The Lunar Chronicles #3
Young Adult/Sci-Fi/Fairytale Retelling
Feiwel & Friends
Available February 4th
Source: ARC from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only 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 goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.
Cress is a story we enter into with a great deal of excitement, though as was the case with Scarlet we can’t help but let a little wariness sneak in and mingle with our enthusiasm, wondering if it’s going to be this installment when the addition of yet another new main character proves to be a detriment to the overall story rather than a bonus. While Cress as a stand-alone heroine isn’t quite as strong as either Cinder or Scarlet before her, Ms. Meyer proves yet again what a brilliant storyteller she truly is, seamlessly working Cress into the fabric of her stunningly rich and detailed fantasy world and nestling her in with an already-beloved cast of characters as though she’d been there all along.
Cress, unlike both Cinder and Scarlet, isn’t much of a fighter either mentally or physically, her solitary confinement creating in her an air of extreme innocence and vulnerability that takes a little while to adjust to coming off our experiences with the previous two heroines. While each young woman’s original fairytale had them as damsels in various types of distress, both Scarlet and Cinder defied that label in terms of its common connotation to weakness in their retellings, their independence and fierceness present and accounted for. Cress embraces the damsel in distress label a little more fully, often needing the hilarious and endlessly amusing Captain Thorne to come to her aid. It’s not to say she’s without skills as she’s a truly gifted hacker and plays a significant and vital role in the events of this book, she’s just perhaps quieter and more reserved (understandably given what she’s gone through) than we might have been anticipating.
If this had been Cress’s book alone, one that focused primarily on her and relegated Cinder to a more supporting role, this installment may have come up just a touch short when compared to the first two, but Cress is beautifully bolstered by Ms Meyer’s extraordinary and extensive cast of main and secondary characters. This story is every bit as much Cinder’s as it is Cress’s, and as a result Cress becomes a little something different–a beautiful contrast–to the two young women we’ve already met, rounding out the whole with her differences as opposed to coming off as less-than as she might have on her own. Her relationship with Thorne is a touch weaker as well, but again the strength of Cinder’s relationship with Kai and particularly Scarlet’s with Wolf (despite their limited page time) more than fills in any empty spaces left by the lack of an overly strong emotional connection to the pair of them, and we can only hope that their romance is one that continues to develop in Winter just as the other two romances progressed in this installment.
While there is a myriad of positive aspects and highlights to Cress over which to gush, one of the most arguably striking would have to be the very brief introduction to Winter herself, a young woman who captivates from the moment she appears on page and leaves us profoundly curious after a single interaction with Scarlet. She is a series of riddles, a labyrinthine character full of dark corners and wrong turns who has us practically salivating over the chance to figure her out, but despite the pain of a long wait until she graces us with more of her presence, we are left in awe of Ms. Meyer’s imagination and more in love with her characters than ever before.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.