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.
I feel like I am in the vast minority when I say that I preferred Cinder over Scarlet. That trend continued with Cress. This is not to say that I didn’t enjoy Cress – because I did – I just didn’t like it as well as Cinder, and I’m not quite sure why that is. Perhaps it’s the multitude of viewpoints we’re reading from – we’ve got Cinder, Scarlet, Thorne, Cress, Kai and Sybil to name a few – so there’s just a LOT going on with the narrative. And while Marissa Meyer does an amazing job of making each voice unique, I am just one of those readers who gets overwhelmed when too many characters are all trying to share their thoughts. I also found the start of this book to be rather slow. It might be because I started out listening to the audiobook version of this, but I just felt like the story took forever to get anywhere. In fact, it took me months to get this book read, and the only reason I finally did was because I gave up on the audio version and finally just picked up the book itself. Otherwise it’s quite possible I’d still be toiling through it.
One thing this book does well is amp up the overarching plot. While it took a long time to get there, the ending was nicely paced and intriguing, and you’re left with plenty of questions to be answered in Winter. You figure some things out regarding Levana and the letumosis outbreak, Cress’ background, and Cinder’s plans to retake the Lunar throne. The book, in my opinion, ended in a good spot, and I liked the glimpse of Winter that we were given to whet our appetite. I’m just not convinced that it needed to take 550 pages to get there.
Cinder continues to be my favorite of the girls. She’s uncertain of what she’s supposed to do but knows she has to do something. I like that she’s starting to embrace her abilities a bit more, but also thinking about the repercussions of doing so. Thorne continues to be amazing comedic relief, while also giving glimpses of what’s underneath that brash exterior, and Iko in her new form just made me smile. Throw in the reunion at the end, and I was a happy girl. I am definitely looking forward to reading Winter, even though it’s apparently over 800 pages. Considering the length of Cress bothered me, I am a little worried about Winter, but still want to see the story through to its completion.
If you liked Cinder and Scarlet, you will likewise enjoy Cress. As I mentioned above, I am in the vast minority with my thoughts on this series, so feel free to take everything I’ve said with a grain of salt. Even with my issues, I still find this to be a compelling sci-fi series that nicely twists the original fairy tales in new and interesting ways. I can’t wait to see how things end!