Sunday, February 9, 2014

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress--Marissa Meyer
February 2014 by Feiwel & Friends
560 pages--Goodreads

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.

After almost a year's wait since reading Scarlet, Cress is finally out.  Huzzah!  It's a long one, but it's never slow.  There's always some rescue to pull off or some danger to avoid or some scheme to execute.

However, Meyer stretches herself too thin with all these characters.  I do enjoy seeing from each character's point of view, and POV switches are sometimes necessary to tell the story from its multiple locations.  But switching between  ten different characters is just too much.  At the same time, the characters are the best part, and I wouldn't have her cut any of them out.  I just wish we could see more of Cinder.

I really like where Meyer is taking Levana's character.  Rather than being evil for the sake of being evil, we get just a hint that her motivation is loneliness.  If her people will not love her on their own terms, she will make them love her; and she will conquer Earth so that more people will love her.  I hope Meyer expands this angle of Levana's character in the next book.  It makes her much more compelling than the generic evil queen.

I love how vulnerable Cinder is in this book.  Not to say she can't hold her own in a fight (she can) or that she's an emotional wreck (she's not).  She's just freaked out about the pressure of having to save the entire world (and moon).  She's scared and worried that she won't be able to do it.  She feels guilty for the deaths she's caused.  It's so nice to have a character who reacts normally to the saving the world situation rather than being completely confident or even just mildly worried.

My only major criticism, aside from the multiple perspectives, is that there isn't much chemistry between Thorne and Cress.  Wolf and Scarlet's relationship (while too sudden and cheesy) at least had chemistry.  I can see them going somewhere in the next book, but I don't root for them as I read like I am Cinder and Kai.

Cress is not a perfect novel, but it is a fun, fast-paced one.  Now I just have to sit here and wait for a year until Winter comes out.  

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