Book Review: Cress

First thought (warning this has nothing to do with the book…) I need to start thinking up better titles for my posts.

With all the dystopian and sci-fi books that are out there, I feel that some really amazing ones tend to fall in-between the cracks. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer should not be among those types of books. The most recent of the books in this series is Cress – a dystopian retelling of the “Rapunzel” fairy tale.

Short version: Read Cress. If you haven’t read Cinder or Scarlet then you need to read those first. But seriously. These books are worth your time.

Long version: I kind-of adore this series. With all the political intrigue, sci-fi elements, and Whedon-esque characters, I think it could be a series that a lot of reluctant readers might like. Granted, while they are fairy tale retellings and there is romance, the romance is not what drives the plot. (Side-bar: I would LOVE Joss Whedon to bring these books to the screen. He would do a great job with them.)

What amazes me about the books, including Cress, (apart from the amazing world building, the concept, the characters) is that each of the books in the series, so far, are her NaNoWriMo novel (National Novel Writing Month aka write an entire book in November) projects. That’s right. The rough draft for all of these books she did in a month. That’s just stellar.

Now, moving on to this book in the series.

Here’s what goodreads has to say about Cress:

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.

This was not my favorite of the Lunar books thus far, and I think it really had to do with the main character. Marissa did (and always does) an amazing job with making all of her characters so real and so different from one another. I’m in awe. I mean, they have me laughing out loud sometimes. So, me not liking the title character (Cress) has more to do with her personality overall as opposed to Marissa’s writing ability.

Marissa does a brilliant job of creating a character who has lived in almost total isolation for the last seven years. Cress hasn’t had to deal with people. She hasn’t really had to ever leave her comfort zone. A figurative and literal comfort zone I might add. So taking all this into account, the character of Cress is incredibly brave and strong. She has to overcome so much in this novel that you can only be in awe of her.

And yet… And yet she still kind-a annoys me. I think it’s because whereas Cinder and Scarlet are girls and have their girly moments, they aren’t really super girly. And Cress was a bit too girly for me. I understand her and how she pulls comfort and strength by imagining herself in rolls so that she can cope with what she has to face in reality, but they were just such girly fantasies that I got a bit tired of them.

Granted, that’s it. That’s my biggest criticism of the novel.

Really, I could go on for days about how much I admire Marissa’s writing. However, this time I’m going to focus on her romance.

I wish I could write romance like she does. The romantic love that builds for each girl (Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress) is just so different and so great. I love the complexity of Kai and Cinder’s love. I adore the strength that Wolf has for Scarlet. And Cress…. well spoilers. I want my characters to have that.

If you haven’t started this series, then you need to. There’s humor, heartbreak, and fairy tale cyborgs. How can you say no to that?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s