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.
At the end of Scarlet, things are getting real for the small, unlikely band of rebels. Cress kept up this cat and mouse game where Prince Kai and the on the run, Cinder are feeling overwhelmed yet willing to save everyone on earth in their own ways. Cress wasn’t quite as edgy as Scarlet, but it was full of all the things I love most about this series. It took the plot through to an end that had me in a state of high anticipation like all the great set-up books do. Meeting a few new players, lots of excitement, a couple great twists and introspective moments and I had myself a very satisfying read.
Cress is book three of the Young Adult dystopian fairytale retelling series, The Lunar Chronicles. Each book builds on the one that came before it so they must be read in order.
So, I waited a long time after reading Scarlet to pick this one up. I was jazzed to read it, but just never took the time to keep going. Finally I did when Cress was picked as the TBR pile vote winner. I had to dust out the memory cobwebs so I could get back in step with the series. I don’t think I’ll be waiting quite so long between installments again.
Cress is a loose retelling of Rapunzel. There are at least a handful of correlations that fairytale lovers will adore seeing, though, the author writes a very original story here. The overall story was engaging for me, but I confess to being more interested in some plot threads more than others.
And there are definitely several threads. There is a narrator change with nearly every chapter with about a half dozen narrators. All the major players from Cress and past books get some narration time. I didn’t mind, but it did keep me on my toes as I darted from Luna to Kai’s palace to the Sahara and back.
Cress is the newest heroine to be introduced. She’s not bold and struggles to adjust to life outside her ‘tower’ where she was kept isolated. I enjoyed the change up from the alpha heroines to this gentle beta who still manages to get the job done.
Her hero, Thorne, is something of a swashbuckling pirate type. I liked him and he’s fun, but I didn’t feel like I got a good handle on what makes him tick. Their relationship takes a backseat to all that is going on. In fact, I’d say its still in the tentative beginning moments even when the book closes.
My favorite couple, Wolf and Scarlet are separated for much of the story just like Kai and Cinder. Desperate times and a ruthless queen make this inevitable.
Cinder knows who she is now and knows what this means. She is burdened with a feeling of responsibility and flails because she feels inadequate for the task. She now has a pretty good idea how Kai feels as the young new emperor. She also has some darker thoughts and fights using her unlocked Lunar ability for the wrong reasons and turning into Levana.
The plot was strong and kept driving toward the big moment which was a series of high-paced and tension-wrought action sequences. Loved it. Oh, and then we have a few new players added to the mix that promise for some great reading in the final book, Winter.
Things wrap up on the conflict focus in this book, but there is a clear pointing toward what is to come. Anticipation is high and I can’t wait to see how this small band will go up against Levana’s might.
I can most definitely recommend this series to those who enjoy a blend of sci-fi, dystopian, fairytale retelling, suspense, and romance.
Mt. TBR #115
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