Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading … Cress by Marissa Meyer

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Just Finished Reading … Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)
by Marissa Meyer
To be published on February 4, 2014
by Feiwel and Friends

Source: borrowed an ARC through Around the World ARC Tours.

Connect with the author: website | Twitter | Facebook
Summary of the book from author website: Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, 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, 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 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 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.
My take:  Not only has The Lunar Chronicles become one of my favorite YA series, I also think that these books are some of the most creative fairy tale retellings around, transferring Old World tales to a futuristic new world and pulling off an ambitious multi-story mash-up.

The series started with Cinder--  a sci-fi Cinderella retelling in which a cyborg meets a handsome prince-- and has now incorporated the story of Little Red Riding Hood (in Scarlet, book two) and, most recently, the story of Rapunzel in this latest installment, Cress.  As each new fairy tale is integrated, new characters are introduced, each of whom plays a role in the story. However, Cinder remains the main character and her story goal -- to claim her real identity and stop the evil Queen Levana -- is what will seemingly continue to drive the series until its conclusion.

Continuing to follow all these characters -- Cinder and Prince Kai, Scarlet and Wolf, and now Captain Thorne and Cress -- does make for a lot of intersecting plot lines, and a lot of pages. Cress is a long book, at 560 pages, but it was filled with action, drama, and a touch of romance. I've always loved the story of Rapunzel and really admired the way it was re-imagined here, with Rapunzel's tower now a satellite, Rapunzel a computer hacker, and the witch transformed into a creepy minion of the villainous Lunar Queen. In a series that has two tough and feisty heroines in Cinder and Scarlet, I also liked the way that Cress was shy and a little awkward. After all, she's been living alone in space for years.

When Cinder and her gang become aware of Cress and how she might be able to help their cause, they plan a rescue that goes terribly wrong. As a result, the group is split up. Meanwhile, poor Prince Kai is hanging around his palace in New Beijing, feeling an invisible noose tighten around his neck as the date of his wedding to the evil and cruel Queen Levana draws nearer. Kai is growing into his role as a ruler, involving himself in some political maneuvering, and has developed a theory about the identity of the missing Lunar Princess -- and rightful heir to the Lunar crown -- Selene.

Kai's a great guy, but my heart belongs to Captain Thorne.  I'm a huge, huge fan of the brash, wisecracking Thorne and was looking forward to him finally meeting his match in the romance department. I must confess that I felt a feeble spark of chemistry between Thorne and Cress, rather than the crackling flames that I was anticipating. Their relationship was sweet, with Cress's feelings for Thorne more like a schoolgirl crush and his feelings for her more protective than passionate. But this could change, right? I hope so.

In any case, don't worry -- there is plenty of action and drama in this installment. In fact, Cress seemed to me like the most action-packed of the three books so far. There are firefights, there's kidnapping, and a peek back into the household of Cinder's evil stepmother. I was also happy to see that Cress returned to the subplot of Dr. Erland and the leutmosis plague, a major plot element in Cinder that takes a sinister turn in Cress.

If that isn't intriguing enough, Cress also gives the reader a glimpse of the couple who will come into play in the next book in the series, which will be reportedly based on Snow White. Let's just say I'm intrigued. No, make that VERY intrigued! And that Queen Levana's stepdaughter is a very … unusual character, one I can't wait to see more of.

I loved the direction that Cress took the overall story and am more excited than ever for the next installment. Political intrigue, action, a royal wedding, an evil stepmother, a secret princess -- what else could you want in a story? If you haven't yet tried out these books, now is the perfect time to get reading!

26 comments:

  1. I completely agree! Meyer is a master storyteller and excels at character development and interaction. I love Thorne too. Her entire cast is amazing and I love each of them. I can not wait until Winter. It will be an amazing story I'm sure. That little peak at her character was beyond exciting.

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  2. I've been nervous about Meyer incorporating so many characters and storylines but your review is helping to reassure me-I can't wait to pick up a copy!

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  3. Great review! I love Cinder and I totally agree with you that she is an amazing storyteller and knows her readers well.

    Happy Reading Jen!
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

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  4. Could not agree more! Marissa is so talented and has found a really unique angle to tell this age-old stories from, so they're both refreshingly original, but also very loyal to the original.

    I've only read (and loved) Cinder so far, but I'm reading Scarlet next week and will probably go straight on to Cress. I feel in love with Cinder's story, so I'm really intruiged as to how Marissa is going to weave it in with all the other fairytales & the new characters. It'll be great to see how things tie together :D

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  5. I didn't enjoy reading Cinder that much but loved Scarlet. I do wonder what I will think of Cress. I'd have to choose Captain Thorne over Kai too! I thought Kai was boring and of the three men, I'd choose Thorne and Wolfe over Kai any day, royalty or not, his character is just blah.

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  6. I want to read this series, but there are so many hold for the first two books at our library. Ugh. They sounds really good. Can't wait to read them. Glad you enjoyed this one. :)

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  7. "Let's just say I'm intrigued. No, make that VERY intrigued!" ME TOO ME TOO!

    I think I'm more excited about the next book than I was for any of the previous books combined.

    The romance did fall flat but I do hope it's not over yet. And Kai is just so bland to me but so much moved froward in this installment (finally!) that I'm sure I'll come around.

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  8. I cannot wait to read this book! I have to agree, this has become one of my favorite series!

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  9. Wow! I can't wait to read this book!!! I absolutely love this series, and agree that this is one of the best retellings I've read. I hope I can see more of Kai in this book, anyway, I'm so excited to read it soon!
    Lis @ The reader lines

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  10. So freaking jealous that you got to read this one. I am going to buy this one as I love this series too.

    Awesome review, Jen!

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  11. Great Review! I need to read Scarlet and cannot wait to have Cress in my hands when it comes out! =)

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  12. It's one of your favorite series ad I still haven't started it! I am so fail. I swear it is coming up. Maybe I should suggest it for bookclub in on of the coming months. :)

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  13. I really enjoyed Cinder and was slightly disappointed by Scarlet, so I'm hoping that Cress will help me fall back in love with this series. I like the fact that Cress sounds like such a different character from the former two protagonists.
    And, strange as it sounds, I am actually relieved to hear that Cinder's plot is still the focal point of this story. I really dislike it when authors end up giving too many characters storylines, allowing the novels to lose focus and become sloppy, so I'm glad to hear that Meyer still has the primary focus on who should be the protagonist and all.
    Great review, Jen! I'm pretty excited to read this one.

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  14. Marissa Meyer is brilliant. I seriously want to see her drawing board. I mean, to be able to transform these fairy tales into something this magnificent? Gah. I cannot wait to read this. Great review, Jen.

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  15. I couldn't read this yet...I want total surprises when I get to read it. ;) But I'm soooo happy you liked it!!

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  16. Despite my best efforts, I read the full review even if I still haven't read Cress! The more I know the more I want to read the book!

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  17. Chayse has this book. I need to get it back from him so I can read it. Awesome review!

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  18. I have to agree with you that my heart belongs to Thorne, not Kai! I'm also hoping Thorne and Cress's relationship develops more, and I'm thrilled we have more to look forward to in the series. Can't wait for the next one! Lovely review :-)

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  19. I wasn't a fan of Cinder, but Scarlet made me a fan and Wolf has my heart (though there is VERY high chance that Thorne might steal it with this installment!). I'm so glad you enjoyed this one and I can't wait to get my hands on it soon. Wonderful review, Jen!(:

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  20. I wasn't a fan of Kai that much, but I really like Thorn in Scarlet! He reminded me so much of Iko and she's my favorite character in this entire series. I was surprised that Thorn was the hero of this book and now I'm super excited to read his story. I'm so glad you're enjoying this series, Jen! I've no doubt that Cress would be a hit for me too :)

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  21. Wow sounds like this mish mash of fairy tale characters will be amazing! The next installment might be even more so, but I love the sound of it already! And yay to seeing previous characters and Captain Thorne finding its match. I have a feeling I will love Cinder!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

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  22. I have very, very high expectations for this book now! And Cress is a computer hacker? Awesome! I can't wait for this one, it's like I'm already sure I'm gonna love it!

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  23. I still need to read Scarlet. I was so iffy about Cinder I was like cyborg Cinderella?! But after so many great reviews and my friend finally buying me a copy I read it and loved it. I really like very loose fairytale retellings. Makes them much more interesting.

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  24. I've almost finished Cress and I'm loving it so far! Cress and Thorne are such great characters!

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  25. I love this series! I'm really not too big on fairy tales but these stories are amazing! 3 stories so perfectly intertwined! Marissa Meyer, creative genius! She just made it to my favorite authors list! The only bad thing is that I started reading the series thinking it would be a trilogy, I'm just finishing Cress and now I have to wait ONE year for the last book.

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  26. I love this series! I'm really not too big on fairy tales but these stories are amazing! 3 stories so perfectly intertwined! Marissa Meyer, creative genius! She just made it to my favorite authors list! The only bad thing is that I started reading the series thinking it would be a trilogy, I'm just finishing Cress and now I have to wait ONE year for the last book.

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