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Cress, by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles)

Cress wants nothing more in the world than to be a true citizen of Luna. Isolated in a satellite orbiting earth, she has spent eight years of her life hacking Earthen technology from space to deliver intelligence to Her Lunar Majesty, the wicked Queen Levana. Eight years of solitude. Eight years of obedience. Eight years of dreaming, fantasizing, longing for the day she will be freed from her prison in the stars and allowed true citizenship on Luna. Even though she's a shell, born without the Lunar gift, she spies and hacks and obeys every order in the hope that one day, it will be enough.

Until the day she discovers Linh Cinder, the cyborg fugitive Queen Levana will stop at nothing to capture. But instead of tracking Cinder down for the queen, Cress risks everything to send a distress signal to the cyborg and her fellow-fugitive—the devastatingly, heart-stoppingly dreamy Captain Carswell Thorne. Closer to freedom than she's ever been in her life, Cress' dreams may finally be within reach. But Queen Levana has a tendency to turn dreams into nightmares . . .

This third installment of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles continues the momentum of the fast-paced, high-stakes Scarlet plot, with a fresh and interesting face. Cress is definitely a contrasting character to the bold and capable heroines of the first two books: she's socially awkward, fanciful, sweet, and innocent in a way that brings a new perspective to the intensity of the series. I found her so refreshing as a protagonist—not a born hero, but brave when it counts, and vulnerable in ways I found extremely genuine, familiar, and charming. I loved watching Cress develop over the course of this book and felt a strong connection to her endearing vulnerabilities. (Honestly, if I were anyone in this series, the socially awkward computer nerd would probably be my closest match.)

I love this book for so many reasons, and plot is definitely one of them. As with each book the ensemble cast builds, the story just becomes more complex, layers and plot threads weaving together in a stream of non-stop action, laughs, tears and shocks. Between rescues, abductions, battles, escapes, weddings, betrayals and near-death experiences, there's so much happening from chapter to chapter, it leaves very little time for plot lulls. Plus, the camaraderie between the cast members is absolutely top-notch. With some new personalities thrown into the mix, even the most intense scenes are complete with witty dialogue that never fails to make me laugh out loud, no matter how many times I read it!

Cress is a heart-warming, blood-pumping, mind-blowing epic from beginning to end and will leave you reeling for the final installment of this amazingly intricate series!

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