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Cress (Lunar Chronicles)

Cress - Marissa Meyer This review and others are posted at Inspiring Insomnia.

I feel sorry for all of you who read the first two books in The Lunar Chronicles as they were published. I was content to just hear how amazing Marissa Meyer’s writing is, content in the knowledge that I would get around to reading them…someday. But when I made these books part of my “Series Catch-Up Challenge” earlier this month, it was time to buckle down. I LOVED Cinder. Even with all of my stinginess, I gave it five stars. I was a little less enthralled with Scarlet, primarily because I didn’t find Scarlet (the character) all that interesting. Her pairing with the brooding Wolf was a double dose of blah. But now we come to Cress, and it blew me away. It was even better than Cinder, and now I’m stuck in the same position as the rest of you, wishing the next book would just get here already.

Even readers unfamiliar with the series will probably surmise that Cress is a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy-tale. I don’t remember much from this fairy-tale beyond “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.” Rapunzel is a beautiful girl with impossibly long hair, locked away in a tower by a wicked woman, until she’s eventually rescued by a handsome prince. Cress takes the role of Rapunzel in this book, and her prison is a satellite orbiting Earth. Her captor is Sybil, the evil henchwoman to the even more evil Queen Levana. Her skill as a hacker has assisted Sybil and Levana in their dominance of Earth, but Cress is conflicted. When Cress gets the chance to help Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorn to overthrow the Queen, Cress jumps at the chance. But things quickly go awry, and our merry little band is separated. Scarlet and Wolf were absent for much of the story, but that was not a problem for me. The sweet, guileless Cress and the blunt, but always hilarious Thorne are delightful. (That seems like an old-fashioned word, but it’s the first one that popped into my head while thinking of a way to describe this pair.)

One of the things I loved about Scarlet was the relationship between Kai and Cinder. Of course, there was not much of a relationship in that book, but I loved how Meyer made the discord between them so real. So many times, authors throw some ridiculous obstacle in the path of a couple, they overreact, and then everything is magically fixed. But here, Kai has strong reasons to distrust and even dislike our dear Cinder. But even though his actions endanger Cinder, I couldn’t help feeling a great deal of sympathy and compassion for him. Cinder continues to be a bad-ass; she reminds me a lot of Katniss, and I mean that as a compliment.

The story in Cress seems headed to a huge battle in the final book, Winter, between Earthens and Queen Levana and her minions. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway, because I think I’d be disappointed if we get a Breaking Dawn type of situation, where the lead-up to war just fizzles out. Assuming there IS a battle, I can’t even begin to imagine how it will play out, since the deck seems pretty heavily stacked against Earth.

I’d love to hear from all of you – Did you love Cress (the story and the character) as much as I did? Are you already wondering what part Winter will play in the coming showdown? Who got the funniest lines in this story – Thorne or Iko? And are you hoping that Iko gets some love in Winter?