Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)
Author: Marissa Meyer
YA/sci-fi/fairytale retelling
Date Read: 25/03/2015 – 31/03/2015
Rating: ★★★★


cresscoverI’m going to just come out and say it: this is by far the best book of the Lunar Chronicles so far. It is a retelling of Rapunzel, focusing on the character of Cress (short for Crescent Moon), a Lunar shell who was imprisoned on a satellite at the age of ten, and has since then been the resident hacker for Queen Levana and her thaumaturges. When a rescue attempt from Cinder and co. goes wrong, Cress and Carswell Thorne find themselves plummeting towards Earth in a powerless satellite. They survive, but this is not the end of their adventures, and tension is ramping up for the rest of the main characters as well.

In book two, Thorne was incredibly annoying. I couldn’t stand him. I already knew that a) he was the love interest in book 3 and b) that people were saying this was the best book so far, so I was sincerely hoping that he improved. Fortunately, this was the case. I was far more invested in his and Cress’ romance than I had been in either Cinder and Kai or Scarlet and Wolf’s. One of my colleagues even caught me grinning stupidly to myself because I’d been reading on my lunch break and it had left me in a really good mood.

While I continue to be impressed with how well Marissa Meyer has woven the different fairytales together, and the hints for future books in the earlier ones and all that sort of thing, the problem that is starting to emerge with this series is that it is developing quite an ensemble cast. This is not necessarily a problem, but with so many characters in so many places, it made for a fairly long book, and book four is supposedly another 250 pages longer again (going by GoodReads’ estimate). There were times when the plot did start to drag a bit, where it seemed that we just cutting to another character for the sake of checking in with them, rather than anything really relevant. When there are so many characters, it’s hard to have equal investment in all of them, and I was sometimes just waiting to get back to the characters I really cared about.

The next installment in this series isn’t out until November, so unless I want to read Fairest (Queen Levana’s backstory)or some of the short stories, this will be it for a while. While I have been enjoying it, I think I am happy to wait until then, though. I’ve been discovering lots of other fairytale retellings to tide me over.


5 thoughts on “Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

  1. Dita the Squirrel says:

    I also found Cress the most enjoyable book in the series. For now. It’s hard to tell how my thoughts might change when Winter comes out. November, come sooner!
    I also felt the most invested in Cress and Thorne. Their scenes are so cute. Cress’ awe of Earth is hilarious, especially when she described the desert etc. So many cool and fun things with them. And when they are at the palace… ^^
    I didn’t really have problems with the amount of POV characters and their chapters etc. Maybe I’m used to that after A Game of Thrones. Have you read those? Because now THAT is some POV changing 😀
    And I don’t mind big books as long as they pull me in and I don’t have to count the hundreds of pages I still have left 😀 The more the merrier!
    The short stories are cool, especially the one about Wolf. Don’t remember its name. And Fairest was… Well, we get a nice look into the madness of Levana and why is she so mad. And kind of brilliant at the same time.


    • Emily Witt says:

      Haha, to be honest, the length and POV switches are two things that put me off GoT completely! And also that it’s just generally not my thing.

      I really love adaptations of Rapunzel that really deal with the effects of the character’s isolation well; Tangled is my favourite Disney movie for that reason and I thought that Cress did a really good job of it, too. When she started crying when they first stepped out of the pod, I just wanted to pick her up and hug her.

      I’m actually really torn about Fairest. Usually I love villain backstory stuff, but part of me feels like I’ve got enough of a handle on Levana without needing to know more about her. But there’s a queue for it at my library anyway, so I have a while to decide.


  2. L. Marie says:

    Great review. I’m picturing you grinning to yourself while your coworkers stare. 🙂
    I only read Cinder. I wondered whether or not to continue the series, since I was lukewarm on Cinder. But your review causes me to want to give this series another chance.


    • Emily Witt says:

      It probably helps that Tangled is my favourite Disney movie and I was imagining Flynn and Rapunzel the whole way through. That made me happy. ;D

      I was the same as you – I enjoyed Cinder well enough but didn’t think it was anything mind-blowing. I had a few people encourage me to keep going, though most said “you have to get through Scarlet and then Cress is really good.” Which I found to be the case, too. (If you scroll back, Scarlet was my last review fortnight ago).


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