Monday, March 10, 2014

Review: Cress - Marissa Meyer

Cress by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Genre: YA, fairy tale retelling, science fiction
Published on February 4, 2014
Published by Feiwell & Friends
Pages: 550
Read From: 2.24.14 - 2.28.14

In this third book in The Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they're plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 

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.


Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I love the cover art for this series - the themed colors and the unmistakable indication towards which fairy tale each book features. This is probably my least favorite, just because the character impersonator is more prominent than in the other two. But it's still very pretty.

Characters: Cress is probably my least favorite out of the three girls. Before you gasp in shock or nod your heard in agreement, let me continue. She's my least favorite out of the three, but I still liked her. Just comparatively, I wouldn't pick her as a favvie. She comes across as much younger than her actual age - not surprising, given how long she's been separated from the real world in her satellite. She's always tripping herself up and becomes enthusiastic over the smallest things, and she's also rather shy. But while Cress has great techie skills, she's fairly useless in any other way. I see her growing a lot as she spends more time with "the gang," but in this book, her naivety and girlish enthusiasm is cute, but wears thin after a little while. Scarlet and Wolf aren't in this volume much, which saddened me - I think it saddened pretty much everyone. But the moments they are in it, I loved them. I spent the majority of Cress wanting to give Wolf a hug, and Scarlet . . . Well, interesting things happened with her narration. Cinder spends some more time doubting and blaming herself unnecessarily, but she does also take initiative and fights back. She steps up to her role because she has to. And that's what I love about Cinder - she's intensely practical. And the times she throws a bit of a tantrum is understandable. Poor girl has been through a lot; she needs to vent the frustration sometime. Kai is acting more like a prince, and Thorne has actually grown on my affections. I never disliked him - he brought an interesting dynamic to the story. But I consciously like him now, as he continues to demonstrate his selfless side. I won't say too much about Winter - I can't, really, because her appearance is so brief. But I think she'll be . . . . interesting.

The Romance: It probably won't come as a surprise to anyone that Cress falls for Thorne. She's had a crush on him ever since she began researching his life during her time on the satellite. I'm not sure how I feel about this pairing. I saw it coming, so it didn't surprise me. And I wouldn't exactly call it shallow . . . . But it's not deep love, either. Their relationship doesn't really get resolved in Cress, so I think that as the series continues, it will grow, like Cinder and Kai's relationship has. Cress is just so young acting that I had a hard time taking her feelings seriously. The romance in general is as its always been in this series: it's there, and the Author has little moments where that's all she focuses on. But then it moves right along into the action.

Plot: Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet, and Wolf are wanted fugitives after everything that's happened. And Queen Levana has ordered Cress, a young Lunar girl trapped in a satellite, to track them down. But Cress wants to help them rather than hinder, and when the four try and rescue her from her satellite, things go horribly wrong. Even after she's separated from er companions, Cinder must try and stop the wedding between Queen Levana and Emperor Kai before it's too late, and the Lunar queen has control of Earth. I'm really not sure what made Cress so long. Stuff definitely happens, but not all that much. Nor is it slow. I mean, it has its moments. Cress and Thorne's parts aren't quite as interesting as Cinder's or even Kai's. One can only remain captivated by people wandering around in the Sahara for so long, after all. And despite their dire circumstances, Cress and Thorne's plot was a little more lighthearted, as you have Thorne's typical sense of humor and Cress's continued wonder at new sights and sounds that she's only ever read about on her netscreens. I prefer the darker aspects of the story, which is why Scarlet is still my favorite of the three books. I can see how some Readers found Book #3 a bit slower than the others, but it kept my personal attention the entire time. I actually forgot to take my customary notes as I read. I just plowed on through. There's a lot of plotting and discovering and trying to track down companions, only to miss them by a day or two. It essentially acts as a bridge between Book #2 and Book #4, and with a series this long, I'm fine with that. We get more world building, which I always enjoy.

Believability: Not applicable.

Writing Style: Third person, past tense. Each chapter alternates between following characters: Cress, Thorne, Cinder, Kai, and Scarlet. Even if Cress and Thorne's plotline wasn't my favorite, I still enjoyed it. I mean, you gotta know what's happening to them, and you also need to know what's happening to Cress and Scarlet and Kai as well. As always, the writing itself is rather modern and not necessarily anything special. But the characters and the world really make this series, so I don't mind it too much.

Content: None.

Conclusion: Kidnap plan! That's always exciting, and certainly, if you found the book boring before, you won't towards the end. It gets a little darker, it builds some foreshadowing for Winter, and it even has a bit of romantic resolution for the fangirls. ;-) I wouldn't call this book disappointing. Rapunzel hasn't ever been a real favorite fairy tale, so I wasn't quite as excited for this one as Scarlet. As a third book in the series, it works very well, though. It covers a lot of groundwork and I loved how the Author managed to keep so many of the original story's elements and not have them feel out of place. Can't wait for Winter!

Recommended Audience: Girl-and-guy read, fourteen-and-up, great for fans of fairy tale retellings and science fiction!

Others in The Lunar Chronicles:


  1. I know what you mean about Cress being your least favorite of the three. It's not that I disliked her, but I wasn't horribly connected to her. At all. It didn't help that she's a delusional cyber-stalker. ;) Still, definitely room for development.

    1. Knowing Marissa Meyer, I definitely think Cress will grow on my affections with Book #4.


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