Cress by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Published by Feiwel and Friends on February 4th, 2014
Shelve It: Goodreads
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.
Crafted out of pure genius, Cress was a masterfully woven tale of political intrigue, romance, suspense and humour. As clues and bits of foreshadowing piled up until the answers were almost within reach, Cress propelled me along by keeping me in constant suspense of how the next piece would be connected to the greater whole. Never have I read a series as seemingly separate and disjointed, yet as intricate and complex and as thoroughly intertwined as The Lunar Chronicles.
While my favourite characters from Cinder and Scarlet were back in full force, it was the addition of Cress, and her relationship with Thorne, that truly stole the show. While I lived for the passages describing Scarlet’s time spent on Lunar and my heart ached for how her loss affected Wolfe, and while I loved watching Cinder continue to improve on her Lunar abilities and interact with the utmost of awkwardness around Kai, it was Cress and Thorne’s chapters that kept me up long into the night.
Captain Thorne did not disappoint in Cress. Wishing to remove the disillusionment from Cress’ eyes, Thorne methodically tore apart each of her theories for why he was a hero. But while his words worked to undo what years of make believe had built up, his actions spoke to the heroicness Cress believed him capable of achieving. I absolutely loved watching him overcome his impairing injury, and how he refused to let his new-found disability dampen his spirit. I loved that he adamantly refused to take advantage of Cress, recognizing that her infatuation with him was born out of years of imprisonment and a lack of contact, and that he was nothing short of a perfect gentleman. I loved that while he played up his image of being chauvinistic and self-centred, he was always thinking of those he cared about; his thoughtfulness with Iko literally had me squealing out loud. I loved how cunning and intelligent he was, behind his mask of vapidness, and that he let someone as meek and self-conscious as Cress work her way into his heart, crushing his previously unshakable confidence. To be honest, I could write this entire review about how much I love Thorne, but alas, there are other things I should mention!
Cress was an absolute gem of a character who stole my heart by being a genuinely kind person. Her naiveté was endearing and watching her experience Earth for the first time, seeing what she chose to focus on in her descriptions to Thorne, had me grinning from ear-to-ear. I loved her spunk, and that despite having spent the last seven years in relative isolation, she wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself (even if she wasn’t always successful). Much like how Thorne refused to let his disability hinder him, Cress refused to let her lack of experience or her fear of the unknown control her. While her lack of experience got her in some sticky situations, I loved that she did everything in her power to save herself. While she had always dreamed of being the damsel in distress who would be saved by the handsome prince, when it came time for her to play her part, she realized she was much more capable. I loved how much she grew throughout Cress, and that Thorne kept his promise to her; I’m grinning again, thinking about it!
At over a whopping five hundred pages, to say that I was leery of Cress‘ size is an understatement. But let me ease your worries: Cress is an action-packed thrill ride, from start to finish. With multiple PoVs, all with their own side-plots and the occasional foreshadowing of things to come, Cress was a page-turner: from the crash of Cress’ satellite, to the mysteriousness of Dr. Erland’s search for shells, to Scarlet’s imprisonment on Lunar, to Wolf’s impending breakdown, to the looming marriage between Kai and Queen Levana, to Cinder’s increasingly risky plan to stop the wedding, to Cress and Thorne’s perilous journey through the Sahara and to the ultimate showdown between Cinder and the Queen’s main thumaturge, there was no time for Cress to be anything else!
My only problem with Cress was that I read it too early in the year and I now have to wait until 2015!! for Winter, where it looks like everything that’s been brewing for the past three books will finally come to a head!