Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #3
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: February 4th 2014
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.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
The Lunar Chronicles has possibly become one of my all-time favourite series. I loved Cinder, and while I feel Scarlet couldn’t live up to the first books potential Cress was everything I hoped it would be and more. We already had some of the back story for the two main characters of Cress; Cress and Thorne, which I feel allowed the plot and the overall story-arc for the series more time to develop.
Cress has been stuck on a tiny satellite orbiting the Earth for seven years. She has no company except for her computers and the bi-weekly visits from her mistress, Thaumaturge Sybil. Cress is the one who has been gathering intelligence for Queen Levana on all of Earth’s leaders and she is in charge of locating Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew. However unbeknownst to Thaumaturge Sybil Cress is the one who has been keeping every satellite from picking up the Rampion.
When Cinder finally gets in contact with her again Cress sees an opportunity to escape from her prison cell. However before she can get away Thaumaturge Sybil arrives and, upon realising Cress’s betrayal, plans an ambush. In the space of a few minutes Thaumaturge Sybil manages to wipe out most of Cinder’s crew; Cress and Thorne are left in the satellite as it plunges to Earth, Scarlet is kidnapped and taken to Luna, and Wolf is gravely injured and practically catatonic without Scarlet.
Left with Wolf and a Lunar guard whom she’s not entirely certain she can trust, believing Thorne and Cress are dead, Cinder has no other option but to travel to a remote African town where Dr. Erland has taken up residence. Cinder needs help. If she cannot even take on one of Levana’s Thaumaturge’s without losing half her crew she is in no way ready to face Levana.
Surviving their crash landing in the Sahara Cress and a blinded Thorne have no other choice but to leave the satellite and start walking across the desert to find their way to safety. They face a harrowing journey and soon run out of food and water. After suffering from heatstroke and delusions they are finally found by a group of traders but the danger is not over for Cress. News of the fallen Lunar shuttle has reached the cities and somewhere in Africa there is a doctor paying a lot of money for Lunar shells.
Cress is a Lunar shell, she has no gift and no way off her satellite prison so she is forced to rely on help from Cinder and Thorne. It is only after crash landing on Earth that Cress really has an opportunity to grow more as a character. There are so many new experiences for her to take in and while she will always have an innocent way of looking at the world she learns she is a strong and capable character with a lot to offer her new friends.
Thorne is still a wise-cracking ladies man who seems incapable of taking himself seriously. He is sharp, witty, sarcastic and not a typical hero but we see another side to his personality in this book. After he’s blinded he is forced to rely on Cress to be his eyes in the desert but he is still very self reliant. While she leads him he encourages her to keep moving, convincing her that they are both going to survive. Thorne is a very determined character who doesn’t seem to let anything get him down for long. There is always another opportunity waiting just around the corner.
The relationship between Cress and Thorne starts off as a childish crush on Cress’s part but slowly starts to become something more. Their time together in the desert levels the playing field between them so it’s not Cress leaning on Thorne for help but both of them supporting the other in their weakest moments. However Thorne is very aware that he is probably one of the first people Cress has met since she was put on the satellite and he is careful not to take advantage of her devotion to him. Instead he gives her room to discover herself and takes a step back when he needs to. Their relationship doesn’t really progress much but it gives a change for Cress to get the know the real Thorne rather than the version she’s made up in her head.
Cinder finds herself struggling a lot in this book. After losing Scarlet, Cress, and Thorne she has no clue what to do next, and no clue how to incite a rebellion. The plans she comes up with aren’t well thought out, especially when the Queen has an army ready to attack Earth at any moment. However despite her fears of ruling Cinder is a character who inspires loyalty in her people just by being herself. Her friends on the Rampion are not the only ones who are loyal to her and who believe in what she’s doing, and spending time with the Lunars living in Africa helps her see what she is fighting for.
I really enjoyed seeing the Earth through Cress’s eyes, even the desert was a source of such beauty to her. After being stuck on a satellite in space orbiting the earth for seven years she found a child-like wonder in everything, even potatoes. I really love the locations Meyer takes us to within The Lunar Chronicles. We even got to see a little of Luna in Cress and though it seems like a very cold place with cruel people it was only a brief glimpse of a planet Cinder intends to rule. I feel the plague had a bigger part in the story again, unlike in Scarlet. Travelling to Africa and the small town where the plague first appeared so many years ago made the illness a major threat in the story again. Dr. Erland is still trying to find a cure and when the virus mutates, infecting Lunars as well, his research becomes all the more vital.
The stakes seemed to be much higher in this book. I feel Cinder is finally realising the depth of the task she has and learning to deal with the consequences of losing people under her command. Cress seemed to take an almost darker turn in places but the story was brilliantly written
What did you think of Cress? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.