Friday, 18 April 2014

Review | Cress by Marissa Meyer


by Marissa Meyer

My Rating: 

Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard. 

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.

In the third book of The Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer puts a whole new spin on the story of Rapunzel. Meyer's Rapunzel - Cress - is a fantastic hacker who has been kept in a satellite since she was small by Mistress Sybil, Queen Levana's right hand woman. 

She has been given the task of tracking down Cinder and her accomplices, but instead of revealing their whereabouts she has been hiding them instead, and admiring a certain Captain from afar. When the runaways make contact, Cress finally has the chance to escape and pursue a happily ever after of her own.

Before I say anything else I just want to take a minute to say that there will be spoilers in this review. I try to keep my reviews as spoiler-free as possible, but Cress only came out in February and I know a lot of fans of the series haven't read it yet. If you're one of those people then please stop reading now! I don't want to be responsible for ruining such a great book for you.

(And if you're interested in seeing my reviews of Cinder and Scarlet, you can find them here and here!)

As you can see by my rating, I loved this book. It's definitely the best installment of the series so far.

One of the best things about this series is that they're both brilliantly original and a wonderful homage to their original source material. Finding the references to the original fairy tales throughout this series is like finding little Easter eggs, and in Cress it's no different.

I loved the details such as Thorne's blindness (not to mention his name!), the desert he and Cress find themselves cast into, the way Thorne liked listening to her sing, and Cress's name, too. I pretty much grew up on the Grimm's Fairy Tales, so I love it when retellings reference them so much.

Cress herself is an endearing heroine. Unlike Cinder and Scarlet, poor Cress has lived the majority of her life in a satellite with only her screens for company, and because of this she's far more naive than our previous heroines. One of the things I love most about this series, however, is just how different each of our heroines are from each other. They're all such different kinds of women with different strengths, but not a one is 'better' than the other; there's a heroine for everyone in this series, and I love that!

Cress's relationship with Thorne was a lot of fun; it had a Tangled-esque feel to it, and I loved Tangled, and their dynamic even reminded me a little of the relationship between Evie and Rick in The Mummy, another film I love. I appreciate that their relationship wasn't a love story in the same way that the relationship between Cinder and Kai or Scarlet and Wolf is; while reading this I really got the feeling that these two still have a little more growing up to do before they're ready to be together, but they're adorable all the same.

Cress's other major, but brief, relationship in the novel was heartbreaking. Until I started reading Cress I had no idea she was going to turn out to be Dr Erland's daughter, and it was so painful to see them reunited only to be parted immediately afterwards. I have conflicted feelings when it comes to Dr Erland, in fact I still haven't decided if I like him or not, but he definitely broke my heart in Cress.

Cinder continues to grow into the kind of heroine the rest of the world needs her to be, while also staying true to herself. That she was accepted by the people in Africa was lovely, and I was so relieved when she and Kai were finally reunited and he finally discovered her true identity. Finally!

The scenes where Cinder and co. abducted Kai from his wedding were so much fun to read - my only criticism was that it was Cinder who defeated Sybil Mira. I couldn't help but feel that Cress should have been the one to face her in the end, but on the other hand Cress doesn't seem like the kind of girl who could have defeated her (she was, after all, locked in a satellite for the majority of her life) and Sybil Mira's downfall gave Cinder the chance to grow into her own power.

Poor Scarlet had a pretty rough time in this installment; the scene in which she was questioned by Levana and Sybil Mira had me on edge the entire time. Though it was awful to see her taken prisoner, I loved that through her we finally met Winter, Levana's stepdaughter and our Snow White. It's safe to say that now I'm even more excited for the release of Winter than I was before!

I'm looking forward to seeing more of Winter and finding out what her role in the story is going to be. She's been scarred by Levana - I love that Meyer's retelling of Snow White appears to be just as dark as the original tale - and yet the two of them appear to be on rather good terms with one another. At least that's what they've made us believe so far. I'm curious to know what Winter really thinks of her stepmother.

I've heard quite a few people say that Cress was a little too long for their liking, but honestly I have nothing bad to say about it. I loved it and I was so disappointed when it ended, especially when we have to wait until next year for the finale!

Thanks for reading! J.

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