BOOK REVIEW: Cress by Marissa Meyer
The kitties have their wellness check-up and shots this week so they're going to just LOVE me after that visit, but what can you do? Someone has to be the villain, yeah?!
Speaking of villains, has the Lunar Chronicles got one that's ever so frighteningly mysterious. I truly loathe Queen Levana and yet... her own childhood played a huge part in shaping her into the monstrous manipulator that she is in Cinder, Scarlet and Cress. In fact, she seems downright mild in nature in comparison to her two advisors -- Thaumaturge Aimery Park and Thaumaturge Sybil Mira -- in this book, Cress.
- TITLE: Cress
- AUTHOR(S): Marissa Meyer
- SERIES: Lunar Chronicles #3
- PUB INFO: Thorndike Press on 2/5/2014
- ACQUIRED HOW? Purchased hardcover at Walmart & Kindle edition at Amazon
- BOOK RATING: Going Bananas!
Not that after speed reading through Cinder and Scarlet had not convinced me of my NEED to read Cress and read it immediately, but I just wanted the chance to savor this story and spread out the awesomeness of Cinder and Scarlet before immersing myself back into this golden nugget of a story. So yeah, I put it off as long as I could (seriously see here for when I reviewed the first two books for Fangirlish... it's been awhile yeah?!); but I cannot anymore since Fairest is coming and I don't want to miss out on it and yet did not want to read it before I had read Cress's story. I've been told it doesn't matter when you read Fairest since it is a prequel that ends about 10 years before Cinder's story begins, but I don't know... it didn't feel right leaving Cress to collect dust until November which is when WINTER comes out! Omigosh I wish it were coming sooner!
So there you have it... I am finally reading Cress and fawning over it because it is fantastic! Easily in my top ten books of 2014 (which... should I have a blog post with that list... hmmm?)... and definitely one of my favorite fractured fairytale series. Meyer knows how the olden fairytales go and she's deftly maneuvered her characters into a sci-fi, fantastical universe where she thwarts stereotypes and cliches while creating characters who mature, grow and brilliantly present themselves as female role models that could indeed be mimicked by girls today. Cinder, Scarlet and Cress feel real despite their world being fictional and in chaos. They are revolutionaries raging against the societal wrongs they face and their willingness to fight in the impending war brings into focus the kind of leaders we need in real life. These ladies do battle with their hearts on their sleeves and we love them for it.
Cress follows in Cinder and Scarlet's wake, although in the other two books Meyer did give us a glimpse of the high-flying techie whose loyalties are in question. Is she for them or the mastermind behind a very elaborate trap to catch Cinder? Right from the start in Cress, that question is answered firmly and if you are a sucker like me, you'll rally behind Cress pretty fast. She's quite lovable with all the traits of a geeky fangirl but sharp-minded tech expert. Seriously the whole time, I had a hard time not imagining her as Felicity from Arrow. Total sucker for those kind of females.
Cress and Iko get along famously once they get past a certain Thorne in their relationship. Wolf and Cinder mature with each other not only through the training exercises they both commit to, but in the shared loss of a dear friend and the realization that Cinder's Lunar gift weighs her down like the persons she commands against their will. She too feels like she loses a part of herself when she has to use it. The fear of becoming her aunt scares her badly. Also, they all uniquely feel the same compelling need for love from people out of their reach (or so they think) and so watching especially Scarlet's transformation into a tough, wise-cracking but deliberate antagonizer of those around her truly smarts while providing a whole lot of comic relief in some very tense situations.
Trust me on this one thing -- you have to read the Lunar Chronicles to believe it.
The appearance of two new characters -- fully revealed and oh so intriguing -- will be kept a secret because I found them brilliantly interspersed in the plot development and such delightful gifts of characters to discover as the book progressed, I would hate to ruin or spoil the surprise of their introductions and unveiling bit-by-bit. Just know that you will be charmed and simultaneously weirded out by them... they are indeed that AWESOME!
QUOTE ME: Overall, Cress exceeded my expectations and I am blown away how cleverly devilish Meyer manages to make each cliffhanger of all three of these books in the Lunar Chronicles without it feeling like a forced exit or a tired tease to get readers sucked back into the story. These books could not be any more riveting and needless to say, my suspense was already code red levels even before I read Cress so imagine where I am now?!