I read Cinder, I thought Scarlet was a little boring, but the third installment in the Lunar Chronicles might be my favorite. Cress puts a twist on the classic story of Rapunzel and makes the lead a gifted STEM baddie! Another win for this series.
Cinder is no longer alone; she’s found friends in Thorne, Scarlet, and Wolf, and they all believe in her ability to save the world. But first, they must stop Emperor Kai from marrying Queen Levana but sneaking Cinder into the palace presents its own challenges. Luckily, Cress, a talented hacker, is on their side, and she’s been waiting for Cinder’s call since she alerted her to Queen Levana’s true intentions with Kai in the first novel.
Cress has been aboard a satellite since she was young, sharpening her hacking skills and cloaking all lunar ships headed toward earth. She longs for adventure and a whirlwind romance like those she’s watched on the holonet. But who she longs to meet most of all isn’t Cinder but Captain Thorne who she believes will fall in love with her.
However, things go awry when the gang tries to rescue Cress, and everyone is separated. Cress ends up stranded with Thorne, and she soon realizes the hot-shot pilot isn’t who she thought he was.
On Earth, emperor Kai’s dreading his wedding, but he doesn’t see any way out of it without starting a war. As a result, Kai thoughts drift to Cinder who continues to evade capture at every turn. Cinder’s brief stop in France leads Kai to believe that she’s found princess Selene and with the princess a new hope for Lunar.
Cress was much more of a fun read than Scarlet. Although I like Wolf and Scarlet’s in this novel, I felt that their characters emerge out of nowhere. Whereas Thorne’s chaos and personality is established in Scarlet. Speaking of which, I really liked the dynamic between Thorne and Cress. As we know, Thorne’s a cocky pilot who flirts with anyone he can, but he is very patient with Cress, who has never had real friends. I loved Cress because when things get hard, she pretends she’s an actress in a netdrama. And honestly, Cress deserves some awards for the performances she pulls off. Cress not only survives a trek in the desert this way, but she’s also able to stun everyone at the palace too.
This novel gave us some great characters, but I want to touch upon the friendship between the group too. Namely Cinder and Thorne. I have been suspicious of Thorne in the past because selling out your friends and running off with the reward money seemed plausible for his character. However, I was wrong, Cinder would never let Thorne get away with that. In fact, Cinder’s quick to call out Thorne when he’s acting up, and yet that doesn’t stop Thorne from teasing her. Cinder’s devastated when she loses Thorne early in the novel. Despite the fact that they both bicker, I think it’s precious when Thorne and Cinder reunite again.
All I’m saying is I think Cinder and Thorne are besties.
But you know who’s just as stunning in this novel? Iko! Cinder’s house droid, turned spaceship, gets a more human-like body in this courtesy of Thorne. And soon, Iko is living out her dreams of attending a royal ball and meeting the princess in her new body. Iko has always been an interesting character, and in Cress she shines through. I also loved that Iko’s able to help the gang now that she has a pyschially body again.
This novel also gave us justice for Cinder. Throughout this whole series has been treated like dirt because she’s cyborg. When Cinder stumbles the town of Kufra, where humans and Lunars have lived peacefully for decades, she’s praised for her bravery in standing against Queen Levana. The people do not fear Cinder, instead they bring her gifts and make art to commemorate her. And they all support Cinder in her quest to defeat Levana. I am so glad that Cinder’s appreciated after two books of everyone hating her despite the fact that she definitely aggravates Levana.
As I was reading this book, I kept thinking how awesome it would be if the gang kidnapped Kai, and I am so glad they did. As mentioned, I love a slow burn, but I have been eager to see Kai and Cinder reunite since her iconic exit at the ball. While both characters have been pining for each other for two books, I was more invested in the drama of their relationship. When Kai and Cinder reunite, it’s not instant passion and smiles but a screaming match and bickering.
As stated, I love this drama. And I was squealing alongside Iko whenever Kai blushed around Cinder.
I really loved the way Meyer ended this novel. The last line was perfect end to the penultimate novel in this series.
Content Warnings: kidnapping, death, war, survival through a dessert, mentions of human trafficking, characters with possible psychosis (I say possible because I am not too sure. But the series calls it Lunar sickness.) Adults bullying children.
See you in my last review of the Lunar Chronicles! As always you can always find new posts from me every Monday at 12pm PST. But you can also find me living in libros the rest of the week.
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