Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer
Release date: February 4th, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Series: #3 in The Lunar Chronicles
Source: gift from Christina
Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.
In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only 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 goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.
This review contains spoilers for books one and two in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Scarlet.
Okay. Words. I need to put together words for this book, but I can't because THIS BOOK.
It's a big, honking long book, and trust me, that's the best part. You never want this ride to end. We're thrust into action and adventure from the get-go. The characters you've come to love throughout the series suffer through so many setbacks and insanities, and you suffer right along with them. It's enormously fun.
And we meet out new girl, Cress! I ADORE CRESS. She is naive, sweet, enthusiastic, terrified, secretly brave, very imaginative, and intensely lonely. She's a Lunar shell, and she has zero experience of the world, as she's been trapped in a satellite for ten years, doing her evil mistress's evil technological bidding. I loved that she has a lot of her misconceptions of people and life knocked away. She really comes into her own in this book, and I'm so excited to watch her develop more in the next. And I love that her sweetness and belief in people has positive reinforcements on my baby, one Carswell Thorne. But I will get to them a bit later.
|Just be patient.|
What I love about this series is how much it has grown in scope. With each addition of a new storyline and heroine, Meyer tosses a new juggling ball in the air, and heck if she's not still juggling them all with aplomb. The consequences are more epic, the stakes are moon-high (SEE WHAT I DID THERE?), and the tension is high. The plot builds to scary-huge moments, and the ending? WHOA. Whoaaaaa. Trust me, by the end, after all the crap hits the fan and our heroes are heroic and both bad and good things happen, you'll be DYING for Winter.
This series really does have the best of both worlds, being both sci-fi and fairy tale-esque. I've always thought this series was light sci-fi, or accessible sci-fi, I suppose. It's a world that's very easy to inhabit as a reader, and I love that. The characters feel familiar because of their fairy tale counterparts, but they're by no means unoriginal. In fact, I say the characters are the strength of this series. Cinder, Kai, Scarlet, Thorne, Wolf, Cress, Iko--I care about them so much, and when sad things happen to them, I GET SAD. Cinder and Thorne have one of the best platonic friendships since Aria and Roar. I'll dare you not to get misty at a certain scene. Aw, and Iko! Thorne and Iko! And just Thorne, generally. As a Thorne-person. Thorning around. Being Thorne.
Book five of the Lunar Chronicles: Thorne by Marissa Meyer. I would read that so fast.
I'm trying to leave as many spoilers out of this as possible, but I will tell you that our heroic band is separated very early on. Scarlet, Cress, and Cinder all have their own plots for most of the book (not telling your where the boys are, though for fairy-tale-esque and logic reasons, you can figure out where Thorne is). (Okay, fine, he's with Cress. There you go.) I loved that Meyer chose to focus on the part of the Rapunzel storyline that is usually glossed over--the part after Rapunzel is cast from her tower. The part where she wanders the wilderness in search of her love and has to start anew (with babies, because fairy tale Rapunzel was a bamf). Basically, the part where Rapunzel does all her growing.
Okay, let's talk about the important things: the ships. Some people may may say this ship is creepy, but these people are obviously incorrect people whom we shall never trust again. Right? Right. Cress and Thorne are utterly hilarious and adorable and guyssss, I ships it. I love her huge crush on him, and the disillusionment that follows. I love Thorne's charm and charisma and worldliness, and the way it plays off Cress' total ignorance of most things and her strong ability to perceive other things. I love... the thing... that happens to Thorne... and how that affects the way he comes to know Cress. *vaguety vague vagueness*
Scarlet and Wolf suffer QUITE A BIT in this one (no, seriously, BE PREPARED), but I was totally proud of my girl Scarlet. Wolf? Wolf needed a good shake or two.
Queen Levana continues to evil all over the place, and Prince Kai continues to be adorable. Poor Kai. He finally agreed to marry the evil queen at the end of Scarlet to prevent more bloodshed and get the letumosis vaccine, which continues to kill millions in the Eastern Commonwealth.
Kai just needs a really big hug, you guys. He's dealing with a lot, and finally starting to put a lot of the pieces together as to the larger picture at hand (Cinder is the lost princess, Kai, you can do it, Kai). We also get to meet several new characters, including Jacin, a stoic and hard-to-pin-down Lunar guard, whose precise fairy tale counterpart is still a tiny bit of a mystery (I think Huntsman). And we also meet, right at the end... Winter.
Holy crap, Winter.
That's all I'm going to say.
SO much happens in this book. People are lost in the Sahara, there is death, shootings, palace coups, rescue operations, weddings (!!), maimings (!!!), genocide, revolution, kissing (!!!!!!), and so much more. Cress is the best book in the series so far, and cements the Lunar Chronicles as one of the best series around. Jump on this spaceship as soon as you can.