Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #49: Cress

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #49: CressCress by Marissa Meyer
Series: THe Lunar Chronicles #3
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 4, 2014
Genres: Fairy Tales, Retelling, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 560
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository
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four-half-stars

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.

Recommended by: Kim (The Nomadic Book Hoarder) and Celine (The Book Shimmy)

Coming to nearly 600 pages, Cress is a much more ambitious novel than either of its predecessors. The book’s length is the most obvious change, but that length is required to encompass the ever-swelling scope and intensity of the Lunar Chronicles. Meyer’s series has been one of my favorites from the beginning, but it’s just been getting better as it goes along. Meyer has planned everything out from the beginning, and it shows in the strength and consistency of the plot.

With Cress, the cast adds another new main character, Crescent Moon, or Cress for short. She’s my least favorite of the three heroines thus far, and probably destined to be my least favorite overall. Still, her character is marvelously done and the retelling of Rapunzel creatively-crafted. For readers frustrated by the increase in the cast for Scarlet and wished for just a couple of viewpoints, Cress will be even more frustrating. Personally, I think this roving third person point of view is pretty much the only way that Meyer could effectively have told this tale.

Though the leads in the Lunar Chronicles are not the best-developed characters, they are, to a one, memorable and easy to relate to. They’ve all got their flaws and their charming qualities. Even more importantly, the six lead characters all have very distinct personalities from one another. Cinder is not Scarlet is not Cress; the same goes for Wolf, Thorne and Kai. Putting together such a large, diverse cast and so much plot and world building is tricky. The way that Meyer builds on more with each book, adding characters slowly, is inspired, and saves the reader from the infodumping that would have been necessary had the series opened with such a large cast.

One of my criticisms in Scarlet was the instalove between Wolf and Scarlet, and, if that worried you, fear not. There’s not too much about their romance here, because Scarlet’s a reasonable girl and doesn’t want to rush into something that quickly. I love Meyer so much for that. The rest of the romances are delightful as well, largely because they’re kept to the back burner where they burn slowly. There’s a bit of sappiness from Cress, but give the girl a break, because she’s spent all of her post-pubescent years alone in space; she has an excuse for being hormonal and wanting a fairy tale romance. Can you imagine if all you knew about love was from television programs? Except for the fact that I’m not entirely sold on one of the ships, I approve of everything she does here.

The reason that I think Cress continues to improve upon an already exceptional series is the upping in the plot. Both Cinder and Scarlet, though set in a unique landscape, are fairly straightforward from a plot perspective. They don’t have much in the way of surprises. They’re pretty predictable, as fairy tales tend to be. With Cress, the larger plot arc really begins to kick into high gear, and, in this volume, Meyer actually managed to surprise me several times. Everything’s really coming together, and Winter will blow my mind wide open, I have no doubt.

Basically, I need Winter right now, and I sort of hate myself for reading this so early, because it makes the wait that much longer. I trust Meyer to end the series on a strong note, because everything has been so well thought out and the series has been on a steady incline in quality.

Favorite Quote:

“Your ship has some messed-up priorities, you know that?”
Iko. My name is Iko. If you don’t stop calling me the ‘ship,’ I am going to make sure you never have hot water during your showers again, do you understand me?”
“Yeah, hold that thought while I go disable the speaker system.”
What? You can’t mute me. Cinder!”

Tl;dr – Book in a GIFfy:

omg so good spinning

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13 responses to “Sadie Hawkins Sunday Review #49: Cress”

  1. I love the GIF and am looking forward to the twists in the plot! ( i peaked at your review but don’t want to know much at all going into this one! SO EXCITED!
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  2. I think you’ve convinced me to wait until Winter is out to read Cress 😀
    Lenore Appelhans recently posted…2013 in Review: Movies and TVMy Profile

  3. I am SO excited for Cress. The wait is slowly killing me so I’m glad February is coming closer and closer. I skimmed your review because I do not want to know too much about the plot (besides the obvious things from the fairy tale) before reading, but I am glad Cress is just as good as Cinder and Scarlet (or even better). I wasn’t one of the people that wanted Scarlet to have a smaller cast, so I’m quite certain that I’ll love Cress even more because there are even more different viewpoints. I’ve always liked books with multiple point of views. I’m also glad that you mention that Cress managed to surprise you, as I really felt with Cinder that there was nothing surprising and it was easy to figure the ‘twists’ out. They weren’t even twists because they were obvious. Anyway, thanks for making me even more excited about Cress!
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  4. Chenise J. says:

    One of my favourite things about this series is how intricately the stories of the individual books and characters are woven together, so it makes me extremely happy to see that despite another book and more perspectives added it didn’t diminish the book at all! Gotta preorder this immediately!

  5. I’m so, so, so incredibly excited to read Cress. February 4 can not get here soon enough. I love that quotation you shared. Iko is such a fun character. And I’m so glad to hear that this series keeps getting better and better!
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Audio Review: Navigating Early by Clare VanderpoolMy Profile

  6. I am so very jealous that you’ve already read this one. If I didn’t adore you so much I would be off in a corner pouting. 🙂 I’m thrilled to hear that the 3rd in the series is as good as the others. I’m always afraid they are going to fizzle out. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one. Super excited at the length too…I’m not usually one for big ‘ole chunksters but I don’t think that I’ll mind this one in the least!
    Dana (Little Lovely Books) recently posted…A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (Thoughts On)My Profile

  7. I think what I love the most about this series is how every new book gets better and better 🙂 She introduces awesome new characters and I love where she is going with the plot. Winter is going to be epic. And I agree, in other books Cress would have been a character I wouldn’t like. Here, it works. Her whole look on romance felt realistic, the poor locked away girl.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Review 225. Brodi Ashton – Evertrue.My Profile

  8. I’m still not shipping Wolf and Scarlet, to be honest. Their not-that-great relationship in Scarlet together with how distraught he was after Sybil Mira kidnapped her here didn’t work for me one little bit. That poor, howling thing with a forced-feeling love for Scarlet. (Whoops, slipped into heartlessness again.) Winter is going to be such a fun book! I can’t wait to see how she writes Winter’s point of view, all tinged with madness from not using her gifts. Too bad there’s a 99% chance there won’t be ARCs of it, it being the last book in a bestselling series and all.

    Also, the scene with Kai and Cinder at the end made me all sorts of mushy. WHAT A SHIP.

  9. Lili says:

    I agree 100% with this review. CRESS was amazing, but she’s my least favorite of the 3 thus far.

    I feel like your review summed up everything I was trying to say in mine, except yours flowed better haha I just couldn’t form word sproperly. This series leaves me speechless too often.

    Great review! <3 And I was so happy there was no insta-love in this one!

  10. Bonnie says:

    So I didn’t fully read in case of spoilers because I suck and still need to read Cinder. I mean I get that it’s a series but does each installment focus on a different character, is that how it works?
    Bonnie recently posted…Book Review – Fortune’s Pawn (Paradox #1) by Rachel BachMy Profile

    • I think it’s probably more accurate to say each installment ADDS a different character cause the focus goes on all of them, but most of it will be focused on Cinder (for reasons you will know later in the books). It’s an amazing series. I hope you start reading it soon. Enjoy!
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  11. Haha! I love your review. I never saw the insta-love in Scarlet. If I remember correctly she threatened him with a gun…maybe insta-attraction cause of physical appearance. I pictured Wolf to be really handsome (in a messy kind of way!) lol! I love what you said about Cress and I can’t wait to read it! Cress sounds a bit on the crazy side. LOVE IT! Can’t wait to read!
    Monique Morris recently posted…Self promotion and IMy Profile

  12. Michael says:

    Well, you suggested Cinder for me over a year ago, and I have to admit, it’s really enjoyable! The gritty theme of fixing used cars, robots and computers combined with the fairytale thing really gets the wheels turning.

    Thank you so much for your reviews, and I think these books will be good imagination stimulators for me and my girls.
    Michael recently posted…25 Anni’s PlightMy Profile

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