My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 1/2
Series: Lunar Chronicles (Book 3)
Paperback: 592 pages
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication Date: January 27, 2015
“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 prevent her army from invading Earth.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped 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 being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.”
“Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them. I’m beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.”
Ugh I love Marissa Meyer. After reading the first two books in the Lunar Chronicles, and recently Heartless, she easily became one of my favorite authors. Cress has further certified my belief that Meyer is currently one of the best YA fantasy authors out there right now. Cress has instantly become my favorite book in the series. I’ll have to read Winter to be completely sure, but this book is definitely a hard one to beat.
What makes it so great, you ask? The characters. The plot. The action. The romance. There are so many amazing elements to this book, I’m not sure where to begin.
The pacing was even and I really appreciated the different POVs. We are given three stories that come together to form one very engaging story. Kai and Cinder’s story continues, as it can be argued that Cinder is the most important character in the story besides Levana and Kai. Scarlet and Wolf’s story is also continued, however, their roles are severely reduced in this installment. And then there’s Cress and Captain Carswell Thorne.
Cress and Thorne are, by far, my favorite pairing in this series. Thorne is the quintessential dashing young man with endless amounts of charm, humor, and confidence/arrogance. He is a perfect rendition of Flynn Rider from Tangled. He is flawed and not at all as we expect in a hero, but not all heroes are perfect individuals with squeaky clean backgrounds. After learning about his past, there is no doubt that Thorne is imperfect, but there is also no doubt that he is a wonderfully entertaining character who is easy to love.
As for Cress, she is the cutest, most adorable heroine I’ve come across. She’s not a hardened warrioress who keeps a cool head when threatened. She is young and frightened, yet skilled and filled with wonder. Her usefulness to the group stems from her technological know-how and quick thinking. She may not know how to fight, but she knows how to be a force of nature in a world filled with all forms of tech and media. I loved her naïveté and sweetness, and I also appreciated how Meyer carried across her need to imagine herself in certain roles to gather the courage to do what needs to be done.
Cress’s fantasies and innocent infatuation with Thorne are some of the best parts about this book. With her solitary confinement and vivid imagination, Cress builds up Thorne’s character even though she doesn’t know much about him. She falls in love with a fantastical version of him, one that is perfect in every way, but she eventually learns that her fantasies are just that: fantasies. Meyer dealt with her starry eyes in such a way that made me love Cress all the more.
Besides Cress and Thorne, I hold a special love for Iko. She’s the perfect companion and sidekick, and her sass and humor gave me life whenever she spoke. She is most certainly one of the most, if not the most, entertaining character besides Thorne. I’ve liked Cinder since the beginning, but she’s grown on me even more since the beginning. I’m still waiting on Kai to grow on me. I was never really over the moon for him and so I’m still looking for something – anything – that would convince me he is worth Cinder’s love.
As for Scarlet and Wolf, I felt as if they were underutilized in this book. Scarlet is simply a pawn in a huge game of life and death, and Wolf is used more as a tool than a person. I really didn’t like how his role boiled down to two things: his susceptibility to Lunar manipulation and his love for Scarlet.
There were two other things that kinda sorta bothered me: the age difference between Thorne and Cress (16 and 20) and one particular matter of coincidence when it came to Dr. Erland. A certain revelation/subplot concerning Erland is just too convenient to be believable and it serves only one purpose: to advance the plot. I won’t spoil it for you, but I thought Dr. Erland’s story was a bit rushed by the end, mostly due to this revelation, and I sincerely think there was another way to go about it.
Besides these small issues I had with the book, I had a hard time putting it down. The action, the suspense, and the development of the plot were very well done and the characters were a strongly portrayed. Also, the romance was to die for. I can’t wait to see how Levana will be thwarted in the last book and I’m really curious to see how the story with Princess Winter will go down. All in all, I thought Cress was magnificent and I HIGHLY recommend it.