Cress by Marissa Meyer
Published by Square Fish on January 27, 2015
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #3
Genre(s): fiction, adventure, fantasy, science fiction, young adult
Format & Length: paperback, 582
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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.
I’ve heard it before and it’s definitely true; this series gets better with each book. Cinder was fairly straightforward and predictable, but with the introduction of each new retelling, the storylines get more complex and more interesting. With Cress, everything about this series has grown in a multitude of ways. Let’s break it down.
“He was a hero. She was a damsel. That’s how the stories went – that’s how they always went.”
First, the cast of characters has grown. Obviously, we are introduced to our new main character, Cress. What is so great about these heroines is that each has her own talents, strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. They are not cookie cutter characters, and this also makes for an interesting dynamic of teamwork when they pull together. In addition, secondary characters that we didn’t see much of in Scarlet are brought back as well, and all the major players show some sort of development throughout the course of this book.
Second, the overall scope of the story has grown. Parts of this novel take place in space, and we begin to see a few scenes set on Luna as well. Cress’s story is woven into Scarlet’s and Cinder’s, and a much more intricate plot is starting to emerge. Even though there are more POVs here than in the previous book, the shifts between them flowed better for me.
Overall, it seems that Meyer’s abilities grow exponentially with each book. The writing feels cleaner, the details more ironed out. Topping out close to 600 pages, this held my attention completely and I never once found myself thinking a scene was expendable or that it should be edited to be a shorter story.
With each installment of The Lunar Chronicles, I find myself recommending it to more and more people. I’m definitely eager now to read Winter and see what Meyer has in store to complete the series!