Wednesday 27 August 2014

Book Review - Cress

Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy | Young Adult
Release Date: 4th February 2014
Publishers: Puffin
No. Pages: 550
Source: Borrowed
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
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.

The following review may contain spoilers concerning earlier books in the series.
If you have not read the previous installments, please proceed with caution.

The Lunar Chronicles is a series loved by many, and I include myself in that many, but never had I imagined that I would willing sit up and read Cress for 6 hours straight, engrossed, enthralled, amazed and addicted to everything about it, from the inclusion of Cress, (which did sometimes irritate, and I mean only sometimes) to Cinder's new found confidence and leading skills, to the beautiful little details related to the story of Rapunzel that I picked up gradually and slowly. I admit, my feelings straight after finishing were 'oh my days this book' but after a night to dwell and think on it, there were a few little issues I had with the book, and when I say little, I mean almost minute, like, magnifying glass minute.

What I have to commend Meyer on is her ability to craft a brand new novel introducing new characters, new revelations, new plot twists and new romances and relationships, all while staying faithful to the overall plot and progress of The Lunar Chronicles and to the, now, extremely vast world that is Earth, Space and the Moon. I've never been able to read the work of an author that moulds all these features so perfectly together, with not too little focus on one or the other, but enough so that nothing feels neglected. Development of both the world and characters is paramount, it's easy to see and feel when you grow attached the characters even more and feel a sense of pride when they develop confidence or find bravery in themselves, even going as far as the hero inside of them, and feel like a firm person in this vivid and enticing, addictive world that Meyer has created. I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say that in the time I've taken up reading once again, I haven't had the beautiful pleasure of a world so beautiful, so damaged, so advanced, but also so close to our own world, with the struggles of diversity and prejudice, of equality and loyalty, and there's no other word that could address my feelings on these features other than perfection.

When I wasn't completely immersed into the world of Lunar Chronicles once more, the actual pacing of Cress and different perspectives was more of a challenge than in Scarlet. Scarlet consisted of four POV's, Scarlet and Wolfs, Cinder and Thorne's, Kai's and then an overall third person POV for different characters, but this time, Meyer crafted a POV for near enough every character that was more than secondary, from Cress and Thorne, to Cinder and Wolf, to Levana and her comrades, to the Dr and Kai and I admit, I did struggle once again in the first quarter of this novel, getting my head around the immense amount of POV's, but once again, after some patience and time, they were easy to identify and falling from one perspective into another was comfortable and flowed with ease. The actual pacing of Cress was much more varied; there were times, especially concerning Cress and Thorne's perspective, that the novel felt repetitive, slower and blatantly slow in order to develop them both as characters and the relationship that of course, would be created between them, and trust me, I'm all for romance, slow burn, passionate, cute, murderous, but I'd like a steady, interesting backdrop to it too and I don't know about you, but the Sahara Desert doesn't scream 'romance backdrop' to me, however, this is one of the few minute issues I had with Cress and is only mentioned in passing. The pacing was however absolutely fantastic when the characters were engaged in dramatic, action filled scenes and battles, with every second passing resulting in me falling closer and closer the edge of my seat, flipping through the pages faster and faster than the previous, feeling nervous and agitated about any of my favourite characters being hurt, damaged or worse, killed off. Thankfully, they have survived, for now.

Unsurprisingly, the main focus of this novel in comparison to Cinder with it's world building and Scarlet with it's revelations was it's cast of characters and their development. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that every character that I consider important went through the same level of development or in the same area, but the development at all was more than I had considered I would receive. Cinder's development I feel was much more subtle than some of the others in the novel; she gained more perspective on what was expected from her, she began to accept that was really was who everyone claimed her to be, and she started to develop her inner Lunar more confidently, started to lead her merry band of misfits into, I admit, not too fantastic plans, and in truth, accept that there would be sacrifices. Yes, she was still unsure of herself, lacked some necessary confidence and control when it came to plan making and quick-thinking and reactions, not to mention she continued to get a teeny tad bit distracted by a certain emperor, but other than these minor, I must stress just how minor, issues, I loved her development.

Cress and Thorne's development and dare I call it a romance was also really enjoyable to read about. From being stranded in the middle of space to travelling a desert on earth with your celebrity crush, I have to admit, Cress scored a very good deal I do think, where-as I do feel that Thorne's development was on an entirely different level to Cress'. I personally think that some of Cress' development came from how close she was to Thorne, how much faith and trust she found in him and how he brought out the bravery and spirit in her, while Thorne developed within himself and alongside Cress, still keeping is humour, sarcasm and glint of a grin, but also considering himself worth something more than a criminal, someone with skill, someone who can protect, someone with the ability to become even something close to a hero, and it was how the two of them developed with one another that was possibly sweeter than their romance. In fact, I'd be tempted to call their romance more of a attraction rather than love, but given time, I can see them becoming quite a nice couple. The only issue I had with Cress and the characters is that there wasn't anywhere near enough Scarlet and Wolf, and with Scarlet MIA, Wolf's inner beast had more page time than he himself did, which I do think was important, but also a little disappointing. I'm expecting an absolutely beautiful reunion between these two in Winter, or somebody, somewhere, somehow, is going to die a very slow, and very painful death.

I had expectations with Cress, and thankfully, they weren't dashed or disappointing, it had everything I'd wanted; a steady pacing throughout, development in all areas and some well placed well created revaluations, which sadly, in some places, I had already figured, but all the same, they were strong and well rounded to the plot, as well as a better view of Lunar and the plot as a whole and a fantastic set up for the final novel. However, personally, the best and most beautiful feature about Cress was the tiny details Meyer kept in order to keep the story of Cress faithful to Rapunzel; the singing of Cress mimicking Rapunzel singing in the tower, the incident involving Thorne's appearance that nodded respectfully towards the original Rapunzel story, as well as the detail of their names. Yes, Cinder and Scarlet stayed loyal and faithful to their fairy tales counterparts, but I think Cress' was the best of the bunch so far, so my admiration and love for Meyer still stand prominent and strong still. Now the only problem I have is having to wait for Winter amongst the other 'Lunartics' after having read Cress in one mind-blowing, beautiful and absolutely wonderful night.


  1. So happy you loved this one. I wanna relisten,to the series now!

    1. Such a good series right Nereyda? I'm ashamed it took me so long to start!

  2. Interesting to read this. You did a super thorough job with this review!

    1. Thank you hun, it's such an in depth series, there's so much to say!

  3. I have Cress, so I'm glad you loved it - now I have to find time to read it...


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