Marissa Meyer – Cress
Length: 552 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Started: 07 September 2014
Finished: 13 September 2014
Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? Cinder hooked me.
“Coming down to Earth”
is often the end of a
romance, not the start.
Summary: We first met Cress in Cinder – the girl who was on the other end of the communications chip that Cinder finds in Prince Kai’s android. Cress is a Lunar shell, unable to do magic but skilled with computers, and so locked aboard a surveillance satellite by Queen Levana for years, tasked with monitoring Earthen communications and keeping Lunar ships hidden from detection. All alone except for occasional visits from Levana’s thaumaturge, Cress has developed a fascination with Earth culture, not to mention a severe crush on Captain Thorne, and has been secretly helping him and Cinder since they escaped from jail. Now the fugitives’ plight is even more urgent than before: Scarlet has been kidnapped by Lunar operatives, Wolf is nearly comatose with the loss, and Prince Kai will be marrying Queen Levana in only a few days time – and they have no doubt that once she does, she’ll have him killed. In order to stop the wedding, they’re going to need Cress’s help, but rescuing her from her satellite is only the first step in a plan that could go wrong in any number of devastating ways.
Review: I really, really enjoyed this book, maybe even more than I liked Cinder. It’s got so many great elements, was easy to read (even during a very busy and stressful time when I often have a hard time focusing on reading, so that was an extra bonus), and kept me engaged and entertained. One of the issues I had with Scarlet was that it didn’t tie in super-well to the original fairy tale beyond the basics, but thankfully, Cress has lots of echoes of the original story, and I loved being able to pick those out and see how Meyer had incorporated them into her sci-fi world. I was also a little bit worried about how well the story would flow as Meyer keeps adding characters – Scarlet’s and Cinder’s storylines didn’t mesh together particularly well for most of Scarlet, but that wasn’t the case at all in Cress: even when the characters are separated, Meyer keeps all of the storylines going at a good clip, never allowing any one to drag out longer than it needed to. Cress as a heroine is pretty great – she’s not as confident or as capable as Cinder, but she’s got a spark to her despite her naivete, and watching her come out of her protective shell and learn to navigate not only the real world, but also real relationships, was a treat. Initially I wasn’t totally swept away by the romance between her and Thorne – if a guy tells you he’s bad news that many times, maybe you should believe him? – but by the end, I was fully on board. And of course, between all the fairy tale bits and the sci-fi worldbuilding bits and the romance bits and the funny bits and the sad bits and the awesome character developing bits, there were also quite a number of fun action-y bits. So, yes, totally loved this one, and now I’m stuck waiting on tenterhooks for the final book to come out. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Not a standalone by any means. But the series is a huge treat for fans of YA sci-fi/fantasy/romance and/or fairy tale retellings – I can’t believe I waited as long as I did to pick it up. For those who liked Cinder but were more ambivalent about Scarlet: have hope! This book is jam-packed of good stuff and makes it clear that Meyer’s had a good plan for the series all along.
Other Reviews: The Bookwyrm’s Hoard, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dork, Good Books and Good Wine, Ivy Book Binding and more at the Book Blogs Search Engine.
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First Line: Her satellite made one full orbit around planet Earth every sixteen hours.
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