Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

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I received this book for free from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Cress by Marissa MeyerCress by Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #3
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 4th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings, Sci-Fi, YA
Source: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Buy on Amazon

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.

When I read Cinder in 2012 I came out of it feeling like we had a rocky love/hate relationship. In the end I rated it 3 stars and then bumped it up to 4 stars a few weeks later. Then Meyer put out Scarlet and the novel came into my life like a wrecking ball (cue Miley singalong here) and tore me apart. Scarlet completely immersed me in the character’s lives and it literally had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I believe I ended up rating that one 5 stars x1000 on my blog. Now that I have read Cress I am sad to say that the reading experience was much more like the one I had with Cinder rather than the completely perfect one I had with Scarlet.

I’m going to start out with what I liked here because overall I did enjoy this novel, it just didn’t pack the punch that it’s predecessor did. Once again I was in awe of the intricate world building here. Meyer really brings the tension between Luna and Earth to life and the vivid descriptions of all the settings had me feeling like I was right there with the characters. The unique spin that this series has put on age old fairy tales is mind blowing. I adore how Meyer puts her touch on everything but still manages to stay pretty true to the work that she is pulling from. The basic details are all there but the way she writes them into this futuristic space tale is truly awe inspiring.

Now for what bothered me here. This part of the review is going to seem much longer than the “what-I-liked” part but rest assured that I DID enjoy the novel overall. The pacing, much like Cinder, felt off to me. I was incredibly bored for about 250 pages of the novel and longed for more action, more comedy, or even more romance. I didn’t find myself laughing or swooning at all. As a matter of fact, the two characters that had me in stitches and seeing stars in Scarlet annoyed me to no end in this novel. Wolf was incredibly annoying here and I hated most of the scenes he was in because I felt like he was being so whiney (which felt VERY out of character for him.) I wanted him to pull his panties up, be a man and go fight for his woman! Thorne also didn’t manage to elicit laughs from me as he did in the past, he was just kind of there in this one. In the end I would say my biggest complaint was the pacing, because it did manage to pick up in the last 100 pages. Once things started getting intense I was finally starting to feel engrossed in the novel and then it ended so it did still manage to leave me pining for Winter.

I can’t finish out this review without talking about our leading ladies and I have to say that I have come to really enjoy all of them. Cress was a unique addition to the story because she was so secluded for the majority of her life so everything was brand new to her. I really enjoyed how she was always putting herself into dream-like scenarios to help her deal with what she was going through at the time. There is a strong sense of rebellion in all three of these ladies and that’s something that I always appreciate. Cinder was still kicking ass (and not bothering to take names) and Scarlet was still fiery as ever (in the few parts we did actually get to see her.)

Introduced in the end of the novel is Princess Winter. Man, does she ever have me intrigued! The scene with her was so eerie and everything she said had me longing to get into her head and find out just how she sees things around her. I will be sad to see this series end when Winter comes, but it can’t come soon enough!


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22 Responses to “Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer”

  1. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Wolf is whiney?!? That really is out of character! I just got this one yesterday and can’t wait to read it. I always feel like I need more time with each of the characters, though I’m interested to meet both Cress and Princess Winter.

  2. Vi

    Aw, sucks you didn’t enjoy this as much. Oh, the pacing gets me too and I’l have to look out for that. Still excited to read it though. Great review!

  3. Bethzaida (bookittyblog)

    I felt the same way about Cinder. I was kind of scared because a lot of people loved it so much that I thought there was something wrong with me. I’m glad I’m not the only one. I didn’t hate the book but I didn’t love it either. Great review.

  4. Cayce

    Hm. I’ve actually only read Cinder so far. And I’ve been stalling to read Scarlet even since I finished Cinder. I enjoyed book #1 a lot, though it wasn’t love (I had problems with the pacing too), and have heard from everyone that Scarlet is AMAZING, but I don’t know… I’m still hesitant… (probably because I never liked Little Red Riding Hood). I’m curious about Wolf though. 😉
    And since I LOVE Rapunzel, I was hoping Cress will blow EVERYONE away, and make me pick up the series again, now it looks like that may not happen…

  5. Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain

    I only skimmed your review because I’m reading this one soon and am trying to avoid most reviews, but from all of the positive reviews, it’s nice to see one at middle ground. I agree, Marissa’s world-building is always on point so I’m glad Cress also had the same type of development. I’m also glad that Cinder and Scarlet were still amazing characters in the book 🙂 Fantastic review, Jenni! <33

  6. Lyra @ Defiantly Deviant

    I’m not particularly fond of novels that are slow for the most part and then jam-packed for the last so and so pages. The pacing just often feels off that way, and as a result, I never get to chance to enjoy the book I’m reading as a whole.

    Yay for loving the leading ladies though – Scarlet and Cinder sound like my type of gals!

  7. Amber @bookishwonders

    Sorry you didn’t love it! I’ve head a somewhat love hate relationship with the series. I enjoy them but I don’t love them. I hope I like Cress though because I’m meeting Marissa Meyer soon :DD Awesome review!


  8. Lefty

    Great review! I love the honesty 🙂 I’ve yet to read Scarlet, but with all the excitement over Cress, I am really feeling the need to continue this series. Awesome female characters are probably my favorite thing ever, and I am so happy to see that is still going strong three books in!

  9. Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

    I need to read this series. I’m afraid I’m not going to like it because I actually read a little of the first one and put it back down. But as the books go on I keep finding myself wanting to try it again.

  10. kimbacaffeinate

    I skimmed your review Jenni as I will be reading this over the weekend. While this didn’t seem to impress you as much as the others I am glad to see you enjoyed it and are excited about the new character Winters.

  11. Melliane

    I’m sorry it wasn’t as good asthe first one. I heard great things about the whole series and this one as well but haven’t read any. But because of the reviews everywhere, I just bought book 1 yesterday so now I need more time to read it.

  12. Megan

    Too bad this one wasn’t as good for you as it was for me. Either way, I CANNOT wait for Winter! I am super intrigued by her and it will be so bittersweet for this series to end.

  13. Pili

    I’m 34% in so far and I’m not very concerned with the pacing so far, hopefully I’ll enjoy it more than you did Jenni!
    Thanks for great and honest review!

  14. Alexa S.

    I really loved Cress! Even though it’s a bit chunky, I still enjoyed reading every single word. There’s just something magical about the way that Marissa writes her story and these characters. I can’t wait to meet Princess Winter!

  15. Molli

    MUST read these soon. I liked Cinder and I believe I also rated it a 3. I read part of Scarlet when I bought it but didn’t get to finish it. I can’t wait to get to Cress – especially to meet Winter, because everyone has indicated the scene with her was cray!