into it, but I did not care, I was ready to take all 800+ pages to the shooting range and use it for target practice.


B/c I was so over Lunars taking control of 1/2 of our MC couples and making them try to kill the other half.

YES. I get it. Lunars SUCK. They will steal your free will and make you do really bad stuff. LIKE KILL YOUR FRIENDS or your ONE TRUE LOVE.


ALSO, death was constantly imminent. Someone(s) would get captured, execution would be inevitable, HA HA, just kidding! Escape, wheeeeeeee!

Over and over and OVER again.


5. How the end played out (and this is my NUMERO UNO problem, FYI):

This isn’t really a spoiler, but if you’re one of those readers who wants to go into a book completely blind, I’d skip this part. Actually, if you’re one of those types of readers, I’d avoid reviews entirely.

Anyway, Levana is pure evil. We know this. We’ve known this for a looooooong time. She has done so many horrible, shocking, despicable things, and she is CRAZY.

She has to die. The end.

The question is how to do it? How do we take down this master of bioelectricity manipulation?

The possibilities are endless.

So imagine my surprise and OUTRAGE when a huge part of that plan involves revealing to the world what Levana looks like underneath that veil.

I call:


And I’m furious all over again.

I’m furious b/c I HATE Levana, and I’m furious that I have to be outraged on her behalf. I’m furious b/c what in the effing hell is the point of having a cyborg mechanic for a princess, if you’re going to have her go all Mean Girl on the crazy chick?

B/c Levana is a rabid dog.

You don’t kick a rabid dog. You don’t jeer and laugh at it b/c UGLY. You put it out of it’s misery. The-effing-end.

And that’s it for the first portion of of my review. I can’t adequately communicate how disappointing WINTER by Marissa Meyer is without spoilers, but I hope you at least get the gist. This is the worst last book in a previously beloved series I have ever encountered. I did not know it was possible to be this underwhelmed, this unhappily surprised, this ANGRY about a book from an author whose past work had been stellar. I’m undecided about whether or not the early installments warrant an overall recommendation. Your call. Ugh.

Lunar Chronicles:

My Review

My Review

My Review

My Review

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Jessica Signature

I hate WINTER, Part II:

NOT kidding, there are spoilers EVERYWHERE in there. DO NOT click unless you’ve already read the book, or have no intentions of ever doing so. View Spoiler »

One Star

My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.



16 responses to “Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer (@jessicadhaluska)

  1. Okay I am a a little worried, I heard that Cress wasn’t that great and so I haven’t gotten to it yet and now it sounds like Winter is horrid and it is so much longer than the others..I am torn on whether I even want to finish this series….lol. To bad it was a flop for you.
    Stormi recently posted…Review of Death Before Decaf

  2. Mogsy from BiblioSanctum  

    2. Winter and Jacin feel like guests in their own story

    Very sorry to hear you didn’t like it and some of the points you made make me think I’ll be disappointed too, but the one I quoted above is something I definitely saw coming. There was this effect even in the last book; I honestly didn’t feel like Cress got to be the heroine much in her own book, simply because we also had to focus on Cinder and Scarlet. It’s really just this compounding effect in each subsequent book as the characters from the previous installments overwhelm the new ones.
    Mogsy recently posted…#RRSciFiMonth: Getting Our SciFi Game on With Brianna Shrum and Kristi Charish

  3. I just finished Winter. Unfortunately, I completely agree with you! It’s like Meyer got lazy. I was so angry about the whole Wolf part! I didn’t even notice all of the plot holes you did (I didn’t remember Cress that well) But there were so many of them! Plus I kept waiting for someone to be kidnapped/ separated next! It was getting a bit ridiculous! I’d like to add one plot hole. Levana uses the virus on Cress, then she leaves her research lab unlocked and practically unguarded?! Ugh! So. Much. Disappointment! I also agree about Levana’s scars. I’m over the she’s evil because she’s ugly. (Plus with all their technology, you’re telling me they couldn’t help the Queen’s scars?)
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Dragon Coast By Greg Van Eekhout