December 26, 2013

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Release Date: February 4th 2014
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Page Count: 560 
Source: ARC borrowed from Jeremy & Jeffrey
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.

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

So Cinder's still trying to save the world but now she's got a spaceship and all of her friends on board. And then also there's Cress (who's a soon-to-be new friend) who lives in this satellite doing computer hacking things for the enemy. Not because she wants to. She's pretty pro-human (which makes sense because she's a shell), actually. Anyway, Cinder and co. go to pick up Cress from her satellite prison and that's when all of the things start happening and this book gets absolutely crazy in the most perfect, absolutely flawless way possible.

All of the Things I Liked:
  • Everything: This is another one of those reviews where I wanna just be like: "This. Book. Is. Perfect." *mic drop* *walk away* But I won't because that's not particularly review-y. Just keep that sentiment in mind as you read on. Or just stop reading now, drop everything and pick up Cinder if you haven't already. While Cinder wasn't my absolute favorite, I still really liked it and I love the perfection known as Scarlet and the other perfection known as Cress so much, so it really is worth it.
  • The Length of this Book: This book is an overall chunker, weighing in at 560 pages, but we needed every single one of those pages. There are so many main characters and plot lines going on at once and while you'd think the page count is too high, despite that, you really blow through this book. Everything really seems super seamless and absolutely perfect. But I don't think I'd expect anything else from Marissa Meyer at this point.
  • Sticking to the Roots While Mixing it Up: Cress, as with every book in this series, is great because it keeps to certain facts of the fairy tales - Cress (Rapunzel) and Thorne (Rapunzel's prince) find themselves in the desert, with Thorne blinded. Kai still has Cinder's foot/shoe. But there are also twists, like everything that goes on with Scarlet (Little Red) and Wolf. It holds to the source material while changing enough facts to make the source stuff new and exciting. I especially like how fairy tales are these dreamed up tales from the past but this book/series is a dreamed up tale of the future. So there's a nice symmetry and I love it so much. 
  • The Twists: I feel like I can't get into any of the specifics because I'll give it all away, but I didn't see a bunch of the stuff coming. I mean, with Cinder, the book stayed pretty close to the fairytale. Scarlet deviated a lot. Cress does this thing were it deviates but also stays close to the fairytale. The excitement, however, comes from the little bits thrown in. The connections made between the characters, the shifting POV and the overall adventure and thrill of the book. Honestly, the twists shock you, but then when they happen you're like OBVIOUSLY THAT'S WHAT HAPPENS HERE AND GOSH THAT WAS SO PERFECT AND SMART.
  • Thorne and Cress: Flawless. Their dynamic is absolutely flawless and totally true to who their characters are. Cress has no experience with people but is hardened from her loneliness and Thorne is those suave, debonaire guy who always has an answer, but still needs help; especially once blinded. I could read a whole book just about them. Which is what Cress kind of is, but not in the way Cinder was for Cinder. Although Cinder really is the natural born leader of this rodeo, so I wouldn't want anything about the order of this book to change ever. 
  • Cinder and Kai: These two wild and crazy kids aren't featured together much in this book but when they are together, the moments are perfectly complex and layered. And when they're separated, they're similarly brilliant. Honestly, no matter what happens, these are the two people who honestly drive the plot. Their chapters may be few and far between, but they seem to propel everything forward. (Which makes sense because Cinder's the leader of our rag-tag group and Kai's an Emperor. So.) Basically, what I'm trying to say is, these two are GREAT and I really love them together. The perfect reincarnation of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask *cough* I mean Cinderella and Prince Charming. (No, but really, both options work.)
  • Scarlet and Wolf: Scarlet and Wolf are kind of lesser characters in this installment. But I truly love the two of them. I know this probably isn't the most popular opinion, but Scarlet and Wolf are my favorite couple in the book. Their dedication to each other takes my breath away, no matter how much they stumble individually in this book. And honestly, given Wolf's wiring, I can't blame the guy for being all: "CRUSH ALL OF THE THINGS" this book. That's all I'm going to say on this topic though.
  • Levana: I love every page from Levana's POV. In the first book I thought he kind of thin/2D. In book 2 she flourished a bit but book 3 really is where she becomes a person you can really be afraid of. And we should be afraid. She's a freaking crazy person.
  • Winter: Just based on our quick glimpse this book, Winter seems completely out of her mind. And I think that's why I  can't wait to have a book about her. But, as for this book, I love how Winter sneaks in so we can catch a glimpse and get all excited about her upcoming book. I mean, really how clever. (It was also really clever to introduce Jacin this book the set up and plotting in this series is so genius I can't even stand it.)
  • The Plot: Just based on the last parentheses, I should probably mention that Marissa Meyer's plotting skills are fantastic. So much planning goes into these books and the twists, turns, foreshadowing and overlap makes me giddy. It's like a teaser for the next book built into the current installment and that's the best.
  • Dr. Erland: What does anyone actually do when it comes to this man? One second he seems evil, the next he's the best and then five minutes later your jaw is on the floor because SAY WHAT NOW? I think he's the best twist in the book, which is weird because he's such a minor character but I love it, so that's just the way it is.

The long and short of it?

Plot: Perfection.
World Building: Even more perfection.
Character Development: I should use a synonym for "perfection" right? How about "absolutely flawless"?
Prose: You'd think with all the changing POVs things would blend together and the prose would be so-so... NO. NOT IN THIS SERIES. Amazing. Brilliant. PERFECT. (Because who even needs synonyms?)
Would I Recommend This Book?: Just stop reading this and go start this series. I don't care who you are, where you're from, don't care what you did, as long as you're reading this series. No, but Backstreet Boys covers aside, even if Sci-Fi/Fairytale Retellings aren't you thing, just do me a favor and make an exception for this series. If you're not hooked by Scarlet I'll send you (virtual) candy to make up for it.

Have you started this series yet? If not, get to reading! But if you have read, even just through Scarlet, you probably have a serious case of the swoons. So feel free to talk about that, among other things, in the comments below.