10/5 Stars, let's be honest. This is a spoiler-free review.
I don't think I've ever been as satisfied with the ending of a book series as I am with The Lunar Chronicles. Everything about this massive, action filled, amazing book just leaves me feeling so pleased that it ended the way that it did. I want nothing more than to wrap myself up in this series and fall in love all over again.
I think I'm still crying happy tears.
For one, the characters just mean everything in the world to me. Since the very beginning, Cinder, Iko and Kai had my heart and that hasn't changed throughout the thousands of pages of their story that I've gotten to experience, but with every new character that was introduced along the way, I think I fell more and more in love with them because it allowed them to develop and expand as people. Introducing Throne and Scarlet and Wolf and Cress and Winter and Jacin helped develop these 'main' characters' personalities, alliances and most importantly, their feelings towards each other, and that's what makes storytelling amazing. Not only did these 'supporting' characters help make the main storyline so rich and vibrant, but they also had their own incredible stories behind them, and each one had their time in the spotlight to showcase their motives and reasons for tumbling their way into Cinder's life, which is really incredible to me.
The second thing though is the storyline. Every single page of Winter had something new to discover, something new to explore, and just when I thought I was getting to the point of immense action that would result in a winding down of the story (which happened so many times that it's not even funny), there was something new thrown into the mix that left me hanging on for more. Every single thing about this book just had me desperate to find time in my hectic life to read more of it so I could find out what was happening with Cinder's revolution, what these characters were dealing with, and ultimately what was going to happen between Levana and Kai. Even once the main action happened and the happily ever after seemed to creep up from the aftermath of the climax, I still found myself clinging desperately to the book, determined to find out what would happen next. There were no lulls, nothing that made me want to put the book down and leave it for a few days or weeks until I found myself thinking maybe now I should finally keep reading that darn book. Everything flowed so nicely that I actually have to stop and think about how many hours I've dedicated to awkward reading positions so I could get just a few pages further in this amazing novel.
Now I'll admit, characters and storylines are what hook me in and leave me attached to a novel, but the one other thing that really solidified my love for Winter, but the entire series overall, was the writing style. Marissa Meyer just knows how to write an amazing novel without putting too much flourish into the writing or making it feel too choppy. The flow of the words is just enough to keep you hooked into the storyline but also is well put together so that you don't find yourself turned off by the writing style. As someone who can be a bit nitpicky about the way a book is written, I can honestly admit that I appreciate this just as much as the concept and characterisation of a novel.
There's so much more I could say to rave about Winter, but honestly, I think I can sum it up with this. The past couple of days have been really rough for me, and reading this book has given me the biggest sense of Okay that I've had in a long time. Today in particular, I've wanted to just curl back up in bed and flip off the world because it's dealt me a pretty rough hand, but instead I curled up in a not-so-comfortable chair and let myself have that little bit of time I needed to finish reading this novel, and I can honestly say that even though there's so much crap going on in my world, I don't feel stressed or upset or anything along those lines, because this book has soothed me, and honestly, that's a sign of a book that's going to stick with you for life.
Anyway, the moral of the book review is this: Is it too soon to start rereading this series because I just might have to, as I doubt many books are going to be able to compare to this.