Author: Marissa Meyer (Reader: Rebecca Soler)
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: February 2014
Length: 15 hr 40 min - unabridged (550 pages)
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Audio or Book: Audio
Reason for Discovery: the Internet
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, 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 her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned 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 just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
Yea for a well-written book blurb! No summary from me. We are off to the races.
You guys, I have so many conflicting feelings about this book. I think I need to work it out with you . Let's talk about what I really enjoyed about the book first. First, I love Carswell Thorne. I love the flirtatious, cocky guy with the heart of gold trope. It is my favorite of all of the tropes. I blame watching the Star Wars trilogy too many times on the USA Network when I was a kid. Thorne was pretty fantastic in this book. Second, I enjoyed reading about Cress. Did her naivete drive me crazy at times? Sure, but it made sense, because she lived her life in a satellite. I do love how strong and independent Cinder and Scarlet are, but it was really refreshing to see a different type of female character with Cress. She is wicked smart with a computer, but she is also a wee bit fragile. It was nice. Third, I am not sold on Kai and Cinder yet. I need to see more of them together. At the same time, Scarlet and Wolf came together a bit too fast for me, so I am not sold on them. Cress and Thorne? I like them. Okay, I will admit it is because I really like Thorne and the Rapunzel tale just clicks with me, so I totally inserted myself into the story via Cress, but I don't care. I love them.
Finally, I really loved the push in world building in this book. We learned so much more about the Lunars, the virus, and Princess Winter. We got to see Luna! I am so excited. I am assuming that we will see even more of Luna in the next book (yea for POV chapters with Winter!). Meyer has done a wonderful job of creating this alternate universe that makes sense. I am so excited to see where things go next.
Okay, there are a few things that I felt were a bit weak in this book. First, the pacing felt a bit off. Although I'm happy that Meyer had Thorne and Cress traverse the desert (this is something that happens in the original fairy tale), these chapters felt really slow. I think the pacing also suffered from having so many POV characters. I appreciate seeing through different characters' eyes, but the POV characters are increasing with every book and it is starting to become a bit too much. I must admit that I am dreading a little bit to find out how many POV characters there will be in the final book. Second, the book felt a bit lopsided. The book seemed to focus on the Cress-Thorne plot for most of the book and then after that was completed, there was lots of Lunar world building. It felt a bit tacked on. The world building was important, and I liked it. I just wish that some of the moving parts had been shifted around in this book.
Audio: Unlike the first two books, I listened to Cress. I always feel bad for readers when I start listening to a series after reading a few of the books. Why? I usually don't like their voices, because I already had voices picked out for the characters in my head. It was a pleasant surprise to discover that I did like Soler's voices for the most part. I thought Scarlet sounded a bit too old, but she had a lovely French accent. I also found her pacing and tone to be quite good. The recording was quite crisp.
My one complaint about the audio is something that is no way related to Soler's performance. Meyer switches between POV characters fairly often. She will even do it within a chapter. The only indication is a space in the book. Meyer also likes to write a lot of inner monologue for the characters. This combo makes it hard to follow the narration at times. I wasn't always aware that we had switched to a different character, because Soler typically reads description and inner monologues using the same voice.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I got to see some great characters and fall deeper in love with Carswell (don't tell my husband). I can't wait to see where this story goes next! I must admit that I enjoyed Cinder and Scarlet a bit more than Cress, but I'm still giving it a 4 out of 5.