February 4, 2014
Why I Read: I enjoyed Scarlet and was curious to see where The Lunar Chronicles was going.
Spoiler Rating: Mild outside of spoiler section
Star Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Cress is the stunning third book in the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Cinder and Scarlet were okay books, but Cress is really where this series takes off. The characters were beautifully developed, the stakes were higher than ever, and the fairy tales were woven ingeniously through out the retelling. I have not been this invested in a book in many months. I always wanted to keep reading it! Cress was a fabulous book that I highly recommend to everyone.
Cress is a retelling of Rapunzel. Cress has been living in a satellite for many years working as a hacker for Queen Levana. She really wants to escape, and when a group of fugitives offer to help her, she accepts. Many things go wrong, however, and she ends up in the desert with the Carswell Thorne, who she may have been stalking for years.
The characters in The Lunar Chronicles are all amazing. Cinder and Kai have grown and matured so much over this series, and they really stepped up to the many challenges thrown at them in this book. I also love their relationship and how they interact with each other. Scarlet and Wolf were not in this book a whole lot, but when they were, I felt like they were being used as objects to increase conflict instead of characters. Wolf’s only roll was to get upset over Scarlet and to be manipulated by the many Lunars. Scarlet’s only roll was to be kidnapped so that Wolf could be upset. I wished that Scarlet and Wolf had a more prominent role as actual characters in this story.
Probably my favorite pair of characters in The Lunar Chronicles are Cress and Thorne. Cress is such a smart character that is doing her best navigating the world for the first time. She was quiet, but still really awesome. I loved how her and Thorne bonded over surviving in the wilderness against all odds together. Thorne was a character that I really enjoyed reading about in Scarlet, and again liked in Cress. He was hilarious and definitely not your typical hero.
I mentioned this briefly in my Scarlet review, but I am not a fan of Queen Levana as a villain. Yes she is terrifying, yes she is ruthless, no she does not have motivation. Why does she do what she does? I think that “taking over the world” is kind of shallow, and I wish she had more reason behind what she did. I have not read Fairest, the novel which I believe explains Levana’s backstory, but I wish that her story was fleshed out in the series.
The biggest problem that I had with Cress was how similar is was to the Disney movie Tangled. Specifically with Thorne and his similarities to the love interest of that movie, Flynn Rider. He had the same attitude as Flynn (not being a hero), and even said some suspiciously similar lines.
Cress Line: “Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?” He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment shook his head. “No. I’m pretty sure it was Cinder.”
Tangled Line: “Something brought you here. Fate. Destiny.” “A horse.”
Cress Line: “Aces,” Carswell Thorne murmured. Dropping his feet to the ground, he leaned forward to inspect her closer. “Is that all hair?”
Tangled Line: “Is this all hair?”
Cress Line: “That’s true. I am rather attached to my nose.”
Tangled Line: “They just can’t seem to get my nose right,”
Cress was such a fun book to read. I never wanted to stop reading, and when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about reading it. Cress was never boring no matter what was happening. There were several plots going on, but they all combined together in the most epic way possible. The one issue was with the Dr. Erland/Cress plot twist. It was incredibly predictable and kind of rushed. I really wished that it had more time to develop.
The Lunar Chronicles is a series with different fairy tale retellings. Cress was a retelling of Rapunzel and the similarities it had with the original fairy tale were so cool. Marissa Meyer really incorporates all of the elements of a fairy tale into her books in a genius way. Because of how awesome I think these retellings are, I compiled a list of all the similarities between Cress and original Rapunzel story.
Note: The following list does contain spoilers to Cress so read with caution.
- In Rapunzel, the prince is blinded because he falls from Rapunzel’s tower into a thorn bush. In Cress, Thorne is blinded because he falls onto Earth from Cress’s satellite.
- In Rapunzel, Rapunzel has long hair. In Cress, Cress has long hair. Obviously.
- The English translation for Rapunzel is Rampion, which is the name of Thorne’s ship.
- In Rapunzel, the prince’s eyes are healed after Rapunzel cries on him. In Cress, Thorne’s eyes are healed after Cress cries on him before giving him eye drops.
- In Rapunzel, the prince is originally attracted to Rapunzel because of her voice. In Cress, Thorne is attracted to Cress even more after hearing her sing.
- In Rapunzel, the blind prince wanders through the wastelands. In Cress, Thorne wanders with Cress blindly through the desert.
Overall, Cress was an action packed, funny, and memorable read. Even if you did not love Cinder or Scarlet, I still highly recommend this book. Though there were a few faults with Cress, it was still a wonderful book. What did you think of Cress? What is your favorite book in The Lunar Chronicles? I would love to know!
Currently Reading: Tales From The Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman
Goodreads: Lucy’s Literature