What a ride. Meyer accomplishes a lot of feats in Cress, including: Several different POVs, different plotlines and subplots running concurrently with each other, and raising the stakes even higher than what Cinder and Scarlet brought us.
Cress isn’t without its faults, though. For all that I loved the creative twists Meyer pulled on the Rapunzel fairytale, and for all that I really did love Cress as a character, I feel as if her character arc didn’t come to full fruition in this novel.
Really, when it comes down to it, I feel like the entirety of Cress’ storyline was composed too much around Thorne. This is especially apparent to me when Thorne has to cut her hair and we don’t even get a sentence about how she feels about it, and during the last meeting with Sybil when she barely registers as a blip on Cress’s radar. It’s little narrative things like that that can throw a reader out of a story, and it did do so for me.
And when you add in the fact that I wasn’t really hoping Thorne or Cress would get together, well… that part of the novel fell apart for me, although I can acknowledge how they might be good for each other. But for me, personally, I couldn’t get behind it: Cress has spent seven years in isolation on a satellite, and she falls in love with the first guy she meets in those seven years? I would rather she figure out who she is and what she even likes in people, especially as so much of who she believed Thorne to be was built up on her own fantasies.
Granted, the novel does deconstruct her daydreams about him, and Thorne does briefly bring up the point about him being the first guy she’s met in a while. But that latter point is quickly dropped and never brought up again. I loved Cress as a character, so I’m disappointed to see so much of her wound up being more about Thorne.
I was also disappointed Scarlet more or less disappeared during the novel, though I understand why she had to since it was already pretty packed to bursting already. Although the multiple POVs and storylines never feel strained, which I’m seriously impressed by.
Meyer has one hell of a challenge to overcome in Winter, but I think she’ll do fine and I’m looking forward to the result.