I’m pretty sure Marissa Meyer is now on my auto-buy list, because I want every. single. book. that she’s written so far. I’ve been taking my time with Winter because I have commitment issues and Cress (a 500+ page YA novel in its own right) took me two sleepless nights to finish. Two damn nights.
I don’t normally do that. In fact, I try not to.
But Cress was a drug. An awesome, young-adult science fiction fairy tale-based drug. HOW MUCH MORE AWESOME COULD IT GET.
Note: Cress is the third book of The Lunar Chronicles so there are bound to be a few spoilers in this review.
by Marissa Meyer
Feiwel & Friends, February 2014
YA science fiction, fairy tale
Rated: / 5 cookies
Even in the future. there are damsels in distress…
In the third installment of the Lunar chronicles, Cress, having risked everything to warn Cinder of Queen Levana’s evil plan, has a slight problem. She’s been imprisoned on a satellite since childhood and has only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress a great hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress involving Cinder, Captain Thorne, Scarlet, and Wolf goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes as a high price. Meanwhile, 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.
First off, let me tell you how I found the YA sci-fi version of Felicity Smoak. (Yes, Arrow references all the way!)
Even now, Cress used those hours to crawl beneath her bed and nap or read or write songs in her head or work out complicated coding.
She’s got long blonde hair (which pretty much gets resolvedly shorter once Thorne had his way with it–meaning he used a knife). She likes to shimmy it up from time to time and sings a lot.
She’s also real good at computers and can pretty much hack her way into anything that runs on coding.
She’s short, she’s awkward (I mean, who wouldn’t be when you’ve been marooned in space for seven years and your only friend is a robot you’ve built yourself to play computer games with you), she’s cute as a button. You can totally see why I’d imagine her as the spitting image of Felicity Smoak.
Minus the glasses, though I’m pretty sure Cress would rock that, too, if she had to wear them. Felicity certainly does.
Oh, and did I mention that Cress has a smokingly intense crush on a hot playboy vigilante?
“Captain,” she murmured. “I think I’m in love with you.”
An eyebrow shot up. She counted six beats of his heart before suddenly, he laughed. “Don’t tell me it took you two whole days to realize that. I must be losing my touch.”
I totally ship it.
So yeah. In a parallel universe, Cress is my favorite character of Arrow. Which makes her ultimately awesome as a character from the get-go. I mean, Cinder is still my favorite girl because reasons, but overall I do love all the characters on the Rampion, Cress included.
Now that we’ve gotten the initial introduction of Cress out of the way, to the rest of the book itself:
Which was pretty fantastic. And also pretty long. I can’t complain, though, because I loved every single POV (even the short antagonist POVs). My only complaint was probably the fact that half the time the chapters came up a bit too short for my taste, and the switching back and forth was too fast for me to get super-invested in the scene. Eventually I just accepted the vignettes because things did start to spiral down to one solid focus, which was to spring my favorite emperor (hah) out of his future loveless–and definitely lethal–marriage.
But of course, a lot of shit happens before all of that.
Which brings me to talk about Thorne and how lovely he is.
Cress has a girl-crush on Thorne. I don’t blame her. So did I the minute he was introduced in Scarlet. Carswell Thorne is described as a handsome, confident, and rather charming flirt, and honestly, that’s how he plays it throughout the books. He’s an overall cad, but like Cress (and most of the Rampion crew, to be honest), I believe he’s got his heart set in the right place. Which makes him swoonworthy in my book. The fact that there’s more focus on him in Cress BECAUSE of what happened to him–and Cress–made the journey in the desert a thousand times more interesting than the “oh god they’re stuck in a desert what a borefest” expectation I initially had.
And these Thorne-moments weren’t even my favorites in the book (though, to be honest, the kissing scene with him was loads of squeeeeee).
“When did you have time to take a mistress?”
His smile faltered. “Don’t talk about Cress like that.”
“Oh–wait! You mean Darla. I won her in a hand of cards.”
Best. Platonic. Relationship. Ever. Cinder and Thorne bicker like brother and sister, and this is doubly awesome because they’re A) not related and B) not at all attracted to each other in a romantic sense. Yes, Thorne flirts, but in all honesty, that’s what Thorne is. Telling him to tone it down is like telling rain to stop being so wet. The best part about the flirting is that Cinder knows exactly where she stands on that front, and it doesn’t even phase her anymore. And Thorne knows it, which is why he keeps going. When a relationship like that is secure, it’s gold. And every time Thorne and Cinder share a Thorne and Cinder moment, I just grin happily.
The book itself as a whole is definitely another step up from its predecessors. I loved the characters. I loved the story. I loved the way the Rampion crew worked together to get shit done. Hell, I even loved the whole Dr. Erland development and honestly, I effing BAWLED near the end when things went down the way they did. And then after bawling, I went back to being giddy and squee-y at the end.
“How do you feel?”
“Kidnapped. How should I feel?”
Because Kai’s sass always wins. At life. And everything. And just Kai being Kai.
“Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?”
He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. “No. I’m pretty sure it was Cinder. Why?”
Though yes, without Cinder, all this would be totally moot. If nothing else, I’m ready to stand with her for a revolution. VIVE LA CINDER!
I probably had more to say, but most of it was me continuing to sigh and squee. So there.
5 out of 5 cookies! I gave the book a hug at the end of the story. Yes, I know. I’m a nerd. But we knew this already.