Cress by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Cress marks the third installment in The Lunar Chronicles, a sci-fi series of fairy-tale retellings. Along with continuing the stories of Cinder Linh (Cinderella) and Scarlet Benoit (Red Riding Hood), Cress tells the story of Crescent Moon (Rapunzel), a Lunar shell who's is incredibly skilled at hacking, and is being exploited of those talents by the Lunar Queen Levana. As the wedding of Levana and Kai, the Emperor of the Eastern Commonwealth, draws near, everyone has to make a choice of what they're going to do when the time to act comes.
As this is the third book in a series, you can expect some spoilers. That being said, there are a few spoilers of this installment itself; depending on how observant you are, they could be pretty big ones. You've been warned; I will accept no responsibility for hospital bills.
This book had me talking out loud, smiling uncontrollably, and even crying. Which I don't actually do very often with books, and when I do, it's sobbing type crying. Basically, it was really really good.
Cress takes place a little while after Scarlet, after everything has calmed down a bit. We are introduced to Cress, the internet hacker entrapped in a satellite orbiting Earth as she's forced to monitor and find information for Queen Levana. She hasn't seen another person, other than her keeper Sybil Mira, in six years.
I loved the way that Cress was written. Like, absolutely, actively, consciously loved the writing of her. I loved her naivete, her awkwardness, and the fact that she was entirely out of her element, and didn't just adapt to the circumstances like Scarlet or Cinder might have. She did grow and strengthen as a character, but it wasn't the same as we'd seen before, and it suited her character. Being trapped and alone for half your life is going to do some damage, and we actually watched as Cress was able to finally mature from the scared child that first entered that satellite.
I also like how the relationship between Cress and Thorne is being developed. One cool thing about Marissa Meyer is that every character is different, and she recognizes that by not just telling the same story three times over. They both don't instantly fall in love with each other, and even when they have time to develop their feelings, it doesn't happen all at once. In fact, it hasn't even totally happened yet.
So, along with Cress's story, I loved the development for the other characters. We got to meet Jacin, who I assume we'll be seeing more of, and while I wanted to punch him (woo Cinder!), I know that there's a whole other story there. I cried for Dr. Erland, who I've generally disliked.
Real quick: There was one scene, nothing big, just the characters on the Rampion, being individually described, and I just couldn't stop getting this awesome Firefly vibe. I mean, come on, Wolf as Jayne? Don't tell me you can't see the resemblance!
I also felt so bad for Wolf and Scarlet. It's going to be really gratifying, in more ways than one, once their story picks back up again.
And of course, I couldn't go without mentioning Cinder's and Kai's stories. I felt like I'd sort of distanced myself from Cinder during the second book, and I think that had to do more with the fact that there wasn't much development going on for her until the end (which was just how the story had to be; it's not a problem, just the fact of the story), so I was really glad that we got to hang out with her a lot more. I loved actually getting to see Kai; I know that he had some scenes previously, but we get more here. His determination to do what he needed to do for the good of his people, as well as the weight of that need, made me want to give him a big ol' hug. I'm glad that Cinder can go ahead and do that for me now ;)
So, besides the obvious fact that I can't wait for Winter to hit shelves (that book is going to go by at the speed of a racing train, I can already tell) (also I just realized: Winter is coming!), my final observation/love about this book was...Iko! She was a hoot and a half, no matter which mechanical body she inhabited :D In short: if you want to read a story that is best described as "sci-fi-fairytale space book," and ends up making you feel as many feels as any given episode of Firefly, then you would do well to pick it up.
View all my reviews