*You may want to considering skipping this review unless you've read Cinder and Scarlet. I don't reveal anything vital or consciously spoil the specific events, but even revealing a synopsis of a third book in a series may give more information than one desires depending on the person. You've been warned.
This third novel in Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series retells Rapunzel in the most action-packed way possible. Cress is all alone in a satellite hovering in space. She's a mastermind when it comes to hacking, and unfortunately, she's forced to do as the sinister Queen Levana commands. But she doesn't always follow the rules. She's secretly been working to help Cinder and her friends, and now that they know she exists and that she's on their side, they're her only hope for escape.
Things don't always go as planned. In fact, things can seem to go completely wrong. And since the Queen of Luna, Levana, is also about to become Empress and gain control of Earth, there isn't much time to spare. Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress have to worry about the survival and well-being of themselves and their friends, and all the while, they have to prevent Levana from taking the Earthly crown.
Action, cuteness, romance, amazing characters, warm-hearted moments, scary moments, miserable moments... Cress has it all. It should have come with a warning label saying YOU WILL READ AND READ UNTIL YOUR EYES HURT BECAUSE THERE'S NO WAY YOU'LL BE ABLE TO PUT IT DOWN. That's how good it is.
Where should I start? Well first of all, Rapunzel is in a satellite... That is one of the most genial things I've ever heard. Marissa Meyer really knows how to retell. I love how the hair-cutting is completely different symbolically in Cress than in the original story, and really Cress' character in general is just fantastic. She's still a bit of a damsel, but she's smart; the girl can hack into anything and everything. Furthermore she's just so childlike since she hasn't had much experience in the real world and her imagination is constantly running wild. I think she and Thorne are perfect matches. There's still plenty of room to grow when it comes to their relationship, and that's one of the many things I'm looking forward to when Winter comes in November.
Of course, Meyer didn't abandon all the other characters we've come to love from previous books. Cinder was already a strong heroine in the very first book, but now she's stronger than ever as she learns to wield her gift. She's so honest too. Strong as she is, she's still afraid, and rightfully so. As far as Scarlet and Wolf... I can't say anything about them without spoiling anything, but holy crap, I don't know if it's possible for these two to go through any more. I expect progress with this situation in Winter. Substantial progress. Like, majorly substantial.
And oh goodness, Dr. Erland... again, I won't spoil anything, but I will say this: There are quite a few revelations in this installment. The only downfall (if you can even call it a downfall) of Cinder and Scarlet was that they were predictable. But they're retellings - of course there will be a level of predictability because we all know the stories they were based on. Cress loses this. It's less predictable and more surprising, and it's also way more chaotic. There's so much happening all at once - that's what makes it impossible to stop reading. And it's just so good.
Obviously, I love this series so, so much. I have absolutely no complaints. I don't know for sure if Cress or Scarlet is my favorite; they're both so great! It's been a long time since I've actually been on time with a series aside from the House of Night books and I actually have to wait for the sequel - this is going to be agony. In the meantime, if you haven't given these science fiction masterpieces a try yet, you need to. Right now.