Genre: Young Adult, Action, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Number of pages: 550
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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.
SPOILER FREE! FULL OF FEELS THOUGH.
She’s done it again, folks. Marissa Meyer’s done it again.
SHE MADE ME FALL IN LOVE WITH HER WORLD AND HER CHARACTERS ONCE MORE.
Let me first say that the Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite YA Science Fiction series. More than the intricate writing and the awesome characters, the books have what I deem is the most important… heart (and I’m not saying that literally). By “heart”, I mean it has that amazing ability to reel you in and let you experience first-hand the world and the emotions our heroes and heroines go through in the rawest sense. It can make you feel for them, sympathize with their plight, and leave you wanting to be strong in their place especially when they find themselves encountering various trials and tribulations. It can made you feel sad and angry at the injustice being done to them and to innocent civilians, despite the fact that what we are witnessing are words laced together to create a story. Best of all, it can make itself seem so real, like the world feels familiar and the characters feel like they’re my own real-life friends. Marissa Meyer’s books made me feel all that.
Cress? No exception.
If I had it my way, I’d simply laden this review with gifs that represent everything I felt while I was reading this book, with a Nike-inspired message at the end that goes, “Just read it!” I mean, what else is there to say other than this book simply has it all? Marissa Meyer just keeps getting better and better each book, and I’m proud to say I’m kind of afraid of what she will become in a couple of years, when her writing and storytelling continues to improve, but I digress.
Usually, I reserve 500 pages or more for fantasy books, because they usually need a lot more pages to mold and polish its world and its own society and rules (magic or no), so you can’t blame my nervousness when I saw Cress had more than 500 pages to boast of. That’s a lot for a book for the Young Adult demographic, but honestly, while I was reading, it felt like I was flying through the pages and couldn’t find my brakes. Next thing you know, you’re at 50%, then at 75%, and then at the end… there’s just so much suspense and activity going on that you feel as if the almost-600 pages of awesomeness are NOT enough (yes, I did wish, and sincerely so, it was longer!). So much to admire and love in this book.
For starters, there’s Cress, also known as Crescent Moon, a Lunar Shell who has been trapped in her orbiting satellite for several years. Loving Cinder and Scarlet so much, I had thought that maybe my heart was already full and there won’t be any room for her, but goodness, I fell in love with this sweet girl from the very first page. Even though I’m not always a fan of awkward personalities, Cress’s socially-impaired self was adorable and absolutely endearing to read; it was like meeting someone utterly innocent and full of optimism and dreams that you can’t help but hold her gently. Who would’ve thought she can make being reserved and shy so appealing? She may not have Cinder and Scarlet’s strengths and she may be the kind of person who’d rather toy around with technology, but she proves herself a valuable ally and a lovable character. I can totally understand a certain character’s protectiveness of her; I would shield her too if I were in his shoes. So far, she’s my favorite of the three heroines!
Aside from her, the other characters have been so much fun to read. Iko totally wins as the best supporting character ever humor-wise. There would be moments where the atmosphere would be dark and heavy and full of tension, but she’d be the icebreaker with her witty and comical comments. And even though Wolf has a more serious persona, he had his funny moments, too, and I can still remember him cradling his can of tomatoes (is it weird that THIS is the most memorable scene in the book for me? I can just picture him doing that…). I didn’t love him more than I loved him in Scarlet, but I really liked how his seemingly intimidating aura works well with the others. Cinder is still kick-ass and Thorne is absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE! Dude, if I had it my way (again), Thorne would be with ME (nothing against you, Cress darling; the man is just irresistible!) I loved his laid-back attitude and how he would downplay bad things happening to them with a joke or with a smile; I loved how resilient he was despite the odds turning against him, and; I loved how well he got along with everybody. He’s like the guy everyone likes, the person in the group everyone may get annoyed with every once in a while but would still come back to him at the end of the day. I appreciated that so much.
And there’s Kai. Kai, the young Emperor who I thought was bland and too uptight in the previous books. Kai who I finally grew to love in this installment because he, at last, grew a pair when he needed it most. I loved how he matured so much here! Before, I kind of didn’t like how he let the situations run their courses with little effort from his part. I was disappointed in how he didn’t seem to fight for his people and the things he believed in enough. But in Cress, I appreciated how he eventually took initiative in changing things for the better, despite what other people may think or say; how he gave absolutely zero fucks what his advisers may think and did what he could because no one else was trying. It was such a welcome change from the tense person I got to know in Cinder and Scarlet, and I can’t wait to see how much more he’ll grow. See, Kai? Having a pair isn’t so bad, is it?
I can’t wait for Winter. The stakes have never been so high and you can just feel the tension and suspense seeping from the pages. Marissa Meyer is a talented author who can effortlessly and flawlessly make her characters come alive. And while I may be impatiently waiting for the last and final installment, I can only give Cress and its wonderful author one thing:
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