Monday, January 27, 2014

Review: Cress

CRESS
The Lunar Chronicles #3
Marissa Meyer
Young Adult/Sci-Fi/Fairytale Retelling
560 pages
Feiwel & Friends
Available February 4th
Source: ARC from publisher for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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.


MY THOUGHTS
Cress is a story we enter into with a great deal of excitement, though as was the case with Scarlet we can’t help but let a little wariness sneak in and mingle with our enthusiasm, wondering if it’s going to be this installment when the addition of yet another new main character proves to be a detriment to the overall story rather than a bonus. While Cress as a stand-alone heroine isn’t quite as strong as either Cinder or Scarlet before her, Ms. Meyer proves yet again what a brilliant storyteller she truly is, seamlessly working Cress into the fabric of her stunningly rich and detailed fantasy world and nestling her in with an already-beloved cast of characters as though she’d been there all along.

Cress, unlike both Cinder and Scarlet, isn’t much of a fighter either mentally or physically, her solitary confinement creating in her an air of extreme innocence and vulnerability that takes a little while to adjust to coming off our experiences with the previous two heroines. While each young woman’s original fairytale had them as damsels in various types of distress, both Scarlet and Cinder defied that label in terms of its common connotation to weakness in their retellings, their independence and fierceness present and accounted for. Cress embraces the damsel in distress label a little more fully, often needing the hilarious and endlessly amusing Captain Thorne to come to her aid. It’s not to say she’s without skills as she’s a truly gifted hacker and plays a significant and vital role in the events of this book, she’s just perhaps quieter and more reserved (understandably given what she’s gone through) than we might have been anticipating.

If this had been Cress’s book alone, one that focused primarily on her and relegated Cinder to a more supporting role, this installment may have come up just a touch short when compared to the first two, but Cress is beautifully bolstered by Ms Meyer’s extraordinary and extensive cast of main and secondary characters. This story is every bit as much Cinder’s as it is Cress’s, and as a result Cress becomes a little something different–a beautiful contrast–to the two young women we’ve already met, rounding out the whole with her differences as opposed to coming off as less-than as she might have on her own. Her relationship with Thorne is a touch weaker as well, but again the strength of Cinder’s relationship with Kai and particularly Scarlet’s with Wolf (despite their limited page time) more than fills in any empty spaces left by the lack of an overly strong emotional connection to the pair of them, and we can only hope that their romance is one that continues to develop in Winter just as the other two romances progressed in this installment.

While there is a myriad of positive aspects and highlights to Cress over which to gush, one of the most arguably striking would have to be the very brief introduction to Winter herself, a young woman who captivates from the moment she appears on page and leaves us profoundly curious after a single interaction with Scarlet. She is a series of riddles, a labyrinthine character full of dark corners and wrong turns who has us practically salivating over the chance to figure her out, but despite the pain of a long wait until she graces us with more of her presence, we are left in awe of Ms. Meyer’s imagination and more in love with her characters than ever before.

Rating: 4/5
 

Find Marissa


This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.

38 comments:

  1. I still haven't read it. It's one of these books that I want to devour so I'm waiting for the right time to begin. I actually like that Cress is not as kick-ass fierce as the other two. It would have felt repetitive. Can't wait to meet them and especially be back with Captain Thorne!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved Thorne so much Danny! I wish I felt the attraction between him and Cress a bit more, but overall I adored this book and can't wait for Winter:)

      Delete
  2. I must start this series soon, like within the next month soon! I am trying so hard to get my ARCs read this month and in February so I can dedicate march to my TBR pile, and this one is for sure one I want to read (well not this one, but at least the first book).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you do Ali, I can't say enough good things about it!

      Delete
  3. I told the library to get Cinder but nothing yet, I mean they do have book 2!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well that's a bummer. I wonder why they have Scarlet but not Cinder?

      Delete
  4. I agree that Cinder is no damsell in distress. Haven't met Scarlet yet, but hopefully soon, considering that I own the hardcover and I have Cress pre-ordered :D The way you describe Cress reminds me a little of Sydney Sage from the Bloodlines series. She isn't as kick-a with her fighting skills nor her snarky comments, but she has this strong power in herself--her mind. Everyone talks about the Captain. Since I love Hook on OUaT, I can't wait to meet someone like him in literature :) I think change and different are good and I really can't wait to marathon this beast. You're one of the first to not say that this wast your favorite iinstallment of the series, btw :D gorgeous review, as always :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was still a fantastic story, I just didn't feel as much of a connection to Cress and Thorne as I did the previous two couples. Thorne is one of my very favorite characters, I just wanted to feel his interest in Cress a little more, I wasn't entirely sure I believed it, BUT, I still thoroughly enjoyed the two of them together:)

      Delete
  5. Jenny, your reviews are also so beautifully written and well thought out. I love reading them. I loved this book. For some reason I love the relationship between Cress and Thorne- I felt like they were becoming friends and that eventually it would morph into something more romantic.

    I am SO excited for Winter. I think she's going to be the most interesting character yet, and I am both excited and sad to be facing the end of a fantastic series.

    Great review, Jenny!

    ~Sara @ Just Another Story

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Sara, I just popped over and read your review as well, so glad you were a fan too! I need Winter asap. She was absolutely fascinating I thought!

      Delete
  6. I want to read this series badly and I'm going to start with Cinder soon as this one is about to come out. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one and I'm sure I'll love it too. I really like the sound of the Cress and I love girls who have strong mind-power. Great review, Jenny :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really hope you get to read this series soon Tanja, it's so different and rich in terms of both characters and story:)

      Delete
  7. I'm can't wait to pick this one up, Jenny! Although I'm a little disappointed that Cress and Thorne's romance is a bit weak and that Scarlet and Wolf have such little page time, I'm still hoping to enjoy this one as a whole. Fantastic review, dear, and you've gotten me intrigued about Winter though I haven't even met her yet! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Scarlet and Wolf don't have a ton of page time, but they make every page they are on count. I loved the two of them in this one, their relationship just seems so solid and genuine, I think that's perhaps part of why I didn't entirely believe Cress and Thorne together. They had a lot to measure up to, but overall they're still a fantastic couple.

      Delete
  8. I actually like that Cress is less of a fighter than the other two. It's good to have variety (even though I do love the ass-kickers). And boy, do I love Captain Thorne. Maybe their romance will pick up in Winter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once I wrapped my head around it, I really liked that Cress was different as well. She was a nice contrast that worked well side by side with Cinder and Scarlet. And Winter I think is going to be the most interesting of the four of them:)

      Delete
  9. I read Cinder and really enjoyed it. I still haven't read Scarlet but I've heard nothing but praise for this series, so I must read Scarlet asap. I think I bought an ebook when it came out. I'll definitely read it before this one comes out.
    Cress actually sounds like a refreshing character. As much as I love a strong, kick-ass character, I have a soft-spot for the more quiet ones for some reason. Maybe because I'm quiet too?
    It's a shame about the romance though. You know how much I love my romance!
    Lovely review, Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think my obsessive love of romance tripped me up in this one just a touch Nick. It just didn't feel quite as strong to me as the two before it, but it's still solid. I liked that it was slow moving, and I'm hoping it just keeps on developing in the next book!

      Delete
  10. I am really looking forward to this one though I honestly hope that Cinder doesn't take over the book like in Scarlett. I am not sold on Cinder/Kai (maybe I will be after this one but I don't know). I am looking forward to Cress as a character though because I think she will be super refreshing. Wonderful review!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cinder and Kai are larger parts of this book than they were in Scarlet (at least I thought so). I liked that because I felt like their relationship actually developed in this one where it was at a bit of a standstill in the last one, and in this one Scarlet and Wolf are more in the background. But they're still very memorable:)

      Delete
  11. *flails all over you* Jenny, I just pre-ordered Cress and I'm excited to dive in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait to see what you think Amanda! WOO HOO!

      Delete
  12. I can't wait to read this one, Jenny! I spent 90 minutes waiting in line at ALA to get my hands on a copy of this book's ARC and I know reading it will be worth that time spent. I can't wait to get reacquainted with this world and its characters again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's definitely worth the wait Rummanah! I like how so much happens in each book, but despite the fact that she adds new characters with each installment, I never feel like it's too much or get irritated that I have to follow someone other than Cinder. It's all really well done in my opinion:)

      Delete
  13. Great review! I can't wait to read Cress. And all the hype about Winter is making me very curious and eager to meet her!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Winter makes a definite impression Xia! I can't wait for more of her:)

      Delete
  14. So excited to read this book! Your review makes me want to read it even more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you love it as much as I did Savy!

      Delete
  15. There is something about me and retellings that just doesn't work, no matter how hard I try, and it's starting to bother me immensely, especially when I see how much my friends enjoy them. I tried so hard with Cinder, even more so than with Cruel Beauty, but I couldn't even stand to listen to the whole thing. I gave up halfway through.
    I'm so glad Cress didn't disappoint you, though!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Blogger ate my comment, so forgive if it comes up again (wait, that doesn't sound good...)

    I didn't love the first book, but ever since you raved about Scarlet and now this one, I so can't wait to read the rest of the series. I really can't wait to meet Cress. I love the way you describe her characters!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am quite anxious for this release and curious about the difference between Cress and the others. Lovely review Jenny. Sorry I haven't been around to share the love, I have been fighting an illness.

    ReplyDelete
  18. My ARC fell through.. drat! Is Winter Snow White? I love this series and I am happy to hear that Cinder is a strong player in this! Can't wait to get my grubby paws on it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. "Cress embraces the damsel in distress label a little more fully, often needing the hilarious and endlessly amusing Captain Thorne to come to her aid."

    Lmao ... perfect! Now I really can't wait and plan to get it on release day.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I missed reading you're reviews, Jenny! Ahh, you just made me more excited for this book. I think I know what you mean with Cress embracing the damsel in distress more fully, it's pretty understandable especially with her situation but I know I'll still love her because Meyer is just a really fantastic writer! Haha! It's hard not to like her characters. :) Thanks for this brilliant review, Jenny. :)

    Eunice @ Book Overdose

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have just started this one, Jenny, and by that I mean I just finished Chapter 1 so I kind of skimmed your review. I'm excited and intrigued about meeting Winter though!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I agree that Cress isn't as strong a heroine as Scarlet and Cinder, but you're so right, Meyer works her into the story just perfectly! I adore Captain Thorne and while I wish their romance had been a bit stronger, I'm glad we got the prior relationships we'd already invested in. Scarlet and Wolf are still my favorite couple! Dying to read the next one, ugh why must we wait so long? Wonderful review Jenny!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have this one on preorder. I'm really anxious to see where things go! I'm curious to meet Cress as it sounds like she's pretty different from the other characters. I guess we'll see what I think!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have this and Ignite Me preordered on the same day and I can't wait to read both!!!! I didn't read your review, I'm sooo glad that you loved Thorn!! And yay for Winter. I didn't think we would meet her, it I'm so excited to know that she's a very interesting character.

    ReplyDelete