Cress by Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #3
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends on February 4, 2014
Genre(s): Fantasy (YA), Science Fiction (YA)
Even in the future. there are damsels in distress...
In the third installment of the Lunar chronicles, Cress, having risked everything to warn Cinder of Queen Levana's evil plan, has a slight problem. She's been imprisoned on a satellite since childhood and has only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress a great hacker. Unfortunately, she's just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress involving Cinder, Captain Thorne, Scarlet, and Wolf goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes as a high price. Meanwhile, 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.
Cress is the third book in the Lunar Chronicles. This review will include spoilers about the series.
Oh boy, where do I begin? This book is wavering between 3 and 4 stars. Not because it was a bad book, it was good. It was just a tad predictable. But can I really fault a fairytale retelling for being predictable?
Cress lives alone in a satellite that orbits the Earth day after day after day. Her only company is her netscreen, a program she made when she was ten that she calls Little Cress and the occasional visit from Thaumaturge Sybil, the Queen’s second in command. She is a shell (if you remember from the previous books, a shell is a Lunar born without abilities) and thus, the reason she has been banished from Lunar (Shells are supposedly killed on Lunar as babies. Supposedly). That and her amazing hacking skills.
It is her duty to be a spy for the Lunar Queen, Levana. She watches Earthern leaders and keeps Lunar spaceships hidden from Earthern eyes. Her latest assignment is to find Cinder. Which she does, quite successfully but then because she hates the Queen and Sybil she keeps the crew of the Rampion from being tracked. She is pretty much the reason Cinder has made it as far as she has.
After Cinder makes contact with Cress, they plan her escape. After seven years of forced isolation, Cress is finally going to be free!
But there is no way it’s going to be that easy, right? Sybil makes an unexpected visit while the Rampion is about to dock, which leads to a nasty battle. Scarlet gets taken, Wolf is injured, and Thorne and Scarlet plummet to the Earth inside her satellite, that’s not exactly built for entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Miraculously, Cress and Thorne survive, though a bad blow to the head has left Thorne blind. They are in the middle of a desert, no clue where they are or how far away civilization is. Plus Cress has never set foot on Earth before.
The crew is now separated. Cinder has to find Dr. Erland to save Wolf. Scarlet is under the mind control of Sybil and being tortured on Lunar and Cress and Thorne are wandering the desert. How exactly are they going to stop the wedding between Levana and Kai AND overthrow Levana if the team of misfits is spread out all over the galaxy?
Cress is cute and socially awkward. She’s got the hots for Thorne, which developed while she was searching for the fugitives. She is under the (rather misguided) assumption that he is the prince to her damsel in distress. But she’s been locked in a satellite for seven years so her lack of social skills, her fantasies and her tendency to cry and overreact are completely understandable. She is pretty damn smart though, and willful. I wasn’t really that in to the Thorne/Cress love story though. I don’t feel like they mesh well. I do like both characters separately though. Thorne is still a sarcastic ass.
Scarlet is barely in this one which depresses me since she is, so far, my favorite. I say so far because Winter is briefly introduced and she is LOONEY, in a “The Shining/the walls are bleeding” kind of way and I do love me some crazy characters. Wolf is also hardly featured and when he is, he is moping around because Scarlet was kidnapped(Understandable to a point.) Their love story is the only one that really works for me and it’s probably the most ridiculous.
Cinder is developing her gifts. She is not as “woe as me” as she was in the last book, which finally made me like her a bit more. She’s ready to fight and take down Levana. She’s scared, which it’s okay to be scared when you are faced with imminent doom but I feel like she’s
starting to own the responsibility she has now.
Kai is featured as a POV again and finally, finally starting to show some backbone. Took long enough! Though he does spend a good chunk of the book whining, about the middle of the book he starts redeeming himself. Towards the end is when he really grows some balls.
Iko is hilarious as always. I think she is my second favorite character.
Despite the minor character flaws, the plot moves along nicely. Things are accomplished. Action is taken. There is no lull that can sometimes happen in series books. I pretty much flew through this book. I was disappointed at first by the crew being separated but then I wondered how Cress would have grown if they hadn’t been and I got over it.
So overall, liked this book. I can’t wait until Winter!