Note that this review may contain very minor spoilers for the book.
I had high hopes for Cress, after getting a bit disappointed by Cinder and finding redemption in Scarlet. I could only expect the third instalment of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer to be spectacular.
And spoiler alert: it was.
It made me truly happy to read this book and find so many amazing details, so much world building and character development, but above all, to see how it all fit together so harmoniously.
The story became more and more brilliant the more I read it, and I couldn’t put the book down. The pacing was excellent, with great action sequences, mind-blowing plot twists and incredible writing. It combined excellent storytelling with dynamic POV changes that made the words flow effortlessly and emotions roll over me as I kept getting more and more involved. It made me laugh and it made me cry. It made me fall in love and it made me burn with hatred.
Just what a great book is supposed to do.
First, the new heroine: Cress. She’s as adorable as a kitten and I just want to hug her and pet her head. She’s just one of those characters you want to protect from all evil (and she experiences a great deal of it in this book) and hope against all hope that she’ll be okay in the end. She’s smart and determined, despite her size, and will have a key role in the story. Thorne, our new hero, is charming, hilarious and a heartthrob. He knows it, too, so his exchanges are always laugh out loud moments. However, he’s still clueless about some aspects, or pretends to be, and is surprisingly also a bit naïve. Which only makes him cuter!
I’m sorry, I have a slight crush on Thorne. Who doesn’t?
This duo was a great nod to the movie Tangled, which is based on Rapunzel, which is Meyer’s inspiration for this as well. It made me want to watch it again, especially because it’s one of my favorite Disney movies of all time! Cress and Thorne are really sweet together, even if the circumstances hardly allow romance – it’s their companionship that really wins your heart.
If you enjoyed Scarlet, you’ll be happy to know she’s back in this novel with a relevant role. Wolf, of course, is back too and the two of them are as endearing as ever. Easily my favorite couple of the series, so far. I was overjoyed to read so many sweet interludes featuring them, which brought back great memories of the second book.
Cinder and Iko are, of course, in it too, this time more prominently. Cinder is trying to battle Levana to keep Earth safe, all the while fighting her own inner battles with fear and insecurity. An epic development of her character, which felt so flat in the first book. She’s stronger, mentally and physically, and a real threat. I now root for her and admire her beyond words. Iko is still not particularly outstanding but at least she’s not as annoying as before. She’s actually quite lovely at times.
Can’t wait to find out what happens next!
An amazing sequel and one that now holds a special place in my heart. Meyer has truly exceeded herself with this one, not only on a technical level but also on an emotional one. The characters’ growth was gradual and well thought out, and the plot thickened beyond any expectation.
If you like fairy tale retellings, The Lunar Chronicles is the perfect place to go. Cinder, Scarlet and now Cress are brilliant homages to their original counterparts, each one unique in their own way, each with a feel and spark of their own.
One great thing about them is that you’ll easily accept the new protagonists, without really thinking any substitution is taking place. I was scared I wouldn’t enjoy reading Cress as much because Scarlet was not the main lead anymore, but that didn’t happen. Cress is nothing like her, and yet she has her own light, bright enough for me to welcome her with open arms. I still love Scarlet (and Cinder) but I can say I now love Cress too. Each heroine is special and irreplaceable, and that’s great.
Out of the three books, Cress felt the most diverse and definitely the most complex. A great leap, in my opinion. I can’t rave about it enough and am now dying to start Winter!
You can read the chapter teaser (and watch the book trailer) here.
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Tell me your thoughts on this book or, if you haven’t read it yet, whether this review has inspired you to try it. Happy reading!