Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
3.5 Drink Me Potions
I wanted to love this as it so clearly thrilled the majority of Meyer’s fans from her previous two novels in the Lunar Chronicles. However, the only feeling I’m left with is mild adoration instead of the OMG, that was the best thing ever.
Let me start off by saying that I did really enjoy it, but it just didn’t meet my extremely high expectations after reading Cinder and Scarlet. I will break down what I loved about it, and what gave me pause from giving it a maximal rating.
1. Cress was different from the two previous protagonists in the series. She’s a little naive (after all, she spent a huge chunk of her life stuck in a floating satellite all on her own) and a whole lot innocent. Her voice stood out from regular heroine-types in YA literature. She wasn’t a fighter; she believed in the best of everyone.
1. Maybe it was her innocence or whatever, but her huge crush on Thorne even before she met him was a little farfetched for me. She fell for a figment of her imagination, someone she molded Thorne to fit into when she read up on his history. I’m not saying their romance wasn’t great and all – eventually. Just, the strength of her feelings before even truly getting to know him really puzzled me. Honestly, why him? Of all the people she spied on, she picked Thorne and believed the best motives behind all his crazy plots and mishaps.
2. The camaraderie between all the protagonists so far in the series. Cinder was still very much present, for which I’m glad ’cause she’s still my favourite character of all of them and an integral part of everything. Their banter and scenes were very fun to read, and Meyer writes in a way that each person she added to this story wasn’t some generic version of each other. They had a unique personality that definitely shone through their actions and their comments.
For example, Cinder can be quite sarcastic but you know she has a genuine heart. Thorne is hilarious with his wittiness, charm and sometimes the most inappropriate things to say. Add Cress’s innocence and eagerness to help him out, it made for a lot of fun reading this novel, considering the length of it could potentially bore people if it wasn’t kept entertaining.
Knees suddenly weak, Cress reached for [Thorne’s] forearms to stabilize herself. “You came for me.”
He beamed, looking for all the world like a selfless, daring hero.
“Don’t sound so surprised.” Dropping the cane, he pulled her into a crushing embrace. “It turns out you are worth a lot of money on the black market.”
2. Because of the continual addition of new protagonists with each book, there are more and more POVs separating all the characters. So you’ll be invested into one particular scene with say, Cinder, and then suddenly pop on over to what Cress is up to. It made me impatient to get past one person’s adventures in order to continue with the one I was most invested in. So by the end of Cress, even with 500+ pages, it didn’t seem like as much happened for each character because the length of the novel was split so heavily between so many people. I just didn’t love Cress as much as Cinder because I read so much more about Cinder’s hardships and rise to heroine status.
3. The plot was jam-packed with crazy things that each heroine had to face, along with their potential “Prince Charmings”. It wasn’t boring as there’s always one thing or another happening to someone. The action and adventure were just as fun as you would expect from Meyer, that I can assure you.
3. But, because of the segmentation of everyone’s POVs, the plot didn’t flow as smoothly. Eventually when most of the gang got back together, it was a little easier to go from Point A to Point B.
The other thing was the lack of romance (or hints of it) for the most part. Obviously, the grand finale would give us all the closure we needed with each heroine and their love lives, but there just wasn’t much in this department here. Wolf and Scarlet get separated early on, Cinder and Kai still have some unresolved issues since book 1, and Cress has these huge expectations for Thorne that he really didn’t ask for so he obviously doesn’t measure up.
All in all, Cress was a fine novel and continuation in the Lunar Chronicles. It just had a lot of expectations to meet, and these points may have just been things that only bothered me as the majority of fans found it immensely enjoyable.
Agh, but that ending! Now I really want me some Winter.
Marissa Meyer does it again with this next installment of the Lunar Chronicles. Due to my nitpickiness and extremely high expectations for her work, I didn’t enjoy Cress as much as I had hoped. Switching between too many POVs made the plot seem disconnected in places and there just wasn’t enough resolution in the romance department for a fairy tale retelling. That’s not to say it wasn’t still a good read. I would recommend this to any fans captured by Cinder as the pace picks up heading into the finale.