Cress by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles #3
Release Date: February 6, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Star Rating: ★★★★
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.
Scarlet was one of my favourite reads of 2013, and I had been looking forward to Cress for a year prior to its release. The lovely Christina let me and a bunch of other European bloggers borrow her ARC, and I almost fainted when it arrived here from Judith's house. It was the best belated Christmas gift ever.
I read Cress in about twenty four hours. It's just as addictive and thrilling as the previous two books in the Lunar Chronicles, and I loved seeing my favourite characters again - especially Scarlet and Thorne! Once you start reading Cress, you won't be able to put it down. The 500+ pages just fly by, and by the end you're left craving the next book. And while this isn't my favourite book in the series, for reasons that I will get into in a minute, a reread will probably be in order before Winter next year.
Cinder remains absolutely flawless. I just love her so much, and I adore the fact that she's featured so heavily throughout this series, even if she is not the book's titular character. I've been loving her journey every step of the way, and I can't wait to see what happens to her in Winter. The relationships that she has been building along the way have been brilliant, especially when it comes to Thorne, who I maintain should be her endgame. The two characters have fantastic chemistry, and you can tell that they care a lot about each other. There are small hints thrown in throughout Cress that would normally lead me to believe that they are going to be a thing, if this wasn't a series of fairytale retellings and if Cinder didn't have her own prince.
Cress, the character, quite honestly got on my nerves throughout much of the book. I was not a fan of the way the innocent, inexperienced, vastly sheltered character was handled, and as a result it reflected badly upon the character herself. Which is a shame, really, because Meyer usually writes such fantastic female main characters, and I was expected Cress to match up to both Cinder and Scarlet.
I think that the romance between Cress and Thorne completely ruined any character growth that Cress could have had. She starts off stuck in space, having been isolated for many years, and all of a sudden she starts meeting new people, and she gets to leave her little home and explore the world. This could have opened up a lot of great experiences for Cress, and I would have loved to have read about her as she gradually grew from her discoveries and experiences. Instead, the romance overshadowed this plot, and I didn't like it.
I was not a fan of the romance at all, and I promise that it has nothing to do with the fact that I want Cinder and Thorne to get together. I felt like the romance was rather forced, way too rushed, and completely unnecessary at this point in Cress's journey. I wanted to see her grow as an individual before she ended up with a guy. I wanted to see her stand on her own. Plus, as much as I love Thorne, I didn't feel any chemistry between the two of them. In fact, it was very much a fan-meets-idol situation, and it felt weird.
There's an interesting development with Scarlet, which left me pulling my hair out from worry. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY FAVOURITE CHARACTER. I adore Scarlet, and I cannot wait to see what happens to her in the next book. My heart broke for her so many times during this book, I can't deal.
Another thing that I am (still) not here for is Wolf. I was iffy about him in Scarlet, and he really doesn't improve in Cress. But that's okay, I can ignore him for the most part.
I loved the small glimpses of Winter that we got. Meyer introduces her in such a way that left me intrigued, and also pretty much in love with her character already. The final scene with Winter was a particular favourite of mine. I think she's so interesting, and I can't wait to get inside her head in the final book in this series next year. It's going to be fantastic, I know it!