Cartoons

Voltron: The Legendary Defender Season 2 is Beyond Amazing

When Voltron:  The Legendary Defender came out last year, I wasn’t expecting much.  I had watched the show as a kid, but all I remembered from it was cool space battles and a Princess character that I liked not for her character, but because she was the only female character in the show.  So I was surprised when I finished season 1, and got majorly obsessed with this version of the show.  Voltron:  The Legendary Defender is a prime example of a reboot done extremely well:  I wouldn’t even call it a reboot, because other than it being based on a pre-existing property, it’s completely different than any of its predecessors.  I knew a season 2 was happening, but wasn’t aware it was releasing this weekend until I saw someone mention it on Twitter, and went to look on Netflix and low and behold a miraculous season 2!  So as is my way, I binged the entire season in 3 days.

 

How does season 2 do at expanding the Legendary Defender Universe and story, you might ask?  Extremely well!

 

The end of season 1 was a major cliffhanger, that got resolved within the first two episodes.  I was really happy for that, because I was afraid that we were going to have to deal with a season long arc of the cliffhanger being resolved, but doing it in that short of an episode span allowed the show to expand not only it’s world building, but characters.  There were a few plot strings left open with Keith especially, and even though I knew how his plot was going to be resolved by the end of season 1 (it was extremely predictable) seeing how the characters bonded, and reacted to his plot twist was really great.  I loved how we got to see more of the universe, and the show artfully tackled the themes of blind prejudice, while at the same time giving the viewer so much new content to speculate about.  There are major plot reveals I don’t want to spoil that happened in the end, but those plot twists legit made me gasp while watching, they were so good!

 

Of course, being a Voltron show, the space battles were inevitable.  Once again, they didn’t disappoint!  The battles were excellently choreographed, and the audio description script to describe the battles didn’t leave anything out.  I have to say, all of the audio description on this show is so well done:  On some shows, there are big gaps when something too fast paced isn’t being described, or they just stop because you can deduce what’s happening.  On Voltron, the scripter knows when to not describe things, and when to describe things and it really keeps you engaged in the entirety of the show, instead of you checking out because of lack of description in bits.  Honestly, I think Voltron has the best audio description of any show I’ve watched on Netflix, it’s really, really well done.

 

Princess Allura in her casual clothing

And of course, I can’t leave out my girl Allura!  I freaking adore Allura so much.  What they turned her into is such a far leap from the old Voltron show, I can’t believe it.  She’s such a strong, capable leader, so fierce and so smart but she’s also this vulnerable woman who’s lost so much and she’s so multi-dimensional it’s perfection.  She gets her time to shine too, with some awesome character moments, and battle scenes that just had me going “Yeah goooo!!”.  The final three episodes, every main character pulled their weight, and every voice actor delivered stellar performances, it had me on the edge of my seat.  Just such good pacing, battle scenes, and emotional tension. Ugh, this show is just so good!

 

This is more of a speculation than a critique, and maybe minor spoilers?  But I have a feeling they’re planning to pair Allura with one of the paladins as a romantic couple, and although it wasn’t the pairing I wanted, I’m also not complaining that it’s happening.  They’ve been hinting at it since season 1, and honestly it’s developed to a point where they both have great chemistry.  I really enjoy the scenes they have together, like any scene with the two of them in it makes me go “Daaaaw”.  The final scene they had together in the season especially made me DAWWW, and if I had any doubts they were going to be paired together, that particular scene put them all to rest.  What I really like about this though, is that they’re giving their relationship time to grow.  They go through bouts of drama, but it’s understandable drama that’s caused because of another plot point in the series, and it makes perfect sense that it would put a rift between the two for a while.  After it’s resolved, you see their bond grow stronger, and their relationship overall is growing in a really well paced, really organic way that a relationship should grow and it’s such a breath of fresh air to see over the insta-love or over-dramatized relationships in other shows.

 

So yeah, if you haven’t noticed, I highly recommend watching Voltron:  The Legendary Defender if you haven’t already.  Season 1 lays great groundwork for the series, and season 2 builds upon the world, introducing new characters that add just as much to the show as the main cast does.  I’m trying to leave this review as spoiler-free as possible, but I love how a certain resistance group that was added to the series just flips all pre-conceptions of a certain organization on its head, and makes the characters re-think their world views.  It was a very mature move on the writers part to throw that into the series, and really made this second season even better than the first one.
Once again, season 2 ended on a major cliffhanger!  I have my fingers crossed that we’ll get another season in six months or so, because the first season of Voltron aired in June of last year.  Or, maybe we’ll luck out, and the next season will have more than 13 episodes?  A fangirl can dream!

 

Did you binge Voltron like me?  IF so, how did you like it?

Uncategorized

The Sunshine Blogger Award

sunshine-award

The sunshine blogger award is an award given to bloggers who inspire and bring sunshine into the lives of their readers/fellow bloggers.  Which, after reading that description I was like DAWWW because it’s super flattering, and this is also my first blog award, so woo!  I’m a sucker for questionnaires, so this is going to be super fun to fill out!

I was nominated by Weekend Otaku to do this award!  Check out his blog for some great reviews on anime that’ll get your brain thinking~  Thanks for nominating me to do this 😀

Anyone who I would nominate I’ve seen do this already, so I’m going to leave that part alone.

[Rules]:

Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.

Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write then 11 new questions.

List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

  1. What is your preferred hobby outside of anime/manga/tv and blogging?

I love to sing and write.  Not blog writing, but like short stories and fanfics and stuff.  I also like to produce radio dramas, and do amateur voice acting!  Though I do a lot more singing than I do voice acting on the web nowadays, but the first thing I did when I was fresh and new on the internet was hunt down amateur voice acting forums and made all of my friends there, and that was like ten years ago.  A decent amount of people from the forum I used to frequent are professional voice actors now, it’s super weird haha.  But TL;DR:  Singing and fiction writing~

I also love crafting, specifically making jewelry and baking/cooking (does that count as crafting?).  So basically, I like anything that you can be remotely creative with lol.

  1. Are there any blogging lessons you wish you knew before you started?

If you want to start a blog, just start a blog.  I wanted to start this one way before I started my other blog, but I got so hyper critical of what I would write and if anyone would read my posts and stuff like that.  OF course, have a general outline for what you want your blog to be, but if you’re really passionate about starting a blog, just start and iron out all of the kinks later.  Also just post a post, even if you think it’s not perfect!  The worst thing you can do to yourself, and your creative flow is over think.

  1. What got you into anime/manga in the first place?

Ok so, long story time!  The first anime I watched was Sailor Moon, but I didn’t know that show was an anime when I first started watching it.  When I was a kid, and still had enough vision to play video games visually, I would download a ton of Super Nintendo Roms (Don’t judge, I was like 12 and pirating wasn’t really known as a thing back then!).  One of the games I downloaded was a translated Magic Knight Rayearth RPG based on the manga, and I fell in love with it!  So I started looking up stuff about it, and found out it was an anime.  I told my Mom, and she hunted down the VHS tapes at our local Suncoast and we watched it together and my age is showing after mentioning Suncoast XDD

But yeah, watching MKR not only got me into anime full force, but made me want to get into voice acting after realizing that was a thing you could do!  And after that, My family would always go to Suncoast/Blockbuster and rent or buy any anime we could find.  My entire family was really into anime in the early 2000s, so watching things together will always be a really fond memory I have.  Plus, anytime I mention my Mom knows anime things, like what Gundam is I always get “Wow, your Mom is so cool!” which she is but I always like hearing it nevertheless lolol.  And that’s the rest of the storyyyyy~

  1. Is there any anime you feel you got into too late? Or that you wish you had seen at a younger age?

I went through a long phase of not watching any anime at all for about five to six years, so I guess that entire era of my life?  When I think about it though, probably Welcome to the NHK.  That one really helped me cope with a lot of issues I had and made me feel a bit more normal about having them.

  1. Name the anime/manga character you are most attached to

Aino Minako/Sailor Venus.  That girl is so fierce and hides it under a guise of ditzy bubbly blondness.  Pretty much my M.O. for life, so I adore her.

  1. You can stop the evil plot of one anime/manga villain. Who would you stop?

Uuuugh this one is so hard!  I want to cop out and just say a Sailor Moon villain, but when I think more closely, Ragyō Kiryūin from Kill La Kill.  Our clothing will not rule us, rawr!

  1. Flip the scenario: You get to be the sidekick to one anime hero. Who do you help?

Sailor V.  Stand aside, Artemis!

  1. Do you have many friends where you live who love anime?

I don’t have many friends in general, but everyone I am friends with likes anime so…yes?

  1. What is the first anime you would introduce to a child?

Azumanga Daioh.  Best humorous slice of life anime ever.

  1. Do you have any pets? If so, tell us about them.

Not anymore, but I used to have a dog named Yoshi!  He passed away four years ago and I haven’t really wanted to replace him T_T

  1. What do you want to improve most about yourself?

I’m not really shy when I know someone, but I have a horrible time approaching people to talk.  I always need someone there as a buffer to start a conversation for me when it’s irl, so I’d like to be able to talk to people a lot more easily.

Anime

Does Yuri on Ice Reach Its Full Potential? My Thoughts on the Last Few Episodes

The simudub for Yuri on Ice ended last week, and is the reason why I tend to wait until a series is over to watch the entire thing.  I enjoyed watching the show as it aired with the blogosphere and Twitter, but having to wait two weeks for a dubbed episode to air and be two episodes behind everyone was torture!  That being said, I’m not sure if being pre-exposed to all of the spoilers and commentary on the show effected my viewing of the last three episodes (I waited for all three to be released before finishing the series) but there just seemed to be something…missing from the series for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the series, and think the characters are amazing.  But I do think there were a few missed opportunities  by series end that we could have seen happen instead of some things that did happen.  Spoilers for Yuri on Ice below!

 

My first nit pick is, why did they show us so many characters, when only three of them were important?  Or rather, they only cared to flesh three of them out fully.  I get that it’s a tournament style show, but we saw the main six skaters so many times and didn’t get any more motivations from them than their internal monologues while skating.  I loved the first half of the series, when Yuuri was still unsure of himself, and Victor had to help him overcome his fears and deal with his shortcomings, and when Yuuri was growing more confident in himself with minor lapses I thought it would have been a great time to focus more on the other skaters, off of the ice.  As it stands, the only characters we got a decent amount of focus on were JJ and Yurio, and I felt the Yurio spotlights near the end were a bit under-developed too.  The format of skate, monologue, next opponent skates wore on me in the last two episodes as well, mainly because of one thing:  JJ was getting some character development, and I found it way more interesting than the skating in the finals!
That’s my next point, the way they treated JJ.  First of all, why do we need an “antagonist” character?  Especially when the series was painted more as a compete against yourself to be the best you can be motif  from episode 1.  Plus, JJ was full of himself sure, but far from an antagonist, especially since he didn’t interact with the other characters more than saying he was going to win, which everyone was doing!  When they focused on JJ in the last three episodes, I found him so fascinating.  Those flashbacks were really great, and the fact that he obviously is far more sensitive and caring then he lets on, and uses that confident mask to keep himself a float during competitions, as shown with the flashback with his Mom was really touching to see.  So, why didn’t we get to see more of that development?  Why couldn’t we see him interact with his girlfriend a bit more?  The scene where everyone was still cheering for him after he choked got me all emotional and teary-eyed, more so than anything Yuuri was going through at the moment because let’s be real here:  His character arc was done by the final few episodes.  I would have much preferred to focus more on the side characters, more than just the throw away lines they were given in the end that seemed like the writers wanted to do more with them, but were restricted by the show’s title characters having to be in the spotlight, whether their stories were done or not.

 

I know I’m going to be in the minority with this, but I, uh, really don’t see Yuuri and Victor as a romantic couple.  Like, I saw everyone all over the internet gushing about “The rings!  The dancing on the ice, EEEE!” and that made me think that for once, the subtext of the will they won’t they relationship prominent in sports anime hadn’t happened. But, it pretty much did?  Like the rings lean more on the non-subtext side but still are subtext.  I don’t find saying they’re a good luck charm to be a declaration of love, and Victor saying that they’d be married if Yuuri won seemed like one of Victor’s I’m joking, but secretly serious lines. There was never a straight up conversation between the two that was like “Hey Victor, I think I’m in love with you” or not even something so blunt, but just a conversation about where they stood emotionally would have been a nice touch to throw any subtext out of the way.

 

What was I hoping for, you ask?  An actual conversation about their feelings.  They tip-toed around it the entire series, and in my opinion saying you want your skating coach to stay with you and help you train for next season isn’t really cementing a romantic relationship.  They said far more heartfelt things than that, but for me they didn’t bridge the gap from being close friends and colleagues to something more.  It was a really, really missed opportunity considering all of the build up, and honestly was disappointing for me by the end of episode 12.

 

This last one may be because I was pre-exposed to a ton of spoilers, but the pointless mellow drama in episode 12 was just…there.  Like, we know Victor and Yuuri aren’t going to break their coach-skater relationship, so why make all of this build up happen when it’s not going to?  Was anyone surprised when they didn’t split up at the end?  Instead of providing that senseless conflict, I would have much rather seen Yuuri go through something else.  Maybe instead of wrestling with that weird decision that he found a loophole for (which I really didn’t get because he made the initial decision in the first place) why not have his inner conflict be something else?  Or maybe not even have an inner conflict for Yuuri:  just show how far he’s come, how confident he was all the way instead of the halfway they did in the final episode.

 

I don’t mean to bash Yuri on Ice, by any means:  like I said, I loved the series, and these are all minor nit picks that stopped me from enjoying the show fully in its last few episodes.  My main complaint was the JJ character development that was super interesting to me that they just…dropped and resolved super quickly, and that got me thinking about everything else in the final episodes that made me go hrmmm.  I think Yuri on Ice is a show better to binge watch, because I really enjoyed it a lot more when I watched episodes in chunks.  Having to wait two weeks for an episode made me enjoy it a bit less then I think I would have if I just watched it in one sitting, but that may just be me and my preferences.

 

Now that Yuri on Ice has been over for a few weeks, do you have any different opinions on it than when you were watching?  Do you think it had any shortcomings, or did you love it all the way through.  Would love to hear in the comments!

Books

30 Book Challenge

I made this challenge up for myself because I’ve been wanting to read more.  To keep track of what I read, I wanted to make this list so I have somewhere I can catalog what I’ve read, and any reviews I’ve written for what I’ve read.  A few stipulations for this challenge, as follows:

  • The book has to be started in 2017.
  • The book has to be something I haven’t read before, not a book I’m re-reading.
  • No fan fiction allowed! Any book that counts for this challenge has to be a published novel, of any genre, and of any length.
  • Write a review or overview/impressions post of the book after I’ve finished reading it.
  • Books I plan to read will also be on this list. If I wind up not reading a book I have listed to read in a month, knock it off the list and pick another.
  • Books in multi-book series count (I may be cheating a little here, but whatever it’s a book I’ve read)

Books I’ve Read

 

  1. Winter [The Lunar Chronicles, Book 4] by Marissa Meyer
  2. Stars Above [A Lunar Chronicles Short Story Anthology] by Marissa Meyer

3. The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

4.  Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron

5.  One Good Dragon Deserves Another by Rachel Aaron

6.  Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

Books I Plan to Read

 

  • Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
  • Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas
  • No Good Dragon Goes Unpunished by Rachel Aaron
  • Fairest by Marissa Meyer
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • On the Edge by Illona Andrews
Anime · Lists

Ten Life Lessons You Can Take Away From Yu-Gi-Oh!

Ever wonder how you could enrich your life through card games? Well, look no further than these top ten tips to get your game on and eventually become King of Games!

 

  • In order to be a productive member of society you must A.) Either go to Duel Academy and become a top duelist or B.) Sell cards to students/Champions/collectors so they can strengthen their decks.
  • Peddy theft is acceptable when you’re stealing Ancient Egyptian magical items.
  • Taking peoples souls is also acceptable when you’re trying to revive your long deceased spouse.
  • Wine is a great drink to have while reading comic books.
  • If you cheat in a game, make friends with your opponent afterwards and all is forgiven.
  • Electro shock and soul theft is common while playing card games, so get a thick skin and duel!
  • Multiple personality disorder is acceptable as long as it helps you win card games
  • You can’t start a sentence without saying “Get your game on!” or “It’s time to d-d-d-deul!”. If you don’t, the sentence makes no sense at all.
  • Instead of getting addicted to gambling, just play with Skull and Graceful Dice in your deck to get your fix. This also helps addicts kick their gambling addiction.
  • It takes 3 million dollars to fix “blindness”. And this blindness is not specified. But money fixes everything, right?

 

Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments!

Video Games

Nintendo Switch Press Conference Highlights

The Nintendo Switch Press Conference just ended and I am still riding that hype so I wanted to post real quick about it!  I’m sure you’ll be able to find plenty of news about it tomorrow, so I’m just going to mention some of my own highlights from the stream:

 

  • Even though Nintendo has a bad habit of not launching titles we want with the console, the titles we’re getting still seem good. Arms seems super fun, and 1, 2, Switch seems like it’s going to be a nice title along the lines of Wii Sports that will just be some good casual fun.  Breath of the Wild launching with the console was a great surprise too, and the trailer shown at the end of the stream actually got me wanting to buy the game.  New Splitoon, and new Xenoblade Chronicles, along with new Fire Emblem  makes me want to get the console at launch just for the anticipation of the games.
  • Man, the controls seem so smooth! It seems like they finally worked out all of the mechanics from the Wiimote and the Joycon seems like it’ll be fun to play with.  I was told its size was pretty small, but hopefully that won’t be an issue.
  • I feel like Nintendo is secretly working towards making games accessible for everyone, because man that rumble technology seems sweet! Even just listening to it being used, it sounded like it would be a really great, tactile, multi-sensory gaming experience which is great for a blind gamer like me.  The sound design sounded fantastic, also:  I could hear from multiple directions, and the sound effects were great indicators to what was going on so AHHHH I can’t wait to get my hands on a Switch to plaaaay~
  • I really like that they’re going to add multi-player online play, along with a screen shot and video capture feature. Let’s plays, anyone?  The HDMI cable included just shows Nintendo is paying attention to what their consumers want, and are looking at the future of their console.  Which, is also something they normally do, with launch titles as well.

 

Mainly, I’m super excited for what seems to be accessibility with the joycon controls built in, and the experience Nintendo is going to be trying to create with this console.  Here’s hoping it stays true to its word when it comes out on March 3rd!  I know I’m going to be pre-ordering the console, how about you?

Books

Winter: The Lunar Chronicles Book 4 Review

The official book cover of Winter: The Lunar Chronicles, Book 4

I did it.  I finished the Lunar Chronicles.  I have so many feelings about this final installment, that I was half tempted to not review it in my usual format.  And by that I mean, I have so many things I need to vent about in this review ugh.  But instead of just ranting about this book, I figured I’d do a review in my usual format and then do some other follow up posts about my gripes with this book/series as a whole.
That being said, spoilers for not only Winter, but the entire Lunar Chronicles series below!

 

Plot summary

 

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?
Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national best-selling Lunar Chronicles series.
This audiobook includes an exclusive interview between the author and the narrator.

World Building

 

Ever seen Sailor Moon, guys?  Remember the Moon Kingdom in the Silver Millennium?  Because that’s Luna in a nutshell!  I kept on thinking while reading this that it was basically YA dystopian Moon Kingdom, with Queen Beryl ruling.  I know Meyer is a huge Sailor Moon fan, but honestly this rubbed me the wrong way.  I’ve seen this type of design for the Moon Kingdom in a few fanfictions I’ve read as well, so even though it’s an inventive way to portray the moon with all of the scifi fantasy stuff in it it’s not really original.
I feel like Luna wasn’t really well thought out, to be perfectly honest.  Like, one thing would be explained, and I’d have another question about the world.  “Why did Earthen’s migrate to Luna in the first place if resources were so low?” “Why did they mutate to have the Lunar gift in the first place?”.  This book just brought to light all of the flaws in the world building for me and the length of the book didn’t help make the flaws less apparent.

 

Plot Progression/Pacing

 

Aruuuuuug, this book is so long!  I don’t understand why it’s so long, either.  A good chunk of the book is just them all sitting around, trying to start a rebellion via strategizing, and Levana thwarting the main characters so many times that it got a little (and by that I mean a lot) frustrating.  What baffles me more is that the first three books in this series are so much shorter, and suffer the same pacing issues.  Scarlet has good pacing I feel, but Cress, Cinder and Winter all suffer from a big middle section of nothing, and the beginning and end being actually interesting.

 

My major problem with Marissa Meyer’s plotting is that she spends so much time separating the characters, having them all do their own thing for like, ten chapters or more then reuniting in the beginning and ends of the books.  This wouldn’t be a problem if the characters on their own were dynamic, but the cast really is an ensemble cast that play well off of each other and separating them into groups of two or less is really a drag on the story.  I will say Scarlet and Winter are amazing as a twosome, though, and Scarlet is a great standalone character.  But just, uuuugh why is this book so long?  It could have easily been three books if you trim a lot of the fat out of Cress and Winter, and got our characters to where they needed to go a lot sooner.

 

Characters

 

Our title character Winter, is a delight.  She’s just so beautiful in her flaws.  She suffers from a debilitating sickness that causes her to have hallucinations and not trust her own mind, and the story doesn’t shy away from this.  At times it’s a strength, at times it’s a weakness, but she’s just a really well rounded character.  I especially love her and Scarlet’s relationship:  Scarlet being her maternal, strong willed self balances out Winter’s naïve, idealistic, sweet mentality perfectly and even though I don’t really like when the cast splits up, I genuinely found myself loving seeing Scarlet and Winter on their own together.  Winter and Jacin play off of each other really well (even though I still don’t really like Jacin, but he’s a lot more likeable in this installment then he was in Cress).  Every character get’s their own time to shine in badassery, and I thought that was really great.  I found some of the things Meyer put a few of the characters through unnecessary, that had little to no plot payoff so I don’t really understand why they were thrown into the book, but minor complaint to some great character arcs in this installment.

 

So, I realized my problem with Kai wasn’t that he was bland, it was that he had nothing to do in the story.  In Winter he has plenty to do, and when he takes an active role in the storyline he’s really fun to read.  Cress and Thorn are still adorable, I still adore Wolf (though what they put him through in this book was soooo uncalled for) and Cinder’s character arc comes to a natural conclusion you’d expect.  I am probably in the minority, but I always love Iko and she doesn’t disappoint in this final installment, either.

 

My major character problem though?  The Lunars!  Levana is so one note in her motivations, all of the Lunars are so over powered and the one sided-ness of the confrontation is just so frustrating.  The final battle plays more like a final boss fight in an RPG:  Go to the final room where the boss is waiting, alone on her throne, have a spirited conversation about your contrasting ideals, then time to fight!  Honestly, the way Levana was taken down was so vague, and the fact that it just went to another chapter and they had Kai go “Yep, she’s dead” was another reason I banged my head against the wall.  But this is more a problem with Levana I have that I will go into in another post because I have a looooot to say about it.

 

Writing

 

Typical Meyer fair.  If you’ve read the first three books, her writing has gotten a lot better from Cinder, but has stayed the same as in Cress.  Other than what I mentioned above, the actual writing style didn’t really bother me.

 

Overall/Final Thoughts

 

When I got halfway through this book, on Facebook I posted “I’m not sure if I’m finishing this book because I’m genuinely interested, or because I just want to be done with the Lunar Chronicles” and I still can’t figure out which reason is the reason why I wanted to finish this so quickly.  It’s needless length, when the other three entries in the series were so much shorter, just felt like Meyer bit off more than she could chew and was like “Crap, I need to introduce Winter, and finish the story?  Uuuum ok this is going to take a while”.  Does this book suffer from the same issues that plagued the prior three in the series?  Maybe, and I just couldn’t tell because I read the first three books in a row, and waited a month to read Winter because I knew it would be a long ride.  I can’t critique Winter without critiquing the rest of the series, and in all honesty the only book in the series I enjoyed all the way through was Scarlet.  The ending of the book just…ended so neatly.  It was so jarring and even though there was a big gory battle, the after effects of it were just “Welp, we lost, no more opposition  on our end”.  I know the book was already 800+ pages, but seeing more of a realistic reaction to Cinder’s Revolution would have been nice.

 

All in all, it’s a fairy tale retelling done right.  Everyone gets a happy ending, which is a major pro, and a major con, that once again I am going to go into in more detail in another post.  I know I’ve been ragging on Winter hardcore in this review, but overall I did enjoy the read and if you’ve already read the first three books in the series, you’re going to want to read this one.  A part of me wonders, though:  How would this story have fared as a standalone novel?  Because I think a lot of my issues would have been solved by condensing a lot out of the last two books.

 

I’d recommend reading this series if you like fairy tale retellings.  In the end, I enjoyed reading the series.  Would I read it again?  Probably not.  There were too many times I was yelling at the characters to move along, or talk something out they were pointlessly hiding because plot tension, or getting frustrated that the Lunar Court was so over powered.  I always say I prefer character development and good characters over plot, but there was just so many plot holes in this book I couldn’t ignore that took enjoyment away from me.

 

Little fun fact:  Marissa Meyer used to write fan fiction, and this one is basically the Lunar Chronicles in 25000 words.  There’s an interview with the Audible narrator and Meyer at the end of the audio book and she mentions she almost added Puss and Boots as a fifth book, so I found that super amusing.  Her fan fiction is really worth a read, if only to see how her writing has evolved (or stayed relatively the same, you be the judge).

 

I know my opinion is in the minority, and a lot of people really liked Winter.  Would love to hear what you thought of Winter, and The Lunar Chronicles as a whole in the comments!  I’ll probably be doing a write up of my thoughts of the series as a whole, and hopefully that will be better than my ranty reviews of each individual book XD