I really enjoyed “Cinder.” And I totally adored “Scarlet.” “Cress” . . . well, I want to make it clear that I did generally like it. I can tell already that this review is going to come off sounding more negative than I actually feel, so I feel I should state up front that the book was fine. It just that “fine” was a bit of a letdown after the amazingness that was “Scarlet.” So here we go.
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.
First of all, I feel like this book has about a million points of view. There’s Cress’s, Scarlet’s, Cinder’s, and Kai’s, and that’s just for starters. Thorne, Dr. Erland, and Levana have bits from their perspective as well, and I’m sure there are other ones I’m forgetting. And switching between all those points of view got frustrating for me. I didn’t get to spend enough time in anyone perspective to really start to feel at home there.
I think this was especially the case with Cress and Thorne’s story. I mean, Cress is the title character, but I don’t feel like I got to know her in the way that I got to know Cinder and Scarlet in the other books. Same thing with Thorne. There wasn’t nearly enough time for him to develop as a character as much as I would’ve liked. With both of them, there were such promising hints of depth to their characters, but as soon as I felt like we might be getting somewhere with them, the perspective would change and we’d never really get back to that hope of depth.
And speaking of Cress, that girl did not come close to winning me over in the way that Scarlet or even Cinder did. I feel like Cress is always cowering and screaming, and yes, I understand why she’s that way, but it didn’t make it any less annoying. And don’t even get me started on her “relationship” with Thorne. He’s the first guy she’s ever seen, he’s handsome and charming, and they’re tossed in a stressful situation together—there’s no way that’s a foundation for a healthy relationship, and the author never really developed their feelings enough to convince me otherwise.
Plus, Wolf pissed me off in this book. He’s so awesome in “Scarlet” that I wasn’t expecting to be so constantly frustrated by him. It’s like he literally cannot function without Scarlet, and I just wanted to tell him to get a grip and focus on something other than his woe-is-me, my-life-is-over-without-her attitude. Mopey men are NOT attractive.
The shining moment of this book for me was the chapter with Winter. That girl has got fascinating written all over her, and I’m excited for the next book to see more of her.
Overall, like I started out with, I did like the book in general, it’s just that there were so many things I had issues with that it doesn’t really compare to, say, “Scarlet.” I mean, the “unputdownable” point for me (the point where I finally got sucked in) didn’t come until page 483, and in a book that’s 550 pages, that’s a long time to wait to finally get into it. Still, I’ll be reading the final book when it comes out.
Rating: 3 / 5
Other books in this series: