Title: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Young Adult | Sci-Fi
Synopsis: 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.
Final Rating: ★★★★☆
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I absolutely adore this series. I think that Marissa Meyer does a fantastic job of crafting nuanced, lovable characters as well as some really bad-ass villains. I think she does a brilliant job of keeping her audience hooked, of constructing a really complex yet fast-paced plot. Her world-building skills are on-point, her dialogue is witty, and the romance in her novels is just right- not too overbearing, but enough to be satisfying.
This third installment is perhaps my favorite. I say “perhaps,” because I distinctly remember freaking out over Scarlet, and obsessing over it for days after it ended. So maybe Scarlet was my favorite- and if that is the case, this would be a very close second. I thought this book had a little bit of everything. There was action and whirlwind romance and twists and turns. It had humor and wit, and I got a lot of insight to some of my beloved characters. I would recommend this series to anyone and everyone who’s into sci-fi at all.
The plot was very fast-paced. I really admire Meyer’s (oh lol admire Meyer) ability to construct several different storylines for each of her character, intricate and important in their own way. She not only does that, but she intertwines these various subplots in a very smooth way. Nothing feels forced or rocky. The story is effortless, and it unfolds beautifully. It’s amazingly exciting. Although this is a big book (over five hundred pages), I managed to finish it in a day and a half, because I was completely glued to it.
Meyer doesn’t take it easy on her characters, and I really appreciate that. I realize that when you’re writing, you get attached to the characters much more than a reader, and putting them through certain hardships is very hard. But Meyer does that. She doesn’t mind putting obstacles in her characters’ paths, because this makes the story so much more exciting and gripping. But – and this might sound like a contradiction – I felt like everything ends up nice after said hardships. I’m one of those God awful people who love a major death in a novel. I don’t know, maybe I’m masochistic. I like crying when a beloved character dies, because it makes me respect the author and the story and the fictionalized reality so much more than if everything ends up happy.
I’ve encountered a lot of people who didn’t like Cress’s character. I would choose to respectfully disagree with their opinion. No, Cress is not as bad-ass as Cinder or Scarlet. No, she isn’t independent or as confident or as brave as Cinder or Scarlet. But is she useless or any less lovable because of everything she’s not? I didn’t think so. See, what a lot of people forget is that a strong female character doesn’t need to be all out-there or unbelievably confident. A strong female character can just as well be a girl who is a hopeless romantic. A girl who is wicked smart, who appreciates a good-looking guy, who wants to feel protected by him, but she can take care of herself too. She wants to rely on a guy who makes her feel loved and cared for, but is that the sole reason for her being? Nope. Cress is a dreamer, and I loved that about her. I loved that she was a complete romantic who went mooney-eyed whenever she saw Thorne, and I loved that she embraced this facet of her personality. Strong females come in various categories, not just one. That is the beauty of diversity, the beauty of being human. People work in different ways, and I think we should start accepting these in novels too, instead of just demanding for other Katniss-like characters (who are awesome as well, bee tee dubbs.)
I love Cinder and Scarlet. I love Kai and Wolf and Thorne. Meyer does such a fantastic job of constructing her characters. They have distinct personalities. Cinder is independent and brave, but she has the tendency to blame herself for everything bad. Scarlet is feisty and strong, but she’s impulsive. Kai is good-hearted and fair, but he’s unprepared for his responsibilities. Wolf is a warrior and he’s a lover, but he has a horrible temper problem. And Thorne is charming and charismatic, but he’s slightly immature. Every character has his/her virtues and his/her vices, and that’s what makes them so real and nuanced. By the way, Wolf is my favorite. Just putting that out there. I love him so much.
Overall, I would say that this book was great. I really enjoyed it, and it was gripping and I can’t wait for the next installment. I don’t know why I didn’t give it a full five stars, but it just didn’t have that extra umph to it that would have really carried it above and beyond my expectations. I’m so ready for Winter, you have no freaking idea.
Would I recommend? Definitely. This entire series is worth checking out.
Would I re-read? Yes.