Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Review: Cress

Cress (Lunar Chronicles, #3)Title: Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles
Volume: 3
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Re-telling

A Quick Introduction: Cress has been trapped in a satellite for seven years, with only her netscreens for company and occasional visits from her captor to look forward to. Cress is a Lunar shell, and a gifted hacker whose abilities are being put to use by Queen Levana to hide Lunar ships from detection, and, now, to track down wanted fugitives Linh Cinder and Carswell Thorne. She's been hiding them, concealing them from Lunar trackers, helping them in the only way she knows how. And now they need her help again, but this time she has to leave her satellite. When the attempt to free her wrong, she and Thorne find themselves separated from the rest of the fractured group, and all the while the clock is counting down Queen Levana's wedding to Emperor Kai, when she will finally be able to extend her tyranny to Earth.

Review at a Glance: A fun, well paced space-fantasy in a marvelous series.

Review: This series is so much fun to read, and it still amazes me. Marissa Meyer does a wonderful job of juggling her by-now-huge cast of characters, and her pacing is wonderful. Cress is a retelling of Rapunzel (they're both leafy greens, which is very clever...), and introduces Cress's story while continuing both those of Cinder and Scarlet (and company).

I found some of the characters growing on me more in this book. I still like Cinder as much as ever (I think she's still my favourite), and I was a little surprised to find that Kai grew on me as a character as well. Scarlet and Wolf both get less screen time that in Scarlet (which was, admittedly, their book). Cress is introduced, she had a cameo in Cinder, but now she's a major character. She's been kept prisoner in a satellite orbiting Earth since her childhood, so she's awkward around other people. She's very imaginative- she often slips off into daydreams as a coping method for whatever she has to deal with, and she's pretty naive, on account of not having interacted with the world, including other people, for years. Thorne also gets upgraded to a major character in this book. In Scarlet, he's pretty opportunistic and self-serving, and in Cress he's thrust into a role where he's expected to be heroic. I think everyone had to grow a lot throughout this book.

Simply put, I enjoy all of the characters on the team (they need a team name) (I mean it, somebody give them one... Cinder and co.?). I really like their interactions with each other as well. They all play off each other so well. The romances are all at various stages in this book, and they are all very different because of the characters and circumstances, but, so far I've enjoyed them well enough... some of the dynamics still feel a little strange, though. Also, Iko was a ray of sunlight, as always.

The setting varies, depending on the story line. Much of the book takes place in the desert, which was interesting to read. One of the strong points of the series thus far is that it takes places in all sorts of locations across the globe (and orbiting around it). Young adult novels are often very North America-centric, so it is nice to visit somewhere else.

I've already mentioned how much I appreciated the pacing in this one.  There's always a lot going on what with the slightly enormous cast of characters that exists by this point, with all of their multiple story lines. There a great deal of action, and also a lot of character focused moments for all of the leads, both of which pulled the story along. The action scenes are paced in such a way that they were rapid, but could still be followed by the reader.Cress is written from multiple points of view (I believe we see from seven different points of view at least once in Cress) in third person limited, and that also really pulled the story along, with the suspense created between plot lines.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one. I'm already excited for Winter, although I have a whole year to wait. (A whole year... that's going to be fun.)

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