Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Posted January 17, 2014 by Kara in book review, Lyn / 4 Comments

Book Review: Cress by Marissa MeyerCress by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Published by Feiwel and Friends on February 4th, 2014
Genres: retellings, science fiction, young adult
Pages: 560
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

In this third book in Marissa Meyer's bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Review: So, more than likely, this is review #2976 of this book to pop up in your feed/e-mail. This sucker is a hot one, and I can see why the entire world is bookgasming over this one. I honestly feel very intimidated to add anything to my review that hasn’t popped up yet. I’ll focus on the two main points of the book, since I am sure everyone has already formed a solid opinion about buying a copy.

Main point #1:

Story-wise, this one is, hands down, the strongest of the three.  Meyer is delving deeper into her universe, and the story is slowly transforming into a darker and highly complex storybook twister. This is not something unexpected, since each novel is driving towards an overall sinister and dangerous arc.  The ending of Cress gives us a glimpse into the next tale, which promises to really drag the entire Lunar Chronicles universe into a gloomy and blackhearted eclipse of happy-cheesy fun. Even Cress had a few moments of pure wickedness.  The webs are becoming tangled, the characters are becoming tested and challenged, and the ugliness of the Lunar involvement is downright nasty. 
I loved it all.
Be warned: This book is huge. It comes close to 600 pages, and there is quite a lot happening, and many new twists and subplots come rushing out.  The other books seem almost lighthearted and cloying, but don’t be fooled by the transparent twists and turns from the previous two novels.
Things are getting serious in Cress, and they are about the become dead serious in Winter.

Main point #2

If I could rate off of the story alone, this would stand at 4 stars. I believe I said it best to Kara in a Google chat:
“Scarlet was my favorite character, but Cress was my favorite story.”

Now here comes the unpopular portion of my review.

I found Cress, as a character, annoying and corny.  I found the same issue in Tangled: I did not care for Rapunzel whatsoever. The overly bright and cheery personality can wear my nerves thin. Meyer’s Rapunzel and Disney’s Rapunzel were separated at the drawing board. Both are one and the same. 
I can understand why Cress was Cress.  She is seeing the world for the first time, and never had too much interaction with the outside world.  However, I found her more idiotic than innocent, and more self-centered than naive. She just didn’t work for me. The title character was the weakest part of the book, and I found the main romance highly distasteful.  

Overall, the book is a strong addition to the series, and even though I keep slapping 3 stars on the entire series (seriously, for one reason or another, I keep giving each book 3 stars), I am sad to see this series winding down and coming to a conclusion. Expect the same sugary and silly tropes in this book, but in Meyer’s defense, this has become the MO for the Lunar Chronicles.

Gif of the Magi


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Overall, strong story, iffy main character.



4 responses to “Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

  1. You’re not the only one. I’ve seen more people who felt ‘meh’ about Cress as a character. I personally adored her, but that’s perhaps because I’m such a Disney fan 🙂 The fact that she reminded me of Tangled-Rapunzel was great to me 😀 And yes, story and plot-wise, this is definitely the strongest book so far.

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