1. I love this series way more than I ever thought I would, considering the sci-fi premise.
2. Cress takes a darker turn that, while a little heavy-han...more1. I love this series way more than I ever thought I would, considering the sci-fi premise.
2. Cress takes a darker turn that, while a little heavy-handed at times, ultimately proved to be a move in the right direction.
3. The couples in this series are so well-done; Meyer is juggling three romances so far and I'm confident that the fourth will be just as satisfying (and OH the guys; the guys).
4. Cress is a major secret-revealing installment, and is starting to bring the pieces together in a way that Scarlet, while still my favorite in the series so far, arguably didn't. It's a good set-up for the series' end. (Which I'm both excited for and dreading.)
5. I am so happy with the range in personality and physicality in ladies.
1.) When I picked up Cinder I really didn't expect to give it more than three stars. Sci-fi isn't my thing, and I was expecting to be a little miffed with the way that would "mess" with the Cinderella fairy tale. (Which is dumb, I know, but I'm really picky when it comes to my fairy tale retellings.) I really enjoyed Cinder, and though it's my least favorite of the series, I was still excited to read Scarlet.
Scarlet turned a corner because I LOVED it. I loved the main characters, the romance--and the characters from Cinder were expanded upon and became more compelling. Cress while still not topping Scarlet for me for sentimental reasons, is just as good and if it hadn't been an ebook I probably would have thrown it against a wall at the end because I HAVE TO WAIT HOW LONG FOR WINTER????
I haven't been this into a series that isn't written by Maggie Stiefvater in a while. I freaked out when kisses happened. I freaked out even more when our heroes actually acted heroic. I would pay good money to have Winter right now, let me tell you.
2.) Not that Cinder and Scarlet were walks in the park, what with the plague and the deathly danger and stuff, but Cress ups the personal stakes. And on some level, that has something to do with why this is a 4.5 review versus a 5 star review. I did feel that some of it was a little unnecessary and expected. One particular decision took away from the book a little bit, but that, again, has more to do with sentimental reasons.
There's human trafficking, scientific experiments, torture... Again, not that all of these choices were ones I would have made, but for the most part I think they emphasized the fact that our characters are in a war. Not the middle, as Cinder would say, but the beginning. And there's even a major character death! Luckily, all of this is set off by comic relief given largely by Thorne. And, as I'm sure everyone expects, he gets quite a bit of pagetime as Cress's love interest.
3.) The couples in this series are so amazing. Even Kai and Cinder, who have been a slow burn due to their separation, had me swooning. (Much like Cress.) But ugh, the devotion that Wolf has to Scarlet has me dying. Excuse me as I freak out but you have to love a guy who can rip someone's throat out but also curls up in your bed in your absence because he's so hopelessly devoted.
He's so hot sssh sorrynotsorry can I have one?
But ugh, every single romance is individual (Kai and Cinder are kind of normal outside of their circumstances, but unbearably cute and star-crossed; Scarlet and Wolf have this passionate, undefined SOMETHING; Cress and Thorne have this hero-worship turned actual connection thing). And that's the best part--nothing feels like a repeat, as you so often see in series that attempt to devote a book to every "love story". Though I personally wouldn't call any of these books love stories, because the relationships really progress over the course of the novel.
I don't think I'm spoiling anything by saying that Cress and Thorne's relationship is the one that blossoms over the course of the book. And it's so great. Because it is that hero-worship thing that would normally make me uncomfortable except Meyer doesn't roll with it. Thorne isn't Cress's hero. Cress is her own hero. And furthermore, she doesn't take the typical "oh no he's not who I thought he is what am I gonna dooooo" route. It's more interesting than that. Cuter. Funnier. (So funny. This is definitely the most rom-com-ish of the Lunar Chronicles pairings.) As with Cinder and Scarlet, Meyer wisely doesn't pull the trigger with the madly in love stuff. The relationship is left to grow organically. (I would say that Scarlet and Wolf's relationship is the most instantly intense, and Cress and Thorne definitely aren't there yet.) I can appreciate that. I'm looking forward to a lot of satisfying conclusions in Winter though I'm also terrified of that book. (Any word on a page count for that thing? Because, to satisfy four different relationship arcs--if we assume Winter is going to fall in love, which she totally is and I can guess with who--it's going to require a long book.)
There's a lot of good stuff that happens with Cinder and Kai, probably the second most important couple of the book. But for God's sake, I'm still not over Wolf's single-minded ScarletScarletScarlet brain. It may not be the healthiest thing, but goodness is it romantic.
4.) I can't say that I didn't predict some of the secrets revealed in Cress but I'm still very glad they were revealed and finished off. By book 3/4 you should begin to tie up loose ends and bring the reader closer to a good conclusion, and I have a lot of faith in Meyer after this installment.
Another thing that made me really happy is that one big plot point is resolved. For that matter, a lot of plot points are just sort of finished up so that we can focus on Winter and the war (and, again, obviously the relationships) in that last book. Well done.
4.) Cress is very different as a person from the tomboyish, analytical Cinder and bold, action girl Scarlet. She's more of a classic damsel (except not). This is one thing I really like about Meyer. Every one of her heroines is different from each other. Cinder prefers work clothes, Scarlet is a bit of a curvy bombshell, Cress is a waif. Cinder likes machinery, Scarlet is a tough but girly badass, Cress is a hacker with limited social skills. They all approach everything from battle to romance in different ways, and none of those ways are bad. They're all flawed, all important in different ways.
The thing that makes me really happy about these novels is that they're about girl power without being hit you over the head women above all like some books I've read. It's subtle. They're allowed to be brave and gutsy and also really want to kiss hot boys. It's just so great.
If you already like this series, you'll love Cress. If you're iffy on it... I can't help you if you didn't like or love Scarlet, but I have no idea why you wouldn't love this one anyway.