Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress
by Marissa Meyer
Read: October 20 - 22, 2013
Published: 
February 4, 2014 by Feiwel & Friends **UPCOMING**
Source: Copy from publisher in exchange for an honest review 
Category: Fairy tale retelling

Series: The Lunar Chronicles, book 3
Find: Goodreads | Amazon



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.
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With each book I read in the Lunar Chronicles, I fall deeper in love with Marissa Meyer's characters and her storytelling. It's well documented in my letter to the author after I read Scarlet, that I had mixed feelings about Cinder but was completely hooked on the series by the end of book two. Cress is even better. 
Although Scarlet and Wolf remain my favorite pairing, this book is the most complex and exciting. I was on the edge of my seat for nearly the entire way through, riveted to these characters' stories and the twisting plot. 

Although we now have three main couples, plus secondaries and villains, Meyer has managed to make all of the characters feel present and vital, even when they are separated or at odds with each other. Even more than Cinder and Scarlet, Cress manages to balance several story lines without slowing down the plot. And possibly my most favorite aspect of this series is how Meyer continues to play with fairytale details in surprising ways, continually making her stories fresh and original.


This time it's Cress and Thorne's turn in the fairytale spotlight. And if you don't yet know what story they come from, it's the one with the girl with the long hair. I really enjoyed seeing details from Rapunzel in Cress, especially because this fairytale is not quite as widely known as the previous two inspirations. 

With so many plots converging, Cress and Thorne are not the only characters or storyline in the spotlight. We meet a few new characters, finally glimpsing all of our major players. We also travel throughout earth, into space and onto Luna. One of my favorite parts of this series is the wonderful mix of sci-fi space elements, including satellites and space ships, with a variety of continents and cultures. In Cress, we're also seeing all the pieces of this story line up, getting a larger picture of this world and what these characters will be facing in the final book Winter. I can't wait. 

Despite the fact that these are fairytale characters - some with exciting 'extra' abilities, because of their Luna (alien) natures - they have real struggles and insecurities. They can be pretty quirky (or even odd) at times, and they are incredibly strong in some ways and vulnerable in others. It's an interesting juxtaposition that serves to make the characters relatable, and also creates many nail biting scenes. I'm very much enjoying the dynamic between all of them, and the ways Meyer forces different members of the 'team' to work together.

Here's the thing, despite how much I adored this book and the Rapunzel storyline, Cress and Thorne are not my favorite couple. They don't seem evenly matched or like they have much if any common ground. I just didn't sense a lot of chemistry between them. I'm hoping this will change on the final book. However, surprisingly, none of this dragged down Cress for me. 

With fast paced, edge-of-your-seat action, at least one surprising revelation, strong original fairy-tale elements and space ships galore, Cress is a hit all the way through, once again proving Marissa Meyer's vast storytelling abilities. 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low/Medium - Present action wrapped up. But lots more to solve to complete the series. 


59 comments:

  1. It's disappointing that Cress and Thorne don't share the sizzling chemistry of Wolf and Scarlet. I loved Thorne, so I had high hopes for his romance, so I guess I should taper those expectations. I'm glad to see this book does, however, work towards the overarching plot very well. I know readers are crazy about this series - and I'm not one of them - but I will be reading this and am curious to see where the narrative goes. Plus, I can't help hoping for more world-building...soon! Lovely review, Lauren!

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  2. *squeak* My jealously flared when I saw people getting review copies of Cress and I just recently begged for a copy (though I'm certain I won't get it. *sigh* Waiting is the hardest part!). Even though on one hand, I'd like to read a story dedicated to each couple, I love how the storylines are all converging for the final, dramatic tale.

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  3. SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK LAUREN!!! I was initially very worried about Scarlet because I didn't want the addition of a new romance to take away from Cinder's story, but Marissa made it all work so beautifully. I'm so glad to know even with the addition of this third romantic pair, the story still flows well and never gets bogged down with the weight of all the different threads. I'm a little bummed you didn't feel the chemistry between Cress and Thorne, but that seems like a minor niggle and I just can't wait to get my hands on this one:)

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  4. Wait..WHAT!?!!! Cress is paired with Captain Thorne? BEST NEWS EVER!!!! I was so freaking excited for this book before, but now I need to find a way to get my hands on an ARC because I simply can't wait! Though it sucks a little that their chemistry wasn't up to par, but since I wasn't a fan of Cinder and the prince and still loved their book, I don't think I would have a problem with this one. The world is amazing in itself! Great review, Lauren!

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  5. If I e-mail you begging for spoilers.................... Don't indulge me.

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  6. Gah! February seems farther every day. *weeps inconsolably*

    Oh, and I really enjoyed your review, when I wasn't drowning in self-pity.

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  7. This series is so very popular I know I'm missing out. I'll have to read this series soon. I like the fact that the author is able to make the re-tellings fresh and original. Love that the story wraps up and there's no love triangle! Yes! Great review, Lauren. :)

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  8. I really need to start reading this series! I've heard so many people raving about it in the blogosphere!

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  9. I was also hoping for more of a connection between Cress and Thorne. I thought Cress was a very sympathetic character, but she was just too sheltered and sweet for Thorne. But I am VERY excited about Winter -- what an intriguing glimpse we got of her!!!!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

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  10. Inside look into Lunar people, WOO!!!! Sad that the romance isn't up to par because I LOVED Thorne, but yes, hopefully it will get better. Although, it also makes me even more interested because you said it doesn't bring the story down because Meyer is that good. *happy dances*

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  11. I didn't feel like Thorne and Cress's story had a chance to fully play out. I like them together but it just didn't feel complete to me. But maybe more will come of it later??

    Scarlett and Wolf are my favorite as well.

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  12. I haven't read my copy yet -- soon, I promise -- but I was shipping Cinder and Thorne, too. :) I loved seeing a post from the author on how she keeps all the story arcs straight. I can imagine it would be difficult, especially with all the new characters she adds in each installment. Also, people don't really know the Rapunzel fairy tale? That was one of my favorites as a kid! I hope this book encourages more to check out the original story!

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  13. I want to come back to your review after I start to outline mine--but just have to gush about how much I am enjoying this series. It just gets better and better:)

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  14. I wouldn't mind Thorne and Cress, but I'm actually sort of shipping Cinder/Thorne. He is absolutely my favorite part (with Scarlet, who didn't get enough time to shine) of this book. I agree, the more books I read, the more I fall in love with her writing-style :)

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  15. I read this but haven't reviewed it, and now I think I should just tell everyone to read yours instead of writing my own. You said everything that I have thought about this book - and this series! Cinder was only a so-so read for me, but I just fell in love with Scarlet. I agree that Scarlet/Wolf are my favorite pairing, but also that Cress took the story's complexity and depth to another level. I'm so very excited about this series, in a way I never anticipated I would be after finishing the first book. So glad I kept reading and can't wait to see how it all will end!

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  16. Awww! No chemistry between Cress and Thorne :( I want Thorne to have awesome chemistry with the girl he chooses, but that wouldn't ruin the book for me either. I can't wait to read! I love your review :)

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  17. Awww! No chemistry between Cress and Thorne :( I want Thorne to have awesome chemistry with the girl he chooses, but that wouldn't ruin the book for me either. I can't wait to read! I love your review :)

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  18. Your so lucky to have already read it! I can't wait until the fourth!

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  19. I CAN NOT WAIT ANY LONGER I NEED CRESS NOW!!!!
    -Katherine

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  20. I CAN NOT WAIT ANY LONGER I NEED CRESS NOW!!!!
    -Katherine

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  21. I was a little worried about the relationship between the suave Captain and the severely under-socialized Cress, but i am hoping that we get to see a bit of their own personalities help the other. Perhaps Cress will humble Thorne in some way, and he will in turn help her to integrate into being a funny, lovable awesome member of society!

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  22. I still really like your review, :). (I came here to comment for the contest and found a comment I don't entirely remember leaving. Maybe a future version of me left it, :D)

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  23. Thanks for the review. I'm still excited to get my hands on Cress though!

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  24. I find it interesting to see what other people think of these books. Thanks for reviewing it. I'm disappointed to hear about Cress and Thorne, it was one of the highlights I was looking forward to. I hope there are other swoon-like moments though!

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  25. Thanks for the review! I am super excited for Cress! I'm a little disappointed about Cress and Thorne but I am still looking forward to reading the book nonetheless! I LOVE Marissa's writing and I love the Lunar Chronicles! So excited!!! <3

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  26. Hmm Cress and Thorne...I'm not sure about that one but I'm sure Meyer will make it work in the series. My favorite pairing is still Wolfe and Scarlet

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  27. Awesome review! Kai and Cinder are my favorite pairing, but and really nervous as to how they are going to end up. And I am really excited to see Cress and Thorne together. I think they will make a good couple. I love that their aren't any love triangles in this series! I can't wait for all of the action in Cress also! Can't wait to see these girls kick some more ass! :)

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  28. I'm really excited for Cress (as I make this comment, we are almost at the twelve-day countdown). Also, taking a moment to give thanks for the continued lack of overplayed love triangles. Thanks for the review.

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  29. I am so excited for Cress and now after reading this review, I'm even more excited!

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  30. I just cannot wait for Cress to come out! I'm just sad that I'll have to wait a year for Winter after :( I love how Marissa Meyer manages to develop all her character and how she links together so many different things in the plot :) I love the twists on all the fairy tales that these stories are based off of, and I absolutely love how none of her characters are waiting for a prince to save them. They are independent and are definitely not damsels in distress.

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  31. Great review! I can't wait to read this book and meet new characters. <3

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  32. I can't wait to read Cress! Loved your review!

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  33. I am so excited for Cress! Scarlet and Wolf are my favourite characters so far, but I've also heard great things about Thorne.

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  34. I read Cress a little while ago! Completely agree with your review.
    NEED WINTER NOW!

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  35. Definitely can not wait for Cress! And to meet all the new characters and witness their interactions...!!! The first five chapters were amazing! Alllmost there!

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  36. Definitely can not wait for Cress! And to meet all the new characters and witness their interactions...!!! The first five chapters were amazing! Alllmost there!

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  37. Definitely can not wait for Cress! And to meet all the new characters and witness their interactions...!!! The first five chapters were amazing! Alllmost there!

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  38. Definitely can not wait for Cress! And to meet all the new characters and witness their interactions...!!! The first five chapters were amazing! Alllmost there!

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  39. Definitely can not wait for Cress! And to meet all the new characters and witness their interactions...!!! The first five chapters were amazing! Alllmost there!

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  40. Definitely can not wait for Cress! And to meet all the new characters and witness their interactions...!!! The first five chapters were amazing! Alllmost there!

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  41. Can't wait for Cress!!! Nice review, you just made me want Cress more.

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  42. Great review .I fall more in love with the series each book too, and I cannot wait to read Cress!

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  43. I cannot wait for Cress! This was an excellent review. I like that you aren't afraid to say you don't like a relationship that most of us (ok, I, at least) are supporting. Not that most of us have read the book yet, but . . .

    Thanks for posting this review!

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  44. I feel as though I'm the only person who didn't love Scarlet as much as/more than Cinder. And that makes me sad.
    I do love the "Rapunzel" fairy tale though, and it's variants, even more so than "Cinderella" or "Little Red Riding Hood," so I'm hopeful that Cress will work out better for me. And I hope that the wait isn't too unbearable for you Lauren!

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  45. I'm so excited to read Cress! Rapunzel has always been one of my favorite fairy tales/folktales and it looks really good. Also, Thorne was one of my favorite characters in Scarlet, so I can't wait to see more of him :)

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  46. Not much chemistry between Cress and Thorne? Hmm...that is interesting. I wonder what the author's reasoning for their attraction was then. I guess the exotic, forbidden and dangerous on Thorne's part (how many guys get to date a Lunar who can't fry their brains?); and for Cress...I guess you could either use the "she's never met a guy before" excuse or tie it into some idealized version of a guy from a net drama. Maybe? Nice review!

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  47. Thorne really grew on me slowly...and I feel that the lack of chemistry is more Thorne holding back...he is a rake and she is young and very very inexperienced!

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  48. I'm really happy there aren't any love triangles in this series or that there isn't a major cliffhanger! :) Hopefully I get to read this one soon!

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  49. I cannot wait for this to come out! Already on the edge of my seat!

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  50. I haven't read any of these yet but I'm really, really excited to start this series. I love fairy tale retellings and these just seem so fantastically different.

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  51. I love that Throne gets to have a romance. Plus I can't wait for more Wolf and Scarlet!

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  52. Stinks that the chemistry wasn't there but then again it would be hard to top Wolf and Scarlet to me. I can't wait to read the book though. I love that this features a lot of the science and technology aspects. Great review, you've made me even more eager to read it.

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  53. Although I loved Cinder almost from the beginning, and enjoyed Scarlet just about as much, at times I also had trouble deciding how I felt about the story. I loved the idea of it and the way that she told it, but until the end of Scarlet, I wasn't "breathless" over it because it was still early enough in the series that the author could, well, ahem, ruin it. Thank goodness she did nothing of the sort.

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  54. Agh so excited I can't even.... my feels!!!!!!!!!!! Tuesday can't come fast enough. Great review by the way thank you for not spoiling anything

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  55. I am incredibly excited to read Cress! The whole series so far has been spectacular.

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  56. Hm. At first glance I totally ship Cress and Thorne, but I can see how it would be a bit of an odd match. I can't wait to read it, seriously!

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  57. I hope Cress and Thorne end up together cuz Cress is practically stalking him and that says something right

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  58. I think it''ll be very interesting to see Cress and Throne together. I am downloading the audio of this book as soon as it's available and start tomorrow hopefully! Also, glad to know that even with all the additional characters everyone still has an important part to the story. That was one of the things I was worried about!

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