Cress: The Lunar Chronicles Book 3 Review (Spoilers)

The official book cover of Cress: The Lunar Chronicles, Book 3

I’ve been churning through this book series like a mad woman, and have been enjoying every minute of doing so.  It doesn’t mean the series is flawless, by any means, but I realized after reading a particular chapter why I like this series so much, flaws and all.


I can’t talk about this book without major spoilers, and there is one subject I really want to address that is a major spoiler that I will be tagging with a header later.  If you don’t want to read that section, then you can just hop on over it to the next section.  Anything majorly spoiler-y will be in that Section, so you don’t have to worry about anything else being majorly spoiler-y if you prefer spoiler free reviews.
Now with all of that out of the way, here we go!


Plot summary


In this third audiobook in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, 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 prevent her army from invading Earth. Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped 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 being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has. – From Audible


World Building


Not much to say in this section this time.  The book mainly took place in a desert, and it was really just an expanse of sand with minor bouts of technology.  This book focused a lot more on characters, and other than seeing a bit of Luna the settings have all been visited before.  Was nice to head back to some more familiar settings, and it’s a great way to get us to the final book that will be on uncharted territory.


Plot Progression/Pacing


Oy the pacing in this was rough for me.  Like, don’t get me wrong:  I loved the characters, so much and reading their conversations was so fun.  But, we spend so much time dealing with plots that can be resolved a lot more quickly than they were that it baffles me why this book was so long.  It got majorly frustrating, because the group gets separated for basically the entire book and I think they work way better as a unit that can bounce off of each other, so until they all got back together I pretty much was just reading until I got to…when they all were together again.  There are plays at trying to make sections more intense by drawing them out over a few chapters, but the general format of 3 chapters for one plot, one or two for the next plot then bouncing back to the main plot really wonked up the pacing in this one, because instead of 2 plots like in Scarlet we had four going on and it just seemed like a bit much for me.




Scarlet, my baby!  Something happens to her in this book and I was just like Noooooooo!!!  And Wolf, my other baby!  Ugh what he went through in this book, my poor heart!  Cinder makes a stupid decision within the first ten chapters of the book, and it messes everything up that she has to fix.  What I love about this, though, is that Cinder isn’t a Mary Sue, and has flaws that she knows about, and addresses in this book because of her mistakes.  I loved how she finally got to the point where she is doing what she has to do to survive, and isn’t apologizing for it anymore:  she’s really grown a lot, her hero’s journey has been super enjoyable.


This book put all of my gripes about Cinder to rest, I really enjoyed how she was in this book.


Kai was…there.  Can you tell I don’t particularly like him?  He works fine when he’s with Cinder, but when he’s alone I don’t care for him.  They are a cute couple, and I was glad to see them together again but nothing beats Scarlet and Wolf!


Iko is adorable.  I know some people may find her annoying, but I just think she’s so cute and funny and lightens up the tension in an otherwise serious book.  She stays the same throughout the story, but I like her a lot regardless so no complaints here!


Cress is a little ray of sunshine, she’s so freaking adorable!  I really relate to her struggles, being socially awkward but having to fight through it, and she did it in a really realistic way.  I like her and Thorn, they were super cute in scenes together.  I just don’t get why everyone needs to pair off into a romantic relationship, but I guess it is a YA novel so that is to be expected.  Winter is so quirky, she reminds me of a character from Alice and Wonderland (but the nice kind of character) and the one chapter we got with her in it was a nice lead in to the fourth book.


I can’t stand Jason, we’ll see if that changes in the next book.  But so far he just irritates me and all he really served in the book was to be a replacement pilot for my baby T_T


This Section is Full of Spoilers!!! Hop to the Writing Section if you don’t want to read!!!


Ok so, I wasn’t expecting this at all, but one of the characters is blinded in this book!  So I wanted to critique how the blindness was handled, since you know, I’m a blind nerd XD


Meyer really did her research, I am happy to say.  The character went through all of the natural stages of losing their sight, just more quickly because they were in a life or death situation.  But the initial shock, feeling like a burden, then realizing it’s not so bad was all there.  The other characters around him didn’t treat him differently than before, but adapted to him as best as they knew how and didn’t exclude him from any of their plans (partially because he wouldn’t let them, which is another well portrayed thing blind people have to do).  Cress was his eyes the entire book, and I love how they wound up working together all throughout the story.  At times, I thought maybe they were going the “My blindness doesn’t make me any different” trope, but when I looked closer at it, that wasn’t the case.  He was using sighted guide, had a cane made that  he used, and still was fighting and helping everybody in the group.  Marissa Meyer really did her research!  I’m a little sad to see his blindness won’t be lasting, but Since this world is futuristic, of course they have easy fixes to cure blindness so it makes sense that the blindness can be cured and it’s not a magical cure or anything.




The end of Doctor Erland’s story arc literally made me cry.  I know you don’t know how big that is, but I never cry!  This is what I was talking about earlier:  Because the writing may have some flaws, the pacing may be off at times, but when it comes down to it, Meyer writes really dynamic characters you feel for, and are rooting for, and no amount of plot discrepancies’ is going to stop me from wanting to see where all of the characters stories end.  This book was far more a character piece than anything else, which is where I think Meyer’s writing shines.  Since I’m all about character development, this is totally ok with me and it was really awesome to read everyone’s internal and external struggles in this book.  That Erland story though, ugh.  So great!


Final Thoughts

Cress raises the stakes significantly in The Lunar Chronicles, which is understandable considering it’s the second to last book in the series.  Scarlet’s plot really annoyed me, but more because I love her and I wanted her in the book way more than she was.  If you want some masterful literary piece of art, this isn’t the series for you.  But if you want engaging characters, an interesting enough plot, and an epic scifi story, definitely read this series.  I’m so annoyed I’m not getting another audible credit until next month, I want to read Winter now!  But I guess it’s for the best, because if I had Winter I would just be reading it and getting nothing else done XD


As always, would love to hear your thoughts on this book below!