Friday, November 27, 2015


by Marissa Meyer

Story summary: A retelling of Snow White, where the seven dwarfs are space outlaws, the evil queen is a mind-controlling ruler of the Moon, and everything is awesomely science fantasy.
Sequel to Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress.

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • Such great characters, especially the mentally unbalanced title character.
  • Revolution and romance; cyborgs, hackers, and princesses; battles and plagues and kisses and last-minute rescues.
  • The last book in one of the more surprisingly entertaining series I've read in the last few years.

And Why You Might Not:
  • There are too many points-of-view for one book, and it changes between them too quickly, making the book a little scattered.
  • I think partly because of this, some of the relationships aren't given the depth and focus they deserve to be interesting.

Thoughts: I'm not completely sure what I think of this book. I think I might need some time and re-reads to let it fully sink it. I certainly had immense amounts of fun reading through it, and it was one of those compulsive reading experiences that doesn't let me go to bed till the wee hours of the morning. And yet... I haven't yet re-read any of it, which is unusual for this sort of book and this series. Normally I'd go right back to the beginning as soon as I'd finished and find all my favourite bits and re-read them.

I think the primary issue is simply the huge cast of viewpoint characters and the quick turn-around in chapter points of view. Thus even when the great little "moments" between characters came along, they didn't have the build-up they deserved. It means there was nothing for me to grab hold of and treasure and re-read, which is primarily what I'm looking for in a book like this.

On the other hand:
--Winter was a great addition to an already awesome set of heroines. The distinctiveness of the heroines is one of the best part of this series, and Winter is certainly distinct. How often do you get an actually mentally ill heroine?
--I really enjoyed her and Jacin's relationship as well. Different yet again from the previous relationships.
--Carswell Thorne was in this book, which makes any book better by a large percentage.
--And Thorne and Cress together is the cutest.
--I actually quite liked Scarlet for the first time! The fact that she and Wolf already had things pretty much figured out by this point made it easier for me to enjoy her personality without the romance bothering me.
--The cast as a whole is just... so great. What I really want is their continued adventures all together and not split up as they were here; and they can explore Earth and space and the Moon and figure out how to rule kingdoms and squabble amongst themselves. But even if I don't have that, their interactions between each other are still so fun.
To show you how fun they are, I'm going to display the best fanart I've seen. (Personally, that always gets me really interested in characters.)

(Found here, artist is lostie815. This is pretty much exactly how I imagined most of the characters, which is pretty cool. Go onto lostie815's deviant art account to see her gorgeous versions of Winter, Jacin, and Iko.)

But even with all these great things, the lack of focus still lessened all of them for me a bit. I wanted Winter and Jacin to have a solid story line, with plenty of great moments between them. There definitely were some, but they could get a little lost amidst everything else going on, which seemed unfair compared to other couples in their respective books. Thorne had some great moments, but not nearly as many as in the other two books he appeared in. I think Thorne/Cress is probably my favourite ship still, but it wasn't resolved with much growth by the characters. Mostly just some jealousy and a bunch of kissing.

So in the end, I think I could say I was actually a little disappointed. Though considering the sheer amount of things Meyer had to resolve, that's not too surprising. I'm not sure how else she could have handled this book, frankly, without leaving a whole lot of characters in the dust. And it was still loads of fun. The series as a whole is definitely in the running for the most surprisingly entertaining books of the year, if not the last few years.

Grade: 3 1/2 stars

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