Cress by Marissa MeyerCress is the third installment in the Lunar Chronicles and to me, it took this series to a whole other level. The introduction of Cress as a character was pretty brilliant itself but the way Marissa Meyer flawlessly weaved together every separate storyline and point of view completely blew me away.
The Lunar Chronicles # 3
Published February 4 2014 by Feiwel & Friends
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had 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 of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
Cress properly introduces us to Crescent Moon - or Cress for short, a poor girl isolated on a Satellite orbiting Earth since her childhood. With nothing to keep her company but netscreens, Cress has become a gifted hacker, and understandably, quite socially awkward. When Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet and Wolf figure out that Cress has helped them once before, they reach out to her and begin plotting to rescue her. However, their rescue mission is sabotaged, so while Cress gains her freedom, the crew is separated. Cast into smaller groups, they all have their own adventures, misadventures and complications as they race to reunite with one another and stop the evil Lunar Queen Levana from marrying Prince Kai and taking over the Earth.
I have to admit that I was equally taken by every single hero and heroine in Cress. Told in alternating perspective, we got to know Cress, Throne, Wolf, Scarlet, Cinder and Kai separately and intimately as well as together as a group. Marissa Meyer is definitely the queen of multiple POV's because she continues to add brilliant characters to the fray with unique voices, all while meshing their storylines together in a truly masterful way. Cress, the newest addition was instantly likeable. Her quirks and awkwardness were nothing but endearing and I loved the way she kept escaping into random fantasies whenever she was challenged or in a tight spot. Her hacking skills certainly came in handy and gained her an equal position within this epic, ragtag crew. Cress' chemistry with Thorne (THORNE!!!) was easily a highlight of this entire adventure and it left me begging for more! *swoon*
Similarly, we got to know our returning favorite characters even better in Cress. Scarlet continues to be bold and brave. Wolf remains unpredictable, volatile but also alluring and vulnerable. Kai is, as always, noble and he keeps on trying to do the right thing, amidst mounting pressure and decreasing hope. And of course there's Cinder, our little cyborg that could. Cinder is still struggling with herself and her destiny but she always comes through in the end. I honestly love all of these characters and with the stakes getting progressively higher with every new book, my feelings for them have only deepened every step of the way.
I've already raved at Meyer's amazing skills with the alternating POV's she but I have to give her props for storytelling as well. She has managed to take fairytale retellings to a whole other level by keeping them fresh, while being faithful to the essence of the source material. The way these stories are plotted so tightly, with every single detail and twist accounted for amazed me at every turn. I was riveted from start to finish and there's absolutely not one single detail I would change. The writing was awesome. The characters were awesome. And the story just blew me away! I know I'm late to the party finally reading this one but I think a part of me knew that when I finally did read Cress, it would be sheer torture waiting for the next installment, Winter to come out. Luckily, Meyer must have sensed this, because now we have Fairest coming out early in 2015 to tide us over until November '15 *sobs*
There's really nothing more to say about Cress that hasn't already been said a million times over. Bottom line? It's amazing. Read it. NOW.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars