Cress by Marissa Meyer

cressSynopsis: 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.

My thoughts: Just when I thought this series couldn’t get any better, it did. And since Cress was so flipping awesome–and I think the Lunar Chronicles can’t possibly get any better–my expectations for the next book are sky high.

*sigh* Marissa Meyer is just a genius. I love this series so so so much.

I began with the same wary annoyance that I started Scarlet with: only because I wanted to read about Cinder and was nervous the new girl in town would be lame. As with Scarlet, Cress proved me very wrong. Cress is the cutest. I absolutely loved her vulnerability. She added so much to the story without detracting from it, and I loved when the chapters would switch to her adventures (also, she and Thorne are the cutest thing in the history of anything. Just sayin’). Actually, I am pretty much in love with all of the relationships in this series–Marissa Meyer just does such an amazing job of crafting these relationships and layering them and making me care so much. Love stories aren’t always my favorite, but she knocks it out of the park every time.

I’ve decided the Lunar Chronicles remind me a bit of the Avengers. Yep. Let me explain. We have quite the cast of characters here, and each book brings along a group of others as well as a new protagonist, all with their own stories. This could be an absolute nightmare. This could get jumbled and confusing and stupid because there is so much going on with so many people, and sometimes stories connect with others’ and sometimes they don’t, and it would be so easy to have people get lost or underappreciated. The Lunar Chronicles does not have this problem. Marissa Meyer so beautifully gives us new, dynamic characters that add so much to the story and themes, and then doesn’t forget about them. I feel every detail is so important to her, and that makes her characters just come alive. Of course, my personal biases make me want to see some characters more than others, but as a whole she does such a great job of giving each character just the right amount of time. There are no cardboard fillers here. There are no stand-ins, even in the background. Every character matters, and I think that’s part of the reason why this world is so well developed and feels so real.

Also, I just need to take a moment to say how much I love Cinder. She is just so wonderful and believable and relatable and I just love her so freaking much. Yes, all of the other characters are real and vital and important, and all have their own story that I’m entirely invested in, but nobody could carry this series like Cinder does. I just so hope that everything turns out okay for her in the last book. I’m really scared.

The pacing of Cress was a little better, I felt, than Scarlet (not to say that Scarlet was bad, because I finished each within a weekend). It just kept moving and bouncing between people in a way I thought was very effective. I was just upset when I flipped the page and saw it was over–I thought I had 20 pages left but it was all just bonus content. Ah, I need Winter! I’m so excited for Winter! I don’t want to read Winter because then it will be over! I have such strong mixed emotions that are just bleeding everywhere, so I’ll wrap this up before it gets too incoherent.

Last thing: I love Cinder and Kai. I love them together, I love them separate, and I think they are both such strong, amazing characters, and I could read about them all day. I love their relationship so much; I just adore how they work with and for each other, even before really being ‘together’, and I was just dying for when they finally got to speak to each other again. The end of Cress provided me with a painfully long awaited (and absolutely spectacular) Cinder/Kai moment. I’ve been waiting 2 and 7/8 books for that. My only demand is that Marissa Meyer give me at least two more of those in Winter. I desperately need them while I can still get them.

Rated 5/5 for lovely fairytale parallels, another amazing heroine, and a series that just won’t stop getting better