Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

13206828Rating: 5/5
Genre: Young Adult, Action, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Number of pages: 550
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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.

REVIEW

SPOILER FREE! FULL OF FEELS THOUGH.

She’s done it again, folks. Marissa Meyer’s done it again.

SHE MADE ME FALL IN LOVE WITH HER WORLD AND HER CHARACTERS ONCE MORE.

Let me first say that the Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite YA Science Fiction series. More than the intricate writing and the awesome characters, the books have what I deem is the most important… heart (and I’m not saying that literally). By “heart”, I mean it has that amazing ability to reel you in and let you experience first-hand the world and the emotions our heroes and heroines go through in the rawest sense. It can make you feel for them, sympathize with their plight, and leave you wanting to be strong in their place especially when they find themselves encountering various trials and tribulations. It can made you feel sad and angry at the injustice being done to them and to innocent civilians, despite the fact that what we are witnessing are words laced together to create a story. Best of all, it can make itself seem so real, like the world feels familiar and the characters feel like they’re my own real-life friends. Marissa Meyer’s books made me feel all that.

Cress? No exception.

If I had it my way, I’d simply laden this review with gifs that represent everything I felt while I was reading this book, with a Nike-inspired message at the end that goes, “Just read it!” I mean, what else is there to say other than this book simply has it all? Marissa Meyer just keeps getting better and better each book, and I’m proud to say I’m kind of afraid of what she will become in a couple of years, when her writing and storytelling continues to improve, but I digress.

Usually, I reserve 500 pages or more for fantasy books, because they usually need a lot more pages to mold and polish its world and its own society and rules (magic or no), so you can’t blame my nervousness when I saw Cress had more than 500 pages to boast of. That’s a lot for a book for the Young Adult demographic, but honestly, while I was reading, it felt like I was flying through the pages and couldn’t find my brakes. Next thing you know, you’re at 50%, then at 75%, and then at the end… there’s just so much suspense and activity going on that you feel as if the almost-600 pages of awesomeness are NOT enough (yes, I did wish, and sincerely so, it was longer!). So much to admire and love in this book.

For starters, there’s Cress, also known as Crescent Moon, a Lunar Shell who has been trapped in her orbiting satellite for several years. Loving Cinder and Scarlet so much, I had thought that maybe my heart was already full and there won’t be any room for her, but goodness, I fell in love with this sweet girl from the very first page. Even though I’m not always a fan of awkward personalities, Cress’s socially-impaired self was adorable and absolutely endearing to read; it was like meeting someone utterly innocent and full of optimism and dreams that you can’t help but hold her gently. Who would’ve thought she can make being reserved and shy so appealing? She may not have Cinder and Scarlet’s strengths and she may be the kind of person who’d rather toy around with technology, but she proves herself a valuable ally and a lovable character. I can totally understand a certain character’s protectiveness of her; I would shield her too if I were in his shoes. So far, she’s my favorite of the three heroines!

Aside from her, the other characters have been so much fun to read. Iko totally wins as the best supporting character ever humor-wise. There would be moments where the atmosphere would be dark and heavy and full of tension, but she’d be the icebreaker with her witty and comical comments. And even though Wolf has a more serious persona, he had his funny moments, too, and I can still remember him cradling his can of tomatoes (is it weird that THIS is the most memorable scene in the book for me? I can just picture him doing that…). I didn’t love him more than I loved him in Scarlet, but I really liked how his seemingly intimidating aura works well with the others. Cinder is still kick-ass and Thorne is absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE! Dude, if I had it my way (again), Thorne would be with ME (nothing against you, Cress darling; the man is just irresistible!) I loved his laid-back attitude and how he would downplay bad things happening to them with a joke or with a smile; I loved how resilient he was despite the odds turning against him, and; I loved how well he got along with everybody. He’s like the guy everyone likes, the person in the group everyone may get annoyed with every once in a while but would still come back to him at the end of the day. I appreciated that so much.

And there’s Kai. Kai, the young Emperor who I thought was bland and too uptight in the previous books. Kai who I finally grew to love in this installment because he, at last, grew a pair when he needed it most. I loved how he matured so much here! Before, I kind of didn’t like how he let the situations run their courses with little effort from his part. I was disappointed in how he didn’t seem to fight for his people and the things he believed in enough. But in Cress, I appreciated how he eventually took initiative in changing things for the better, despite what other people may think or say; how he gave absolutely zero fucks what his advisers may think and did what he could because no one else was trying. It was such a welcome change from the tense person I got to know in Cinder and Scarlet, and I can’t wait to see how much more he’ll grow. See, Kai? Having a pair isn’t so bad, is it?

I can’t wait for Winter. The stakes have never been so high and you can just feel the tension and suspense seeping from the pages. Marissa Meyer is a talented author who can effortlessly and flawlessly make her characters come alive. And while I may be impatiently waiting for the last and final installment, I can only give Cress and its wonderful author one thing:

Rating Report
Plot
Characters
Writing
Pacing
World-building
Overall: 4.8
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Faye

Faye

A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena

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  1. says

    You already know how I feel about the boys (Wolf being my favorite), but I have to agree with you again–Iko rocks my socks off. She might be my all-time favorite secondary character.

    And Winter is coming *snorts*

    I can’t wait to see how the crazy Lunar princess stacks up against the rest of them ;)
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Slumber by Samantha YoungMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      I know! I remember someone sending me a link to a YA Oscars thingo, and the first person I thought of when I saw BEST SUPPORTING YA FEMALE CHARACTER was Iko. She and her godly humor.

      Levana will meet her maker soon >:D Mwahahahhaa

    • FayeFaye says

      IT IS! I DON’T GIVE 5 STARS RATINGS EASILY NOW! ;P And seriously, it’s one of the best YA series out there, and one of the best retellings, too! You won’t be disappointed!

  2. says

    I’m super happy that you loved this one! This is another one of those really hyped up books right now and I’m really looking forward to reading it despite all the positive glowing reviews that usually make a little wary. I love how the previous characters get even more development as well as the addition of a whole new character! Fantastic review, Faye! <33
    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted…Random Talk Time (5): Does Hype Turn You Off?My Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      I know! Winter’s giving me all the feels already and it’s not even out yet. Can’t believe we have to wait a FULL YEAR!!! to read the last installment :( It IS the last, isn’t it?

  3. says

    I also just reviewed this one on my blog! :D I still thought that Kai was a bit boring in this one, but ALL THE LOVE FOR THORNE AND WOLF… <3 <3 And Cinder was totally badass in this one! I thought we needed more of Scarlet. And Cress was such a cutie-pie. :)) Lovely review, ate Faye!
    Aimee recently posted…Review: Cress by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  4. says

    YES totally agree with your review! I absolutely love your book, Thorne is so charming haha. Oh good pick with that scene with Wolf, he is very intense and totally perfect for Scarlet. I’m so glad you mentioned about Kai finally growing a pair! Good on him for doing that for once. My favourite couple is Kai x Cinder <3 Lovely review Faye!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…ARC Review: Grim by Christine Johnson Review – Dark and twisted fairy talesMy Profile

  5. says

    I love love love love this review, Faye! You took everything out of my heart and managed to put it in your beautiful words.
    I’m so amazed by Marissa Meyer’s talent. I don’t know how she has managed to make me fall so hard for all of these characters. There’s not one book in this series that I remotely dislike.

    “By “heart”, I mean it has that amazing ability to reel you in and let you experience first-hand the world and the emotions our heroes and heroines go through in the rawest sense.”
    THIS. I completely agree with this statement. Meyer must have some sort of magical power that reels readers in with her writing and her characters.

    I was worried about not enjoying Cress at first because I already loved Scarlet and Cinder, but my gosh, her innocence and shyness completely pulled me in and she’s most definitely my favorite. I loved her optimism and her infatuation with Thorne. Thorne! <3 I would totally keep him for myself too, but I think he and Cress are well-suited together. I can't wait to see more of these two in the next book and Winter should be interesting too as a character from the glimpse we got of her.
    Fabulous review, Faye!
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Blog Tour Stop : Solving for Ex by LeighAnn KopansMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Thank you so much, Nick! :D Marissa Meyer is definitely up there at my list of Authors-Whose-Skills-Are-To-Envy-For. LOL!

      Now there’s Winter left and I kind of love her already <3

  6. says

    I love these characters so hard. Haha. Meyer’s writing progresses with each book, agreed. The thing that divides most readers with this book is Cress. I don’t know if I’ll adore or hate her, but Scarlet is my girl atm and I’m rooting for her the most right now. I’m glad you found Cress to be adorable though :) “Kai who I finally grew to love in this installment because he, at last, grew a pair when he needed it most.” Excuse my French, but FUCK. YES. This is what I’m talking about! The guy needs to stand up and it’s about time! Sooo cannot wait for this. I’m glad you enjoyed this piece so much and I hope I’ll have the same reaction:)
    Siiri recently posted…Blogger Interview: Nick’s Book BlogMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      I know! Kai infuriated me for the most part in both Cinder and Scarlet (he had to be such a doormat…) I’m very positive that you will love it as much as I did. I can’t wait to read your reaction!

  7. says

    I still haven’t read this series. Yes, I’m feeling the shame haha. Honestly though, all of these reviews are making me really want to ignore my mountain of a TBR and read them immediately. The fact that this book was a pretty big length yet it had no issues with you enjoying it less makes me feel quite interested. Longer books tend to drag for me. Sometimes in a series the characters can sort of blend together, this doesn’t seem the case for the Lunar chronicles though.

    Wonderful review (:
    Larissa recently posted…Review: Don’t Even Think About It by Sarah MlynowskiMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      If I were you, I’d ignore that pile of TBR books and just get this series. Seriously, there’a a reason why it’s such a favorite. <3 <3

  8. says

    AAAH so happy you loved this one too! It’s my favorite in the series so far and I luuurved it (well duh lol)! I felt the same when I saw the sheer number of pages but if someone can write endless pages and keep it engaging and perfectly paced, it’s Meyer! I totally agree Iko is the shiz I love that character so hard! And Thorne! YAY! Cress was also a wonderful character I loved her and her social awkwardness was done perfectly! WINTER!! Dude wasn’t she super creepy with saying the blood was running down the walls? Dude the 4th book will be epic!! Awesomesauce with balls review!!
    Giselle recently posted…Review: The Cellar by Natasha PrestonMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      I knooow! I’m so interested in Winter right now :) I have a feeling she’ll be the bizarre one in the group but the loneliest too ><

  9. says

    Yes! Yes! Yes! So glad you liked this as much as I did Faye! I agree…each book in the series keeps getting better and better! I don’t know how Marissa does it…but it’s incredible! I too fell in love with this diverse cast of characters, and I’m so glad you did too! :D Gah…I don’t want to have to wait another year for Winter! As always, brilliant review Faye! Thanks for sharing!

    (P.S. Sorry I haven’t commented in a while! It’s tech week for my play, so things have been kind of busy! The show ends tomorrow, so hopefully then I can get back to my regular commenting schedule!)
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…UninvitedMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      I know! One more year of waiting is going to be agonizing… But it also means the end ;_; I’m not sure how to handle that either.

      More like when are you going to update your blog?!?! I’ve been going back to see if you’ve updated it but nooooo… slacker! :P

    • Rashika says

      Totally barging in here but YAYY!!!!
      SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS WHY I LOVE KAI SO MUCH!
      He is also my favorite love interest! :D
      *does the happy dance*
      *awkwardly leaves the room doing the happy dance*

  10. says

    Woah! Everytime I read another glowing review for books from this series, the more I realize that I need to get back on Cinder soon! I tried reading it once but stopped after several chapters in for unknown reasons. Rapunzel is my favorite princess after Belle, so I’m SO excited about this one. Do we have to read the books in order to understand it or can we choose which one to start?
    Tirta @ I Prefer Reading recently posted…The Darkest Minds by Alexandra BrackenMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Hi, Tirta! You’ll have to read from the very beginning, I’m afraid >< It's not episodic at all! I hope you get to Cinder soon! :D

  11. laila BC says

    Lunartics here! i love this series! I can’t wait for Winter to come! this retelling of a well loved fairy tales is just amazing and each of their stories flows together into one harmonious plot twist. I love Thorne <3 with his ever charming persona. And Prince Kai! And poor Wolf & Scarlet Thank you for giving this a glowing review. This series deserve them and more!