Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tea Time: Cress

**Warning: Spoilers May Abound**

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13206828-cress?from_search=trueCress, Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #3)

In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, 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 her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had 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 of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Cover-I'm going to fangirl over this cover just like I did for Cinder. This cover follows the same pattern as the other two in the series, with the style and positioning of letters, the blue background, and then the image that represents an iconic fairy tale character. In this case, it's Rapunzel, a.k.a. Cress.

Honestly, I just love it and I think it's gorgeous and I want to hang it on my bedroom wall.


Narrative-This installment of The Lunar Chronicles follows the same pattern as the previous: told in the third person POV of various characters. Cress has the added the perspective of Crescent Moon (a.k.a. Cress) to that of Cinder, Scarlet, Kai, and Thorne (to name the main ones), and once against I really don't think Marissa Meyer disappointed in the least. Cress is innocence personified; she sees her world-and the world of Earth-through her imagination, and it shows so well through Meyer's style.

I've come to realize with this book that Meyer definitely knows what she's doing when it comes to using the third person, because she's still able to give each character a distinct voice , so even without indicating whose perspective the novel is shifting to, the reader can identify it almost right away. It's fantastic. Meyer is fantastic.

I could gush about this all day, and I've still got two categories to go.


Plot-While Scarlet was kind of about the characters all getting together to form a group, Cress took a different turn: everybody gets torn apart. Wolf, Cinder, and Iko form one "team"; Thorne and Cress form a second; and poor Scarlet gets into the hands of the Lunars. The majority of the plot is each individual "team" trying to 1-survive, and 2-find their comrades, which is easier said than done considering Thorne and Cress wind up in the middle of the Sahara Desert and have no way of contacting Cinder.

Meanwhile, Kai is about to marry Levana and the whole time I (the reader) was like NO, NO, NO. So it's pretty intense.

I loved this plot more than I did the previous, purely because it focuses strongly on character relations. Everybody seems to be forced to interact and trust their polar opposites, or people they wouldn't normally rely on. Wolf is only really understood by Scarlet, for example; Cinder has to force herself to trust a Lunar operative who she captured and who accompanied her to Africa; Scarlet has to survive amongst probably the most vilest race of people in the universe, who perform sickening mind tricks on her; Kai has to figure out how to survive a queen determined to become empress and later kill him.

Plots like this test the human spirit and will, and force people to see things in different ways. For each of these groups (well, Cinder's group might be iffy), it turns into a literal fight for survival.

Added to this: Cinder's Lunar abilities are growing, and she's forced to use them in select situations just to survive. Her own struggle during these times is phenominal.


Characters-Cress is the newest character we get introduced to, so I'll focus on her (for more information on the previous characters, you can refer to my reviews for Cinder and Scarlet).

Cress is . . . adorable. Her character is based off the fairy-tale Rapunzel, as she's been trapped in a "tower" (satellite) away from human contact for basically her entire life. And her hair is long and blonde, and . . . well, yeah.

Her isolation means that she's experienced Earth only through whatever pop culture news sources she could get. Her imagination is her world; she frequently imagines herself as a ballet dancer, or an explorer, etc, in order to help her "act" out the many situations she winds up in. Basically, it's her coping mechanism, and it makes her an extremely sweet and naive character, especially seen in the way she's romanticized Thorne during her research of him.

I admit to getting a bit peeved with her constant make-believe, but that's what I found made her character so real and believable. Cress is, essentially, a child. She doesn't know what the world is really like outside of her satellite, so she had to dream one up, and watching that dream come into conflict with the reality shaped her into an interesting character to watch.

I would also like to point out: Iko. She's still as adorable as ever, and *spoiler* she finally gets the escort-android body that she's always wanted, and even gets to directly participate in the action.

To shed some light on the others: Scarlet we actually don't see much of. We get small chapters here and there that outline her time as a prisoner on Lunar. Thorne continues to be his cheeky and sarcastic self, but his development during his time with Cress as his only companion (and someone he really relies on due to an injury) gives way to a soft side that fits him well. Cinder, as I've pointed out, is trying to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders, literally, and her conflict with her growing Lunar abilities ensure that her character develops in an interesting fashion, as well.


Basically, I love this book. To pieces. I cried when I found out that Winter (the fourth installment of the series) won't be released until late 2015. My mood was lifted only slightly upon the discovery of Meyer's secret project, Fairest, that comes out in January. It's a prequel that's focused on Levana, so it should definitely be interesting.

Final Answer: 5 / 5


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