Meet Cress, Mistress Sybil's servant and professional hacker who has lived on a satellite orbiting the earth for her entire life and has learned from the internet how the world functions. She's basically in prison, though. Every time Mistress Sybil comes with food packages and all that, she's with a guard. And now there's this revolution with finding Linh Cinder as soon as possible, and all the bad reputation Prince Kai is enduring as the war against the Lunars has been at a standstill...until he must marry Queen Levana. Levana is making him for the same reason Farquadd wanted Fiona; for extra power and Kai knows it. What is Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf and Carswell Thorne to do? Find this Cress? Go to Dr. Erland who we haven't seen since the first book? Find a body for Cinder's best friend Iko? And how ever will they stop this wedding from happening?
With all these new characters, or perhaps just character, Cress, it's pretty obvious to any reader that the series is a little bit cluttered and scattered, not much really happening as it shifts between characters. But somehow these books are action-packed all the same. For a very large portion of the book, even at five-hundred pages, I found myself chilled and suspended in space.
One thing I have to give this book is that I didn't enjoy the scenes with Cress as the main star as much as I wanted to. Cinder remains my favourite character of this franchise. Cress' story certainly wasn't terrible, I just felt it focused more on a love story development rather than focusing on thwarting the wedding. I'll let you in on something: I'm imagining so many different story lines for The Blacktop Brothers 4 that it could be 800 pages long if I don't split it into two. COULD be. So when not much happens for a large portion, I found myself reading hoping that something new would happen and this book doesn't disappoint on that note. There were a few scenes I hadn't anticipated, including this capture attempt in Africa involving all the characters that really drew me in with me almost biting my nails and had me grinning by the ned and I read the whole thing over again. After that, I read the last two hundred and fifty pages in two days. The gravity was immense and will keep you wondering how Marissa Meyer will top that in Winter in a few months to come. The last few chapters are the best, they may leave you cheering. I just wish the rest of the book did the same.
These Lunar Chronicles books all, for me, have dragging beginnings but stand-up-and-clap third acts. Cress is the most powerful in both categories so far.