Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Published: February 4th, 2014
Publisher: Feiwell and Friends (Macmillan)
Pages: 550 (hardcover)
I purchased this book.
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. -Cress, dust jacket
Honestly, I'm not quite sure where to begin. Even though I haven't written reviews for Cinder or Scarlet (it's been a while since I've written reviews for anything, actually), The Lunar Chronicles has been one of my favorite series for the last two years. Regardless of the fact that the books are based off of classic fairy tales, the story as a group is wholeheartedly unique, flawlessly blending science fiction, fantasy, adventure with a cast of characters you can't help but to love. There's absolutely nothing else like it on the shelves right now, a feat that should be applauded considering how market trends in YA fiction tend to fluctuate.
Cress, the third book in the series, continues the adventure right where Scarlet left off. With war on Earth's doorstep, Cinder and the gang attempt to rescue Cress, a shell trapped in a satellite circling far above the Earth. I'm always impressed with an author who is able to continuously expand their cast of characters while keeping their voices and personalities unique, and this is one of Meyer's strongest skills as a writer. Up until this point everyone introduced on this adventure has brought something new to the table, and Cress is no exception. Understandably naive and adorably obsessed with fantasy (a not so spoilery-spoiler: when she gets nervous, she convinces herself that she's an actress, playing a character who has the skills she needs to get through whatever stressful situation she's in), her skill with computers make the next leg of Cinder's mission possible and balance the variety of skills already highlighted in our heroes' story. And speaking of story...
As far as story goes Cress is sort of like the calm before the storm--except Cress is anything but calm. It moves along at the kind of pace we've come to expect from the previous two books, with things going from bad to worse to worse x2 before all is well again. (Er, or at least as well as you can expect things to be when there's an evil alien queen trying to take over your planet.) However, the novel is also different than its predecessors in the sense that it's darker. For the first time we get to actively see how malicious and cruel Queen Levana is in a scene that literally made me wince to read it. I WAS NOT EMOTIONALLY PREPARED. To say the stakes were raised is the understatement of the galaxy.
With that said, for those of you waiting read Cress for fear of a nasty cliffhanger, put your mind at ease. Cress leaves us at a reasonable spot, a place in the story that feels natural and completely prepares you for what has to come in Winter. And I for one can't wait. Brace yourselves for the "Winter is Coming" jokes, people! Seriously though, even though I'm sick of the snow, Winter can't come fast enough. (Ba-bum-pish.)