Hardcover, 560 pages
Expected publication: February 4th 2014 by Feiwel & Friends
The third book in the Lunar Chronicles increases the stakes, complicates matters more and introduces three brand new characters. Meyer’s improvement in each subsequent novel is quite visible in the myriad of twists and turns in the plot as Cinder and her motley crew progress in their mission to revolt against the tyrannical Levana.
Where shall we start with this review that is actually a discussion in disguise? Because really if it’s too late for me to tell you to read the book because if you have read books one and two, you are not going to stop at book three. Right? Right.
Unlike Scarlet where the majority of the book focalizes on the titular character, Cress switches narrative perspectives with a whole group of characters with Cinder receiving a giant share of it. I think my major complaint with Scarlet was that Cinder just had a cameo role in it and I had read the book specifically for Cinder of whom I have become a staunch fan. Because Cress has such a large cast, it did feel a bit overwhelming at times but Meyer does a splendid job of keeping the pace and flow of the novel smooth so that perspective switches (third person) did not feel jarring. One effect of this multi-perspective technique is that it created a fuller world and makes the idea of overthrowing a tyrant far more plausible than it would have seemed had Cinder been the lone narrator of the story. As it is, the reader gets to see the connections and possibilities of a successful coup.
Cress is an interesting character. She is much more timid than the other two and this is very believable considering her confinement in the satellite. The evil witch character, Mistress Sybil, is loathsome but her relationship to Cress is told and not shown which though I understand given the complexity and number of characters was a pity because I felt there was such rich potential for conflict and tension over there. Sybil’s character is rather flat and her motivations, though legitimate, were a bit of a letdown. Similarly, I find myself wanting more from Levana than I am being given now. There were glimpses of a more complex character underneath the guise of the mysterious but evil queen: the ring and her thoughts on it made me think as much but right now, she’s rather flat and I want her to be developed more. I am thinking we’ll be seeing a different side of her in the next book as her stepdaughter Winter I believe. I certainly hope so anyway.
Cinder’s character undergoes interesting changes over the course of this novel. I love the relationship she has with Thorne and I did entertain thoughts of them together but alas, it didn’t happen. It would have been interesting to see Prince Kai jealous; I hope we still do. Wolf and Scarlet were not together all that much in this novel and I am somewhat glad because the tension with them apart is far greater than with them together. Sorry. I am sadistic that way. All in all, the novel was quite enjoyable and Meyer has set herself quite a challenge because doing justice to all of these vibrant and emotionally rich characters in the final novel of the quartet will be a feat that can be accomplished by a master. I’m going to be waiting though as I have all faith in her ability to give us a satisfying ending. It does not have to be happy as long as it is satisfying (and then the fangirls will kill me for jinxing their ships).