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Cress (Lunar Chronicles) by Marissa Meyer

Cress (Lunar Chronicles) (edition 2014)

by Marissa Meyer

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Title:Cress (Lunar Chronicles)
Authors:Marissa Meyer
Info:Feiwel & Friends (2014), Hardcover, 560 pages
Collections:Your library

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Cress by Marissa Meyer



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The third installment of the Lunar Chronicles is as delightful and addicting as the first two. While continuing the narratives of the characters we met in the first two books - Cinder, Kai, Thorne, Scarlet, and Wolf - the book introduces a new heroine in the form of Cress, a diminutive girl with long hair who has been locked away in a satellite for nearly all her life. Cress' story reinvents the Rapunzel fairy tale. Actually, Cress has popped up in earlier books, but as a mysterious hacker who is helping Cinder for unknown motives. Now we get to meet her, and learn why she is working against her empress to aid the rebel cyborg. Cress is a shell. She was taken from her parents as a baby, supposedly to be killed, but actually sent to a secret laboratory where she had to endure tests and many blood withdrawals. When she revealed her immense skills with computers, Cress was assigned a different roll. Thaumaturge Sybil took her to a satellite that orbited Earth, where Cress was instructed to be their technological expert in terms of spying and surveillance. She hacked into systems, coordinated bugs and other planted devices, obscured Lunar space vessels from Earth's detection, and performed other technical feats. Despite her prowess, Sybil never showed any gratitude or compassion. She regularly visited the satellite to bring provisions and take blood, and aside from those encounters, which Cress dreaded, the Lunar girl was always alone in space.

When she learned about Cinder, she saw a way she could help others, and try to secretly stop Queen Levana, who she knows is a cruel and dangerous ruler. Thanks to her earlier secret communications, Cinder is able to reach out to her. Cinder learns that Cress was the one shielding their ship from detection, and they decide to meet in person.

That plot line would be far too easy, of course, and the complication comes in the form of Sybil. She arrives shortly before the appointed rendezvous time, and tries to set a trap for Cinder. She ties Cress up and hides her in the bathroom, and then imprisons Thorne in the same way when he boards the satellite. Then, she boards Cinder's ship, sends the satellite plummeting to Earth, shoots Wolf and kidnaps Scarlet. The good news is that this is her backup plan; she meant to kill everyone. The other bit of not-so-wonderful good news is that Cress and Thorne survive their crash landing on Earth. However, they wind up in the middle of a vast desert, and Thorne realizes that he has become blind after a knock to his head during the fall.

The story then alternates between the two groups: Thorne and Cress as they attempt to survive a journey across the desert and reunite with their friends, and Cinder and her remaining allies (including the Lunar guard, Jacen, who Sybil abandoned during the scuffle) as she mourns the supposed death of Thorne and tries to figure out a way to stop Kai's wedding. They decide to visit Dr. Erland, as he demanded when he helped Cinder escape prison, and fly to a remote city in Africa. This place isn't far from the desert where Thorne and Cress are struggling to survive, and soon the group is whole again, although some difficult experiences have to be overcome along the way. This happy moment leads into the climax of the novel, where the group of unlikely heroes uses its special set of skills to infiltrate the wedding, snatch Kai away before he can marry Levana, and stop the evil Sybil for good.

I really love this series. Each book centers around a main couple: Cinder and Kai, Scarlet and Wolf, and now Cress and Thorne. Usually, with a format like this, I like some couples better than others; but with Lunar Chronicles, I have loved each new couple just as much as the one before. The story in this novel spends a lot of time with the latest pair to get matched up. Their relationship was distinct from the previous two, and still delightful to read about. Cress had developed an immense school girl crush on Thorne before she met him. As they take care of each other in the desert, her feelings deepen into a real affection, for the man he truly is, and not the image she previously held. Carswel Thorne, on the other hand, is the die hard flirt. He applies his charm to the petite and pretty Cress, but when he realizes how deeply she cares for him, he backs off. Thorne thinks Cress is a sheltered girl with a skewed perception, and doesn't realize that her feelings have evolved. It seems, by the end of the book, that Thorne has developed genuine feelings for her, too, but is hiding this because he doesn't think he deserves her. It's so sweet! The novel doesn't spend all its time building this relationship. Cinder's adventures are also continuing, and her bantering relationship with Jacen, the Lunar guard with questionable motives, is a diverting break from Cress and Thorne. The quest at the end, to save Kai and stop the marriage, was thrilling and a great conclusion to the book, reading a little bit like a heist movie. Several big plot points are left unresolved - Thorne never confesses his feelings, poor Wolf, Scarlet is still captive, and, oh yeah, Levana needs her much deserved punishment - which just makes me eager to read the final installment. And even though I am longing to read the end of this fun series, I hope the author can think of ways to return to the world she has created here, because it is a rich and original one with some great characters. ( )
  nmhale | Oct 5, 2015 |
This is a good third book in the series, and read just in time for the next book coming out next month. Cinder and Kai will always be my favorite but I enjoyed the romance between Thorne and Cress, mostly because I like Thorne so much. We also get a hint at Winter, who is the main protagonist in the next book. I enjoy how, while each book focuses on a new heroine - a new fairy tale - they are all interwoven into a bigger story. I also enjoy how these fairy tale retelling are truer to the Grimm style fairy tales and less the disneyfied versions. I could pick out things about the fairy tale that I only could because I've read the Grimm versions. This series is gearing up for what should be a fantastic climax. I'm looking forward to it. ( )
  Kassilem | Oct 1, 2015 |
Cress is the third installment in the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. For the uninitiated, head on over to my reviews of Cinder and Scarlet for some background info. I really like the way Meyer is able to balance out the primary focus of each book (in this case Cress) with the overarching theme of the series and all of the characters that have made appearances throughout. While this story is set in Earth's future and it deals with a race of people who dwell on the moon (Lunars) it is easy to slip into this reality. Yes, there are cyborgs. Yes, some people have the power to manipulate bio-electricity and therefore control people. However, the themes that are being discussed are easily translatable. Racial prejudice for one thing is very real in today's society and it's an important aspect in the Lunar Chronicles as a whole. Cress grew up in isolation with a tyrant as her one and only connection to the outside world. She was emotionally, verbally, and at times physically abused and this caused her to retreat into herself and create a fantasy world. This, in large part, is why she wants to help the Earthens and the ragtag band of misfits who are on the run from the authorities. War is now a certainty and the clock is ticking for Cinder before she must confront the Queen. Next in the series is Fairest: Levana's Story. I already have it on hold at the library. :-D ( )
  AliceaP | Aug 28, 2015 |

Cress by Marissa Meyer is the third in the Lunar Chronicles. If you haven’t heard of this series, be sure to check out my reviews of the first book, Cinder, and the second book, Scarlet, because this series is freaking fantabulous! I felt that Scarlet was even better than Cinder, and Cress does not disappoint this trend. While Cress was a slightly different book than the first two, it made my brain feel all warm and fuzzy every time I sat down to read. We meet new characters and get to know old ones better, there is epicness on so many levels, and I am EVEN MORE excited about the fourth book, Winter, than I was before!
Note: A friend gave me an ARC of Cress to review. Some things may change in the final version.
Cress by Marissa Meyer ARC {4.5 Stars}
Cress by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #3)
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 4th, 2014
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, Sci-fi, YA
Length: 560 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog
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.
I feel that I must start with the title character: Cress! *squeals* I love her so much! I imagine that many of us are going to have Tangled flashbacks while reading Cress but I honestly think it totally works. Cinder and Scarlet are both kick-butt heroines, but Cress brings something new to the table. She has obviously led a pretty sheltered life with a skewed perspective on things (mostly from watching net dramas….) and Meyer captures this wonderfully. Cress is a brilliant hacker but also adorably naive about a lot of things. She is a perfect edition to our fairy tale cast specifically because she isn’t the typical kick-butt heroine who is too tough to cry!
Omg ya’ll, the twists! You know I love a good plot twist and I consider Cress to have more than one. They were the great kind, too, where they are kinda stressful because you know the characters’ lives are going to get more difficult, but also make perfect sense, but also just make you have to know what is going to happen! My pulse is rising just thinking about them >.>.
The feels, wow, the feels. Scarlet definitely destroyed my emotions, but Cress doesn’t pull any punches. They are made all the worse because you kind of know something has to happen, but it’s still so freaking emotional. There aren’t just sad feels though! Thorne and Cress had me squeeing and literally laughing out loud quite often ;-).
I love clever epic battles! You know when the hero saves the day against impossible odds not through luck or magically discovering some deep inner power but through being so dang clever?? That! That is awesome and that is what you get in Cress.
We get little torturous hints about the character Winter and I am so freaking excited! Even though this is Cress, I am already impressed with how multi-faceted Winter the character is going to be, not to mention the epicness of Winter the book’s plot….
Iko gets a couple of chapters from her perspective Weaknesses:
There are three couples now for those playing along at home and that is two more than most stories that we are used to have. All of the characters work great (yey epic fantasy adventuring party!), but each of the romance pairings being so neat and tidy is a little annoying. I want a single fairy-tale princess, who needs boys?!
Cress melted my heart, but I didn’t get the white-knuckle, edge-of-your-seat feel that I had with Scarlet. I hit a point with Scarlet where I was literally getting white knuckles gripping the hardcover, and that just didn’t happen with Cress (which is probably good since it was a rather floppy ARC). I have very high hopes for Winter though ;-).
Really, at this point, you probably already know if you are going to read Cress or not. If you loved Scarlet, you will love Cress and I’m so excited and a little jealous that you get to read it for the first time still :D. If you read Cinder and were only meh and not sure about continuing the series, continue the series! I cannot emphasize enough how much each book’s writing has grown and I love it. I’m very impressed by how skillfully Meyer has weaved together three (four in the end) fairytale retellings, keeping each of the couples involved in the overarching storyline, and building this amazing sci-fi world to boot. Amaze-balls if you ask me. ( )
  anyaejo | Aug 12, 2015 |
This was everything I wanted it to be and MORE. I love these characters.

Ms. Meyer....

( )
  ScribblingSprite | Aug 10, 2015 |
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When she was just a child, the witch locked her away in a tower that had neither doors or stairs.
For Jojo, Meghan, and Tamara
*high fives*
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Her satellite made one full orbit around planet Earth every sixteen hours.
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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 prevent her army from invading Earth. Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company.… (more)

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