Winter by Marissa Meyer

WinterWhoo, I finished Winter, Book Four of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer!  After a somewhat slow start, I sped through the last two thirds and I’m not a person that can sit in place for long periods of time.   It’s definitely a thriller, hard to put down.   All of the series are retold fairy tales and this on is based on Snow White,  Levana is like the evil, vain and hideous stepmother and her stepdaughter, the beautiful Winter.  Winter is fragile; she has Lunar sickness because she resists using her Lunar gift to control people’s minds.  She realizes what the effects doing so are.  Just like she refuses to use glamour the scars on her face which Levana made her inflict on herself.  Because of that she has nightmares, believes the walls to be bleeding and ceaselessly puts her childhood friend and loyal guard, Jacin, in danger.
 Cress, the third book in the series, ended with Emperor Kai being kidnapped on what was to be his wedding day.  He had agreed against his better judgement to marry Queen Levana in order to obtain the antidote to Letumosis, a type of plague, that was spreading to the Earth’s inhabitants.  Cinder knows better though, and along with the  sarcastic and egotistical criminal, Captain Thorne, kidnaps Kai and takes him on board the stolen airship, Rampion.  As Kai and the crew learn of Lunar attacks on his palace, he becomes determined to return to Earth to do his job.  There he sets up a plan to travel to Luna for the wedding, convincing the queen that it would be impossible to interfere.  Soon Kai and his chief advisor, Konn Torin, are back onboard the Rampion along with Cinder, Thorne, Cress, Wolf, and the lovable and sarcastic Iko,  and headed to Luna where Wolf hopes to rescue  Scarlet and all hope to put Cinder on the throne that rightly belongs to her.
Luna turns out to be very similar to the world of The Hunger Games, with various sectors kept apart to prevent rebellions and each having different industries or agriculture that feed supply the capitol, Artemisia, with its indulgent upperclass.  The wealthy even dress ridiculously, as they do in The Hunger Games.
I’d forgotten lots of details from the earlier stories, but without Meyer doing awkward replays, I was able to recollect who Cinder’s friends were and their own stories. But this book would be impossible to figure out without having read the first three. There are many twists and turns, as well as a few overly convenient meet-ups.  I really liked the way the short chapters change between recounting the events as they unfold for the main characters.  This becomes even more stunning as the events move toward crises.  As in the earlier books, all of the characters, cyborgs, androids, some of Levanna’s guards and Earthens have such human characteristics: fear,  doubt, senses of humor, sarcasm, loyalty and love.