Written by Marissa Meyer
Published February, 2014 by Penguin
Genres: Dystopian, Re-Tellings, Sci-Fi
Purchase: The Book Depository | Bookworld | Booktopia
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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.
Although I was a bit on the fence when it came to Scarlet, I fell completely in love with Cress! With a cast of fun and exciting characters, a believable romantic relationship and further exploration of the ‘Earth’ Marissa Meyer has created, Cress is my favourite in the series thus far!
“This is so much better than a net drama.”
The book got off to a slow start… I kept looking at how BIG the book was and worrying how I was going to conquer it, but once I got into the swing of the story (they’re going to RESCUE CRESS? OH, MY GOD!) the pages just flew by. I was able to read a good chunk of this book – 300 or so pages! – in one sitting. The action in Cress just didn’t stop!
With an ever-expanding cast of characters, Cress introduced a few new narrators to the story. Most importantly is the books titular character, Cress, who I absolutely loved. I’ve been waiting to fall in love with a character in this series ever since I began reading it, and I finally found my spirit animal in Cress. Yes, she may be naïve and incredibly cutesy, but she is just so darn LIKEABLE. Cress, who’s been cooped up in a satellite for seven years, has so many little habits and quirks and it just makes her so unique! Also – she’s whip smart when it comes to hacking and anything tech. She’s a great addition to the Rampion team!
“I promise, I will not let you die without being kissed.”
I still had my problems with the relationship between Scarlet and Wolf in this book. For some reason, I just don’t care for the two (I like Scarlet, but their relationship just seems so forced!). I was worried that Cress’s relationship would be somewhat the same, to be honest. One thing I’ve noticed about The Lunar Chronicles is that every relationship is so predictable and linear… they all follow a certain pattern – two total opposites meet, go through a trial together, and are in love by the end of the book. Although this once again happened in Cress with Cress and Thorne, I actually believed it this time around!
Cress and Thorne go through an actual HARDSHIP together – the damn satellite plummets to earth with them inside and then they get stranded in the Sahara desert, on the brink of death. Cress had her fantasy notions of a romance, but soon came to realise that real life wasn’t the same. Though she had a crush on Thorne and turned him into a kind of ‘fairy tale prince’ after reading his files, she soon came to realise that the real Thorne was much more than she ever could have hoped, despite his flaws. Cress was able to help Thorne at his worst, and vice versa. Cress and Thorne over Scarlett and Wolf ANY DAY.
“Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them. I’m beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.”
There is some fantastic plot progression in Cress, too. We see the Imperial wedding loom, see the gang all work TOGETHER to thwart Levana’s attempts to wed Prince Kai. The action scenes were heart-racingly awesome and I couldn’t read the pages fast enough to see what would happen. There’s also the recruitment of a new team member, Jacin, who I can only guess will play a larger role in the final instalment, Winter.
Some character arcs come full circle, such as Dr Erland, and we learn a little more about the Letumosis disease that’s a total game changer. There’s some fantastic humour sprinkled all throughout, too, and Iko’s dreams of becoming a full-figured young woman are realised (when’s Iko getting a romance?!)
In Cress we get to experience more of the world that Marissa Meyer has created. In Cinder we settled ourselves in New Beijing, in Scarlet we immersed ourselves in Europe and in Cress we find ourselves in Africa. You get such a good experience of the ‘Earth’ that has been created in The Lunar Chronicles when you embark on this series, it’s one of my favourite things about it. We also get our first real glimpse at life on the moon!
“You said yourself that the people of Luna need a revolutionary.” She lifted her chin, holding his gaze. “So I’m going to Luna, and I’m going to start a revolution.”
Cinder is shaping up to be a formidable foe with her ever-growing Lunar powers. Something I really love about Cinder is that although she is powerful, we still need the WHOLE GANG to work together in order to bring down Levana and the Luna court.
Cress left off on an exciting note, and I can’t wait to finally dive into Winter. I’m going to read the novella, Fairest, first to give me a better chance at enjoying the final instalment. I’ve always been curious about the Luna royal family and the relationships and history behind their most prominent figures – no doubt Fairest will shed a bit of light on that for me!