Friday, January 31, 2014

BR: Cress

by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles; book III (of four)

I remember that I was late getting onto the bandwagon with Cinder. I read Scarlet a few months after its release… and they were both so incredibly imaginative and action-packed and chalk-full of wonderful character. To say I was delighted to get the chance to read Cress is a gross understatement.

Summary (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

My Thoughts

Oh. My. God. Marissa Meyer, you genius.

I loved this book. It’s like a giant blend of everything I love about the Marvel movies (Iron Man, Thor, The Avengers etc.. if you’ve been living under a rock) in the sense that it’s a tornado of fabulous characters, witty one-liners, imaginative storytelling, interweaving plots, secondary characters that dazzle (Iko!), wonderful writing and such a stunningly evil villain.

Marissa Meyer, are you Joss Whedon?

How’s that for an endorsement? I love being able to be completely enthusiastic about books that I just, quite honestly, really really really enjoyed reading. Just reading these words and these people makes me happy and gives me endorphins or something, which creates a positive feedback loop that results in this review.

In Cress, a new character is introduced—Crescent Moon, Levana’s (the baddie) best hacker who has Earthen sympathies and joins the ragtag group led by Cinder to try and save the world. No pressure or anything.  That’s all I’m going to say about the plot, and it’s a mighty damn good one, full of twists and jump cuts, but honestly, it’s slightly overwhelmed by how great the characters are. I don’t think I can even express how much I love them—they’re just a perfect blend of funny, sympathetic, flawed, and kick-ass. They’re what makes the series worthwhile and especially their interactions and relationships. I loved reading about the Wolf and Scarlet dynamic, and can’t wait to see how that plays out, along with the tiny glimpse of Winter. It’s always dangerous when the number of ‘main’ characters seems to grow so much; it runs into the problems of some important people being pushed off to the side. Luckily, I think this book avoided that and managed to give a nice, satisfying dose of each character, along with doing a great job familiarizing readers with new ones.

I love the world that Meyer created, with both the futuristic Earth and the looming Luna, and how people from the two planets are different—particularly with the Lunar powers which I found an interesting touch. The fairy tail influence really gave it a nice feel, and I appreciated how grand the scale of things are, which ups the ante and sets up book 4 for a thrilling conclusion.

Overall, this was one of my favourite books of 2013.

Rating in HP Terms: Outstanding!
Recommended for: people who enjoy fairytale retellings with a great twist, Firefly, underdogs staring a rebellion (hell yes!)
Acknowledgements: none in ARC

9.1/10 – because I loved it! Cress is a perfect blend of storytelling and action, and combined with a cast of characters that I would want on my team when I face the zombie apocalypse, it really doesn’t get any better than that. As I mentioned, I just overall had a great time reading it (I really hope that’s a thing, or else I’d sound crazy) so I unabashedly recommend it to everyone. This is definitely a series that only gets better, and I, for one, cannot wait to see how Meyer manages to conclude it in in the final book, Winter.

source: eGalley from Raincoast Books (thank you!)
author website / twitter