Cress is the third book in The Lunar Chronicles, and I am absolutely enjoying this series. When I started it earlier this year, I thought it couldn’t be as good as what people say, it was probably overhyped, and I was scared of being disappointed. But oh boy, I was wrong, and the book community was right. This series is fantastic. Again, when I start each of the sequels, I’m scared of being disappointed, because you know, it’s a sequel. But so far, with each book the series got even better, and I think Cress is my favourite in the series (I am reading Winter at the moment).
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
Publication year: 2014
My rating: ★★★★★
Warning: This review may contain spoilers for the first and second book in the Lunar Chronicles (Cinder and Scarlet)
Cress is a Lunar shell, taken from her parents at birth, and secretly hidden by Thaumaturge Mira. Each week, her Mistress takes a sample of her blood. And in the meantime, Cress spends her time alone on her satellite. Cress is a genius hacker, and once Sybil Mira noticed it, Cress became the crown’s personal hacker, in charge of spying on the Earth leaders, and hiding Lunar ships among other occupations.
But Cress is a prisoner. And when Levana puts her in charge of finding Cinder and her accomplice, escaped Commonwealth prisoner Carswell Thorne, she realises there could be more to her life. In her fantasies, Captain Thorne comes and rescues her.
What will happen when fantasies and reality collide?
I love the progress that this series is doing in terms of Cinder’s storyline. I also love how well the series adjusts to the addition of new fairytale characters. Scarlet and Wolf have now become part of the crew, and though we don’t see them as much as in book two, they are still very present, thank god because they make my heart melt.
With this book, a new character is introduced, though we briefly met her in Cinder when she sent a message to save Kai. This time, she has become a main character, and is paired with fan-favourite Thorne, the gorgeous escaped criminal we met in book two, back when Cinder was in the Commonwealth prison. Thorne has become a main character in the story, but with the arrival of Cress, there is a new balance created for him.
I could spend hours swooning over Thorne, and how great a ship he makes with Cress, but that’s not what I’m going to do here.
I really love that this series keeps a lot of unexpected events. Since we know the original tales, we know that Thorne is going to rescue Cress (Flynn Rider and Rapunzel, hello). And we know that everything is not going to go smoothly. But in that particular setting, what will happen? I won’t say more, because I don’t want to include spoilers (though most people have probably read this book, now that I think of it). I just wanted to say that I love the twist their story took, and most of the time, it keeps surprising me which is great.
Wolf and Scarlet’s storyline also contains a bloody crazy twist, which I totally didn’t expect (though of course, everything cannot go smoothly) and I have to say, this was a great way to introduce both Winter and Jacin, at first as secondary characters.
One last aspect of the story is Kai’s storyline. He spends most of the books in the palace, and by the end of Cress, things are finally moving for him, with yet another crazy twist. By now, the original Cinderella plotline of Cinder has completely vanished, and she has become a badass heroine who needs no saving. Kai is actually the one who needs saving since he is set to marry Levana, now that I think of it… Though he handles it the best he coulds, trying to uncover the truth of everything. He is really a great character. Unlike the others who are on the Rampion, he has duties and tries his best to fulfill them, though he was clearly not mentally ready to be Emperor at such a young age. Anyway, I really like his storyline too, even if seeing Levana being the bitchy queen of everything all the time is really annoying and frustrating, it makes me like the other characters better.
Speaking of Levana, I’m really trying to understand her as a character. I know that she didn’t have an easy life before being queen, and the man she loves was murdered, but come on, she’s nuts. Everytime I’m starting to think I understand her a little, she kills someone for absolutely no reason. I will not feel empathy towards her. (And I really need to read Fairest!!)
Overall, I think I don’t need to mention by now that I love the characters. I really like how the story of the Lunar Chronicles is making progress. I read Cress is less than two days, it was really hard for me to put it down. I just kept wanting to know more, and the book is really well made. Basically, it was an excellent read, and I’m so glad I started this series!
Retellings and fantasy lovers! Though of course, to read this one, you need to start with Cinder. But really, this series is totally worth reading.