Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker; unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.
This is another great addition to The Lunar Chronicles, and I think is tied with Cinder in second place behind Scarlet as my favorite of the series. There was a lot of discoveries and progression of the plot in this one that I really appreciated, and is a steady theme throughout the series. This one though, gives us a peak at the final culmination of everything that these characters have been working towards, and starts collecting the fantastically laid trail of breadcrumbs Meyer has laid out for us.
Even with so much plot progression and developments though, the first half of this book kind of drags. We are getting to know Cress, so I understand the lag, but as I find her a bit underwhelming it was a flaw in my book. It is understandable why Cress is scared, fantastical, and naive, but that didn’t redeem her for me. With Cinder and Scarlet such strong and forceful characters it’s hard not to look at Cress and feel a little let down. She does show good growth though and is more of an independent person by the end of the story though.
And even if I didn’t love Cress, I did love her influence over Thorne. I have always thought Thorne is hysterical and that beyond that vanity and bravado he’s a good guy, with a deep sense of loyalty to those who matter to him – who are few and far between. I enjoy watching him take on Cress’ idea of a hero and see him begin to embody that image through his own means and desires. He grows up a lot too, and for the oldest character in this main cast he has always felt like one of the youngest, so seeing him mature was very fun.
I did miss Scarlet and Wolf in this installment, though I am hoping their role in Winter will be a bit stronger. I do like that through Scarlet though we get an introduction to Luna and Winter and I look forward to seeing how those two will work together in the last installment. Also, obviously, I really want to see Wolf and Scarlet get their happy ending – Wolf is so heart-achingly stoic in Cress and I hated seeing him like that.
Anyway, can’t wait to see how all the loose ends are tied up, so I’m going to go start Winter right now!