Winter, by Marissa Meyer

I love Sailor Moon fanfiction and I love retold fairytales. You'd think combining the two would be an automatic win for me, but Marissa Meyer's best-selling Lunar Chronicles series proves that there's no such thing as a surefire bet.

The final Lunar Chronicles book—Winter—continues Meyer's streak of blending Sailor Moon-inspired fantasy/sci-fi, romance, and classic fairytales. At this point in the series, her trio of heroines (inspired by Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel) have joined forces in an effort to defeat Levana, the evil, mind-warping space queen on the fast track to conquering Earth. This installment, therefore, has to cover a lot of ground, including:
A) Introducing a new, Snow White-inspired heroine (and making her love interest seem like less of a tool than he has appeared to be in previous installments),

B) Resolving the previous heroines' many problems (and those of their love interests), and

C) Providing a satisfying conclusion for the extremely convoluted action/mystery/science fiction plotline that has taken three lengthy novels to fully set up.
It's a tall order, and it explains why Winter is 822 pages long and costs a whopping $22.99. Brace yourself; you'll need to set aside a far bit of both time and money to wade through it.

Meyer is a competent, painstaking writer, but Winter is too long, too clunky, and lacks emotional punch. Much like the final Harry Potter book, you could see how much work the author put into organization (“In Chapter X, I need to advance Storyline B to Point M...”), and the end result is overworked and dry. I'm not sure what needed to improve—maybe cutting the series down by one book? But which one?—but I wish someone had insisted on some hardcore editing, because Meyer's once-promising series ends up sagging under its own weight.
Posted by: Julianka


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