Cress by Marissa Meyer
So I’ve been really hooked on the Lunar Chronicles lately. Something about how it mixes super fun scifi with fairy tale themes alongside a healthy dose of action really has been a thrilling read. What I expected to be a series of run of the mill young adult books full of clichés was anything but. And though I did not enjoy the second book as much as the first, I had faith this story was going in a good direction and continued on into the third novel. So here is my review of the third book in the Lunar Chronicle series, Cress by Marissa Meyer.
So what is it about? For those of you who have not read the previous books, its set in the far future where the Earth is at peace, but on an evil queen on the Moon wants to rule the Earth as well as her own kingdom. But something stands as a threat to her. Cinder, cyborg due to a murder attempt in her childhood, is the true hire to the throne. And the Queen wants her dead and will declare war unless Earth hunts her down and deliver Cinder to her. Cinder is on the run alongside some friends she met along the way including a pilot named Throne, a red haired farm girl Scarlet and an ex super solder for the Queen’s army, Wolf.
Cinder's crew know they must stop the Queen but things get more complicated when a world leader decides to marry the Queen to create a truce. A truce that will gave the Queen more political power to achieve her goal. So they are against the clock to remove the Queen from power. As they all try to formulate a plan, they get in contact with a poor lunar hacker girl imprisoned in a satellite. She wants to help them. But as they go there, they are all attacked.
From there on out, everyone gets separated. The Lunar girl and Thorne crash land in a desert. Scarlet is kidnapped. And with a dying friend Wolf, Cinder must find a doctor in hiding to try to save his life. The book follows our cast of characters as they travel to come back together and eventually pull off a master plan that is an exceptional climax.
So what is the good and bad? Let’s start with the good. This world and cast of characters is great. The series itself evolved from a lonely mechanic in an abusive family to a rag tag crew evading the law while trying to save the world. It has this very Cowboy Bebop / Firefly like vibe to it as all the characters are so unique, likable, and have such great chemistry among each other. Even when nothing is happening they are all entertaining. The themes of fairy tales still drive the story but it’s not distracting in anyway. In fact is easy to forget that they are based on fairy tales at all. And everyone has individual arcs and their own baggage, that does not get into the way of the main plot. Also this book goes to a variety of new places building out the world further. And lastly, there is point in the story where our team of outlaws settle on a heist as a master plan. And oh wow! It is an amazing heist. It’s so tense and fun, and everyone has an great part to play.
The bad? One thing I was disappointed with was Scarlet. She was introduced in the second book. In book two she came off as a weak character who was essentially a damsel in distress, so I wanted to see her have a chance to prove herself as likable in this book. But she is kidnapped early on in the story and is absent for much of the novel. This is disappointing. What is the purpose of the character? Is it solely to be Wolf’s girlfriend? I certainly hope not and hope she may have a purpose in the finale of the series. I also wish this book took more time with details about the world. These books always had enough detail to get by but not enough to make it a vivid illustration in the reader’s head. I always want to know more. And lastly, these books do cater to young adult crowd by making many of these character couples. There’s Cress and Thorne. Wolf and Scarlet. Then Cinder and Kai. And it plays a little bit in the "will they, won’t they" story telling as the story continues. It does not slow down the story by any means. I actually enjoyed these corny subplots. But I can just imagine that there are a few readers who don’t care about that and care more about the evil moon Queen, action scenes and shoot outs. So if you’re not into some of the romance stuff be prepared to speed read a few pages.
Overall, I love this series. I am so mad at myself because I didn’t read it sooner. This book is a fantastic installment in the series and it’s the most action packed fun one so far. In fact I would say its the best in the series at the moment. So I would say it’s totally worth the read. It’s a fun scifi adventure worth taking. It’s a must read.
5 smoothies out of Five.
Overall Rating: A Firefly Like Adventure Worth Taking