Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

February 26, 2014 Reviews 9 ★★★★★

Cress by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles # 3
Published by Feiwel & Friends Pages: 550
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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.

I feel sorry for all of you who read the first two books in The Lunar Chronicles as they were published.  I was content to just hear how amazing Marissa Meyer’s writing is, content in the knowledge that I would get around to reading them…someday.  But when I made these books part of my “Series Catch-Up Challenge” earlier this month, it was time to buckle down.  I LOVED Cinder.  Even with all of my stinginess, I gave it five stars.  I was a little less enthralled with Scarlet, primarily because I didn’t find Scarlet (the character) all that interesting.  Her pairing with the brooding Wolf was a double dose of blah.  But now we come to Cress, and it blew me away.  It was even better than Cinder, and now I’m stuck in the same position as the rest of you, wishing the next book would just get here already.

Even readers unfamiliar with the series will probably surmise that Cress is a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy-tale.  I don’t remember much from this fairy-tale beyond “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.”  Rapunzel is a beautiful girl with impossibly long hair, locked away in a tower by a wicked woman, until she’s eventually rescued by a handsome prince.  Cress takes the role of Rapunzel in this book, and her prison is a satellite orbiting Earth.  Her captor is Sybil, the evil henchwoman to the even more evil Queen Levana.  Her skill as a hacker has assisted Sybil and Levana in their dominance of Earth, but Cress is conflicted.  When Cress gets the chance to help Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorn to overthrow the Queen, Cress jumps at the chance.  But things quickly go awry, and our merry little band is separated.  Scarlet and Wolf were absent for much of the story, but that was not a problem for me.  The sweet, guileless Cress and the blunt, but always hilarious Thorne are delightful.  (That seems like an old-fashioned word, but it’s the first one that popped into my head while thinking of a way to describe this pair.)

One of the things I loved about Scarlet was the relationship between Kai and Cinder.  Of course, there was not much of a relationship in that book, but I loved how Meyer made the discord between them so real.  So many times, authors throw some ridiculous obstacle in the path of a couple, they overreact, and then everything is magically fixed.  But here, Kai has strong reasons to distrust and even dislike our dear Cinder.  But even though his actions endanger Cinder, I couldn’t help feeling a great deal of sympathy and compassion for him.  Cinder continues to be a bad-ass; she reminds me a lot of Katniss, and I mean that as a compliment.

The story in Cress seems headed to a huge battle in the final book, Winter, between Earthens and Queen Levana and her minions.  That’s what I’m hoping, anyway, because I think I’d be disappointed if we get a Breaking Dawn type of situation, where the lead-up to war just fizzles out.  Assuming there IS a battle, I can’t even begin to imagine how it will play out, since the deck seems pretty heavily stacked against Earth.

I’d love to hear from all of you – Did you love Cress (the story and the character) as much as I did?  Are you already wondering what part Winter will play in the coming showdown?  Who got the funniest lines in this story – Thorne or Iko?  And are you hoping that Iko gets some love in Winter?


9 Responses to “Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer”

  1. Joyousreads

    Yeah. I’m one of those poor souls who eagerly awaits this series’ instalments every year. And it gets harder and harder, I tell ya. Thorne and Iko. Gah. They’re possibly the most remarkable secondary characters I’ve read in a while. I look forward to their appearances every time. Dying for Winter, for sure.

    Great review, Stephanie. 🙂
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    • Stephanie

      I was almost sad when Winter showed up at the end. She was SO interesting, and we only got a few pages with her!

  2. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    OMG Iko wins! “This is so much better than a net-drama.” I cracked up so hard!!! ^.^ It’s such a brilliant book and I’m utterly in love with this series. I’m beginning to think Marissa Meyer can do no wrong. 😉 I actually loved Scarlet the best. I originally DNF’ed Cinder . I know right?!! HORROR. But it was due at the library and I just never got around to re-borrowing it. But then I did and heck was I hooked. I nearly died waiting for Scarlet , and then Cress ??! I’m soooo lucky I got an arc and could read it early. I SHIP THORNE/CRESS SO HARD.
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  3. Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction

    I started reading this series right after I started blogging. This meant that I had no wait between Cinder and Scarlet but had the LOONG wait for Cress. It was painful to say the least. But, upon reading Cress I fell in love with the story, writing and characters. It is my favorite of the series and I can’t say enough wonderful things about Marissa Meyer. I think that Winter is going to be amazing! I’m so sad that it’ll mean the series is over. So happy you loved this series Stephanie!
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  4. Kel

    I wasn’t one of the first readers of the series, but I still had a decent wait between books. I really enjoyed Cinder (4 stars). I liked the ideas in Scarlet, but some of the execution fell short for me (which was annoying, because I like both Cinder and Scarlet as characters).

    Cress…I’m still trying to iron out my feelings on it for my review and will probably wind up rambling. On the one hand, the author did so many things right, things that are hard to pull off in a series. On the other, while I still love Cinder (didn’t see much of Scarlet) and the plotting was well done, I’m not horribly invested in Thorne and/or Cress. I didn’t dislike them, and I wasn’t bored, exactly, but I didn’t connect to them the way I did to Cinder and Scarlet.

    I am definitely looking forward to Winter. I see crazy schemes in the future, more Scarlet (which hopefully means more flying and shooting people), more Jacin (who had one line that nearly made me my favorite character of the series), and more Winter.
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  5. Angel (Spare Reads)

    Same as you, I didn’t like the character Scarlet all that much. The only part interesting in the second book is about Cinder. I actually still haven’t read Cress yet. I have no idea how I’m managing to do that, but hopefully soon… 🙂 I’m super curious of who Winter would be, lunar? human? royal? Regardless, I’m sure Marissa Meyer will figure out the most genius way to work Snow White’s story into this tale.
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  6. Kelly

    I delayed reading Scarlet until recently, but I finished Cress a week or so a go. And now I’m like WHY??! WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF? 2015 is far too long away!! Haha

    Like you, I loved Cinder, liked Scarlet, and then LOVED Cress. It had everything I enjoyed about both books, and then some!
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