Book Review: Cress by Marissa Meyers

cress

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

What I enjoy about Meyers characters is that they are all interesting and quite different. The three girls have very distinct personalities, and Cress is no exception. I also enjoyed the fact that Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress have learned skill sets throughout the years and they are smart and know how to use those skill sets while trying to save the world. They make for very strong female role models in that respect. However, their ability to handle romance is altogether lacking. I guess though, that is why these would be considered young adult reading.

Because she has been sheltered all of her life from the outside world, Cress is not able to handle her infatuation with Thorne, who is a complete jerk to her nearly all of the time. It was a little frustrating, even though I understand that because of her limited access to the outside world she would not be able to handle a sudden immersion in that outside world. Unlike Rapunzel of Tangled, she has a hard time using her learned skill set and her brains when confronted with the unknown. Arguably, by the end of the book she has learned some lessons, and therefore, she remains an interesting and dimensional character. Just one I would like to take by the shoulders and shake.

My irritation with Cress’ inability to deal with Thorne aside, the series itself is one of my favorites. The story arc for each book quite wonderfully feeds into the overall story arc of the series and when I came to the end of Cress I was again dismayed I didn’t have the next book in my hands already. Meyers weaves a wonderful retelling of stories that we already know, and she does it in such a way that they are new and exciting and original and all their own. Her female characters are heroines in the true sense, they save themselves, they use their learned skill sets to make the world a better place, and their male companions do not take over as so often happens in female protagonist books.

If you like fairy tale retellings and original characters full of surprises check out the Lunar Chronicle series by Marissa Meyers.

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