Friday, July 4, 2014

Cress by Marissa Meyer

Book Three of the Lunar Chronicles
by Marissa Meyer

Publisher:  Feiwel and Friends (Macmillian)  

Format: Hardback  
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 550

Genre: Young adult science fiction
Source: own book

From the front cover:
In this third book in Marissa Meyer's bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, 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. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

So, I finally broke down and read Cress. I really enjoyed Cinder but Scarlet left me feeling down. I was not nearly as interested in Scarlet and Wolf as I was in Cinder. Their relationship never impressed or engaged me, especially given the short period of time that passed. Nor did the progress in the overarching plot. I finished Scarlet feeling like we were marking time and also feeling like there was a much more interesting plot that had been abandoned alongside the road somewhere. I worried that we would have to wait until Winter to really get some payoff.

So, I began the book with some serious trepidation. Fortunately, I got sucked in right away. This time around the pacing felt better to me and I quite liked how the author handled Cress's eccentricities. You would expect a person locked away in a satellite for seven years with practically no physical contact to get a little odd (though not as odd as someone locked in a tower with no digital contact as well). The book conveyed that without letting it overwhelm the rest of the story. I found it engaging and liked Cress a lot - she is adorable. However, even though I now know the origin of the nickname, I am still stuck occasionally thinking of the main character as a sandwich at a ladies tea. Sigh. 
Cress (aka garden cress) is a relatively fast-growing, edible herb,
with a peppery, tangy flavor and aroma - commonly used to make ...
an egg and cress sandwich for tea! (Source)

The story flowed along engagingly enough that I was able to ignore the monstrous huge coincidences that had to occur occasional and was willing to suspend disbelief enough to get with the landing. I was also hugely relieved with how the match-up was handled this time around. I still don't understand why this series must enforce the rules of`the Ark and pair everyone up, but at least this time around Cress's crush was handled well and makes some sort of sense. Not sure we have the basis for a long term relationship here, but at least it makes more sense to me than Scarlet and Wolf did.

I quite appreciated how Thorne was portrayed too. Sorry, but I never bought him as a gallant rouge - he complained about the quality of the soap and has a naked lady painted on his ship! I just can't see Han Solo doing that stuff. Plus, he never seemed terribly competent - Cinder dissed his piloting skills and he never seems to have really pulled off a major heist - rampaging around for a few months doesn't count. I don't want to dump on Thorne, I just never understood the characteristics that fandom was reading into him, so for me this book did not seem to be a major change in character for him.

I still think that plot is rather thin on the ground, so it is hard to say anything specific about events without giving something away. Stuff happens this time and the book advances the story more than the previous one did. I didn't think it was the odd man out in terms of overarching plot development - that was Scarlet for me. Scarlet only covered a few days of real time while Cress covered a few weeks, but the books were the same length.  

Anyhow - happy again!  Four claws. 

1 comment:

  1. >>>I still don't understand why this series must enforce the rules of`the Ark and pair everyone up.

    Hahahaha YES, this is also a question I have about the series. It's a fun series, and I'm excited to see what happens in the end, but yeah -- not everyone has to end up with someone.


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