SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS
The below review is not our ordinary review. This chat-style review is a chance for us to flail over our favorite aspects of a book together, details and all. If you’ve read the book, great! If you don’t care if you read spoilers, read on! Join us in the comments to discuss!
But if you want to read the book later and be surprised, this review is not for you.
Book Review: Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer
Release Date: 2/4/14
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: ARC provided by the publisher
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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.
SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS BELOW.
LAST CHANCE TO TURN BACK.
LET’S GET IT STARTED
Jen: Are we all present and accounted for?
Katie: Present, but not contributing! Other than to say that Queen Levana is always Ursula from The Little Mermaid in my head and therefore I find it disturbing that Kai is marrying her (other than for the obvious reasons)
Katie: That is the only observation I have from reading the first 6 pages of Cress.
Lindsey: Okay, hi!
Steph: This will be weird to discuss. I feel like it will just be all the characters in caps.
Jen: I mean, I can start flailing about Thorne.
Steph: THORNE AGAIN
Jen: DR. ERLAND
Jen: DR. ERLAND
Jen: Okay, but fo realz that part FLOORED ME.
Jen: I actually cried, kind of? Nothing serious, but “little pricklings of tears.”
Lindsey: I cried.
Lindsey: No one will ever know.
SCARLET + WOLF
Steph: SCARLET. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON WITH HER.
Jen: Yeah, that shit is CRAZY.
Steph: SHE NEEDS TO COME BACK AND BE SAFE AND WHOLE~
Jen: Yes, because also… WOLF
Steph: Cinder controlling him was the worst because yes, it was necessary but it really gave us an idea of how BROKEN he was when Scarlet was taken and ;_;
Lindsey: What’s his actual name again?
Steph: Ze’ev Kesley
Jen: Currently craughing over the thought of Scarlet running to him after “Lunar Prison,” yelling “ZE’EV!”
CRESS + THORNE
Lindsey: I really liked that Thorne was blind. I mean, obviously, it was unfortunate for him, but I love all the little references to the original fairy tales.
Jen: Oh, is that a Rapunzel thing?
Lindsey: Yup, it’s from the fairy tale. I think he falls into a thorn bush… maybe I’m making that up. He falls from the tower into something and is blinded.
Lindsey: When it’s ~revealed that Thorne is blind, I was like, ‘FRAK YEAH!’ And then felt weird for being so happy about it.
Jen: There was this one quote that I particularly loved while he was blind. Something to the effect of Cress complaining that he walked into the bathroom while she was naked and he was all, “YOU DON’T HAVE TO RUB IT IN.”
Jen: I liked the blindness part too because I feel that Thorne can tend toward being a little shallow so it sort of gives the development of his relationship with Cress extra depth to me.
Jen: This is about to be a weird sentence: I love how Thorne-y Thorne is, but when it comes to Cress he’s less Thorne-y.
Lindsey: I think I know exactly what you mean.
Jen: He’s HIMSELF, but gentled, more patient and ~better. Like a better person.
Lindsey: Cress really reminded me of one of my faves: Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey. Like the whole being obsessed with dramas (not actual real-life drama) and how she had this perception of Thorne in her head without actually having met him, as well as all of these expectations for life and how Earth would be.
Lindsey: And how stuff ~should go down. Like, “if this was a net drama~” (or whatever they were called)
Lindsey: So I liked her because of that. As someone who reads and enjoys being overwhelmed with book feels, I could relate to her and it was endearing. In other characters, that might annoy me, but Cress was sweet and genuinely good-hearted.
Jen: Also, I liked how she is not your ~typical strong female character, you know? She’s sweet and good, but has strength of character.
Lindsey: Yes. She’s very… Rapunzel-y.
Jen: Naturally. Oh, I wanted to talk about the Thorne/Cress kissing.
Lindsey: Well, the Cress/Thorne was perfectly executed.
Steph: YES, IT WAS PERFECT.
Lindsey: What better set up has there ever been for a kiss? EVER?
Lindsey: And it just kind of happens in the midst of all the fighting and it was like “Wait… what? Oh, yeah! YEAH!”
Jen: Yessss. He’s all “I GUESS THIS IS IT. TIME TO KEEP MY PROMISE!”
Lindsey: Legit one of the best lines/scenes. And again, it goes to show his ~nicer side. His caring side.
Jen: I also think that it shows he thinks of Cress ~that way~ because it was never entirely pushed out of his mind.
Lindsey: He said the whole “I’ll kiss you, yeah, yeah, don’t worry” thing in semi-jest and typical Thorne manner, but then he really did keep his promise.
Jen: I am really excited to see the Thorne/Cress ship more fully explored in Winter.
JACIN + WINTER
Lindsey: Thoughts on Jacin?
Lindsey: EXPECTATIONS OF JACIN, rather.
Steph: Dude, I may be getting ahead of myself, but I think he + Winter will be my faves.
Lindsey: Winter with her creepy freaking blood on the wall visions reminded me of River [Tam from Firefly].
Lindsey: I really, really wonder what Winter’s deal is.
Jen: I am SUPER excited for her story. I like slightly unhinged characters. They’re fun to read (/write) sometimes.
Lindsey: And Steph, I can also see myself being partial to Jacin and Winter.
CINDER + KAI
Lindsey: Anyway, Cinder is bad-ass. I think she’s my favourite of the cast of characters right now. It’s hard to say, but right now, I’m going with her.
Lindsey: CLOSELY FOLLOWED by everyone else though.
Jen: Yeah, Cinder might be my favorite too. I thought I’d identify more with Cress but while I LOVED her because she’s adorable and so sweet, I want to be Cinder’s bestie. She is bad-ass, but also hilariously sarcastic.
Jen: Oh, and the way she and Thorney talk to each other. I love.
Jen: OOPS. THORNE*
Jen: I do not yet have an insane pet name for him.
Jen: We are not quite to that level.
Steph: Oh, yes, the bff-ship with Thorne and Cinder was great.
Jen: So, Kai…
Lindsey: What a trooper.
Jen: Right? YOU ARE GOING TO MARRY THIS WOMAN [Levana] for the good of your people? YOU BRAVE PRINCE.
Lindsey: Yes, a prince indeed.
Jen: I also loved (and I loved this in Scarlet too) how he knows he has to act a certain way in regards to Cinder because hello, he’s the Emperor and she’s sort of an enemy of the state, but he still secretly roots for her.
Steph: Yes, I love how Kai is a good leader first and foremost.
Jen: Oh, and I naturally must discuss their kissing/the lead-up to it also. I loved their adorable conversation where Kai convinces Cinder that he doesn’t CARE that she’s related to Levana or that she happens to be a cyborg.
Jen: He was more concerned about possible manipulation than anything and the other things she was worried about are nothing to him.
Lindsey: Oh, Kai.
Jen: I WANTED THEM TO KISS FOREVER BECAUSE SO CUTE. But I love how it ended when she jerked away and he apologized or something and she was essentially like “No, no, not you. We’ve got bigger problems here.”
Jen: Anyone have any other Kai thoughts at this time or should we talk IKOOOOO?
Lindsey: I think we summed up the Kai thoughts pretty well.
Steph: KAI AND CINDER BETTER GET MARRIED AND HAVE A WEDDING.
Steph: But yes, Iko.
Jen: I don’t even know where to start with her because I love Iko so.
Lindsey: She was great as THE RAMPION, but I’m glad she got a body.
Lindsey: It reminded me of like… Shrek 2. When Donkey becomes an actual horse. And Shrek becomes a human, I guess.
Lindsey: No, that’s a bad example. There’s a better one, but that’s the only one I can think of right now.
Steph: Maybe that will be the next step for her. Becoming human somehow.
Jen: YES, okay that is a good place to start. The body thing. I loved that that happened for her.
Jen: Even if it is all CHAOTIC, she gets this dream come true. I also unsurprisingly love how she loved Thorne for making the body happen.
Jen: Actually, I just love how Iko loves guys and gossip. It’s adorable.
Jen: (I have a weird half-formed thought about how if she’d been a human character that some people wouldn’t like her for that reason)
Steph: Iko is our spirit animal when it comes to these characters.
Jen: I agree. She’s got the flailing of fangirls down.
Jen: I also really liked while Iko had the body how she interacts with other androids, y’know? How she’s startled to realize that they’re not ~like her.
Lindsey: Also, I liked how she never thought herself better than them too in that little scene. It just says a lot about her, the way she interacted with them.
WORLD + POV + PACE
AKA SUMMATION THOUGHTS
Jen: I love how the The Lunar Chronicles universe continues to expand. For instance, in Cress, we get the look at Luna and we see a new country on Earth in each book.
Jen: AND also, I love how Marissa Meyer continues to keep up a pretty fast pace. Exciting things keep HAPPENING, and the pace never drags. It’s exactly the level it needs to be. I remember reading a while back that she has a rule that when writing or revising that she rates each scene’s intensity level and if a scene falls below a certain number, she concentrates on making it better. That attention really shows.
Lindsey: There’s so much to the world and every detail major or minor is just… great. You could legit make a video game out of this because there’s so much to it.
Steph: Yes, and the transition between storylines is always very smooth and I’m always invested in each one.
Lindsey: YES. With multiple POV novels, I usually have a ~preference, but with The Lunar Chronicles, I welcome it all.
Steph: She gives so much attention to each of her characters and HAJHSDJAHSD I LOVE THEM ALL.
Lindsey: It’s a constant, “Yay, this person! Yay, this person next!”
Jen: OHHH, YES. And she does each character in a way that’s distinctive to THEM. I don’t really prefer any one POV over another either.
Steph: Yes! And it’s crazy how each of them have their own individual adventure and it all fits together PERFECTLY.
Lindsey: Each book really does get better and I’m so sad to see it end soon, but at the same time I’m excited because I know it’s gonna be CRAZY GOOD. I actually have no doubt.
Jen: YES. I’m so so so excited for Winter and the continuation of this story (although I will cry forever if she kills anyone off, except Levana and co.)
Jen: BUT, so sad to see it end next year.
Jen: GIVE US A MOVIE.
Steph: I WANT A MOVIE.
Lindsey: Also, bad-ass last line. It was another perfect set-up there with the conversation about Cinder being a revolutionary.
Jen: I can’t remember the last line!
Lindsey: Hold on, I’ve got it here.
Lindsey: “You said yourself that the people of Luna need a revolutionary.” She lifted her chin, holding his gaze. “So I’m going to Luna, and I’m going to start a revolution.”
Steph: MARISSA MEYER, HOW DO YOU DO IT?
This series continues to ~fly us to the moon~