Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Retelling
Published: February 4th 2014
Publisher: Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends
Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.WAIT! This review may contain minor spoilers for Cinder and Scarlet. Don't continue if you haven't read it yet and want to avoid spoilers. Unless, of course, you don't mind spoilers. In that case, continue~
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.
Confession #1: I don't want to write this review. Instead, I just want to crawl back into my bed and read Cress and the rest of the Lunar Chronicles series again and again until the pages fall out. Is it too soon to be rereading a book when I literally just finished it?
Cress is the third book in the Lunar Chronicles, a sci-fi retelling of some of our favorite fairytales, and I am pleased to say Cress is just as spell-binding as - if not more so than - the first two books. I was afraid at first that this book would mostly be fillers, as most penultimate books are, but Marissa Meyer did not let me down at all. It really helps that the format of the book is so different from most series. Each book focuses on a different heroine and retells a different fairy tale, but there's an overarching plot that ties the entire series together. There isn't any need for fillers because there's always a new story to tell.
"Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?"
He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. "No. I'm pretty sure it was Cinder.”
I also love that each book is set in a different place. While Cinder took place in New Beijing and Scarlet was mostly set in France, Cress takes us on an even crazier journey from the Sahara Desert to a little satellite orbiting above Earth in space. With all the places the characters visit, it really gives us a sense that this battle against Queen Levana and the Lunars really does affect the entire world instead of just one country.
Rapunzel isn't my favorite fairy tale by any means, but out of our three main heroines, Crescent Moon is the one I relate to the most. I wasn't forced to live in a satellite at a young age, but I really sympathize with her social awkwardness and overactive imagination. Who hasn't fantasized about the cute little things about their crush? Cress is such an adorable dreamer, and I worried how her naivety and her huge crush for Carswell Thorne would go. Confession #2: I am not quite in love with Captain Thorne as everyone else seems to be. I mean, he seems like a fun guy to flirt with. Like others have already noticed, he also reminds me of Eugene from Tangled. Still, he's just not my type of "prince," and I was afraid that Cress would get hurt by him and become disillusioned by love. In the end, it actually worked out really well, and I ended up falling for Cress/Thorne. They're very sweet, and I can't wait to see their relationship develop more in the next book.
If you are a Scarlet/Wolf fan, you might be disappointed with this book. Compared to the other characters, they get the least amount of development in this book. They're pretty much MIA for most of the book. In a way, it's understandable since most of Scarlet and Wolf's story was already completed in Scarlet, but I know a lot of people love this couple, and if you're one of those fans, you might be yearning for more at the end.
Confession #3: I didn't mind the lack of Scarlet/Wolf because out of all the heroines, Cinder is my absolute favorite and I can't get enough of her. Even though each book has their own titular heroine, Cinder really is the main star throughout the entire series. She’s the one thread connecting all the characters together, and of all the characters, she has had most growth. The others look up to her for the big plan, and she's finally taking on that leader role in Cress. But will it be enough? Does she have what it takes to convince the Lunars onto her side and overthrow Queen Levana as everyone assumes she will? I don't think she's quite there yet, so I'm excited to see what's in store for her in Winter. Prince Kai isn't all that interesting alone, but I do love him with Cinder, and I love that Kai never truly gave up on her.
Iko, of course, is always a welcome presence in this series. Whenever Iko's in a scene, my reading experience becomes ten times more fun because she always knows how to brighten things up. I love her chipper personality, and Meyer knows how to give Iko great comedic timing.
The story is easy to follow and a bit predictable at times, but I don’t think the story suffers from it. After all, we already know how the fairy tales played out, so the fun part will be seeing how everyone gets there. I fully expect happy endings for everyone, but who knows what Winter will bring to the table. (Note to Marissa Meyer: That is NOT a challenge.)
I already had high expectations for Cress, so now my expectations for Winter is even higher. From the glimpses of Winter that we get in this book, I do worry a bit. Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress are amazing heroines each with their own strengths and personality. I've fallen in love with each and every one of them. Will Winter be able to win my heart as well? We'll have to wait and see...