Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Review: Cress by Marissa MeyerCress by Marissa Meyer

Genres: Fairytale, YA Sci-Fi Dystopian Romance
Published by Square Fish on 1/27/15
Pages: 566
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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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.

The Delight

At the end of Scarlet, things are getting real for the small, unlikely band of rebels.  Cress kept up this cat and mouse game where Prince Kai and the on the run, Cinder are feeling overwhelmed yet willing to save everyone on earth in their own ways.  Cress wasn’t quite as edgy as Scarlet, but it was full of all the things I love most about this series.  It took the plot through to an end that had me in a state of high anticipation like all the great set-up books do.  Meeting a few new players, lots of excitement, a couple great twists and introspective moments and I had myself a very satisfying read.

Review

Cress is book three of the Young Adult dystopian fairytale retelling series, The Lunar Chronicles.  Each book builds on the one that came before it so they must be read in order.

So, I waited a long time after reading Scarlet to pick this one up.  I was jazzed to read it, but just never took the time to keep going.  Finally I did when Cress was picked as the TBR pile vote winner.  I had to dust out the memory cobwebs so I could get back in step with the series.  I don’t think I’ll be waiting quite so long between installments again.

Cress is a loose retelling of Rapunzel. There are at least a handful of correlations that fairytale lovers will adore seeing, though, the author writes a very original story here.  The overall story was engaging for me, but I confess to being more interested in some plot threads more than others.

And there are definitely several threads.  There is a narrator change with nearly every chapter with about a half dozen narrators.  All the major players from Cress and past books get some narration time.  I didn’t mind, but it did keep me on my toes as I darted from Luna to Kai’s palace to the Sahara and back.

Cress is the newest heroine to be introduced.  She’s not bold and struggles to adjust to life outside her ‘tower’ where she was kept isolated.  I enjoyed the change up from the alpha heroines to this gentle beta who still manages to get the job done.
Her hero, Thorne, is something of a swashbuckling pirate type.  I liked him and he’s fun, but I didn’t feel like I got a good handle on what makes him tick.  Their relationship takes a backseat to all that is going on.  In fact, I’d say its still in the tentative beginning moments even when the book closes.
My favorite couple, Wolf and Scarlet are separated for much of the story just like Kai and Cinder.  Desperate times and a ruthless queen make this inevitable.
Cinder knows who she is now and knows what this means.  She is burdened with a feeling of responsibility and flails because she feels inadequate for the task.  She now has a pretty good idea how Kai feels as the young new emperor.  She also has some darker thoughts and fights using her unlocked Lunar ability for the wrong reasons and turning into Levana.

The plot was strong and kept driving toward the big moment which was a series of high-paced and tension-wrought action sequences.  Loved it.  Oh, and then we have a few new players added to the mix that promise for some great reading in the final book, Winter.

Things wrap up on the conflict focus in this book, but there is a clear pointing toward what is to come.  Anticipation is high and I can’t wait to see how this small band will go up against Levana’s might.

I can most definitely recommend this series to those who enjoy a blend of sci-fi, dystopian, fairytale retelling, suspense, and romance.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #286 Dy
Mt. TBR #115 

Recommendations

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Preview

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • Hmm, not sure if this would be my kind of book but it does sound interesting. I do like that cover too.

    • Yeah, its definitely not for everyone and it is targeted toward a young audience which can also be iffy. But, man, I am digging it. Gorgeous covers on this whole series.
      Thanks, Mary!

  • I really do need to try this series. I have heard so many good things about it. I am glad that you enjoyed it!

    • Yes, you do, Carole. 🙂 I think you’d have a good time with the blending of several genres I know you like. I’m just in the first few chapters of Winter and so far so good. 🙂

  • Debbie Haupt

    Wow Sohpia Rose this is a new to me series and author. I do love retellings and it sounds like a fantastic meld of genres, but wow 566 page, does the pace keep up throughout the story?

    • Yes, its a clever blending and I loved that.

      No worries about the huginormous page count. It’s probably really half that because this one has a different than typical formatting that has larger font and spreads out the words. But yes, the pace keeps up and it reads fast. 🙂

  • I am hoping to read this back to back this winter if possible 😀

    • They read pretty fast and of course are exciting so hopefully you’ll have some good down time for them, Lily! 🙂

  • Karen

    This wasn’t my favorite of the series but I did enjoy it!

    I still need to read the final one.

    For What It’s Worth

    • Yes, I did prefer the earlier books, too, but Winter, the last one gets it back to some of the stuff I loved. Yes, you need to read the ending, Karen. 😉

  • I read the first book but never continued. I need to finish out the series. You reminded me I need to do it!

    • Heh heh, glad to give you a poke to keep going, Melissa. 🙂

  • Oh yes, it was a fantastic read. Thanks for stopping by, Geybie. 🙂

  • I see myself enjoying this series.I think I may give this one a try. Great review Sophia.

    • Super, Nadene! I’ll be curious to get your thoughts when you get the chance on these.

  • I only tried Cinder but had a good time with it! I want to try more in the series!

    • I think you’ll really enjoy the rest of them. Scarlet ended up my favorite. 🙂

  • I’ve heard great things about this series! I only read Cinder, years ago, and while I enjoyed it, for some reason I never followed up with the series. It seems like a binge-reading-worthy series though. 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed this one, Sophia!

    Have a great weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Scarlet is my favorite and then Winter. It seemed to get stronger as the conflict got bigger. I enjoyed it. 🙂

      Thanks, Alyssa!

  • I hope to pick up this series eventually. I am glad to hear these are loose retellings as I sometimes struggle a bit with retellings if they stick too close to the original story. It sounds like the multiple point of views work well here. Cress sounds like an interesting character with how she is more beta than the other alpha heroines. Great review!

    • I think she did a fantastic job with making the reader sense the connection to the fairytale, but really it was its own story. Cress was a sweet and innocent heroine who was timid, but pushed back her fear to do what she had to do when the time came. She was a refreshing change. The last heroine, Winter, is slightly different, but still gentle like Cress. So she had two alpha types and two beta types for heroines which was unique I think. Hope you get the chance, Lola!