Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Book Review: Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer (and meeting the author!)
(This is the third book of four in a series. If you would like to read more about Cinder, the first book, please check it out at Good Reads. And if you would like to know more about Scarlet, the second book, you can read my review here.)
Description from Goodreads
Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.
In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only 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 goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.
Meeting the Author!
Before I get into the review, I wanted to talk about experience going to see Marissa Meyer. I have family in San Diego and was fortunate enough to be able to attend her morning reading/signing on February 6th. (For reference, I live about 5ish hours from there.)
The reading took place at the absolutely beautiful library in Downtown San Diego. It is 9 stories! If you have the chance to visit it, I highly recommend it, because if you love books, you will be in book heaven.
The morning reading was mostly kids, because there is a charter school in the library (lucky kids!), but there were also a few people closer to my age, so I didn't feel too super awkward (or old).
Marissa is really lovely, and funny. She did a presentation on herself, and how she got started writing. She also talked about her love of Sailor Moon, which I also grew up watching and loving, so that was fun! And her love of fairytales.
She also did a reading of the original Rapunzel, which was wonderful. So many people are not familiar with the actual story of Rapunzel, so it was cool to hear it outloud and for her to share it with others. Especially for the kids- I could tell they were surprised!
She did a quick Q&A, and the library raffled off some prizes. I didn't win anything.
I brought my book to sign, and waited in line!
(I also noticed her husband walking around in his Seahawks shirt, and wanted to say Go Hawks, but got too shy to do so. So if you're reading this- GO HAWKS!)
Marissa was wonderful and I highly recommend if you get a chance to go see her, or any author that is doing a reading in your area, really. She was so gracious, and really took the time with everyone to make them feel special. I will definitely be seeking out more author readings and signings in my area!
Cress picks up almost immediately where Scarlet leaves off. It begins with Cress in her satellite, monitoring Earth for the Lunars, and also trying to help out Cinder and her crew. Eventually, they get connected, but only for their plan to help Cress escape to be foiled by Cress' mistress, Sybil. There is a bit of a battle, and the ships are disconnected. Cress and Captain Thorne are then stuck in the satellite plummeting towards Earth; Cinder and Wolf are disconnected and on their way to Africa- Wolf was severely injured, and the only doctor that Cinder knows that will help Wolf without problems is located there, with Jacin, a bodyguard to Sybil (who seems to have allegiance to Cinder); and Scarlet has been taken by Sybil. And she becomes the prisoner of Princess Winter, who is a little more on the crazy side of the scale than not.
Cress is essentially Rapunzel with a twist, right down to Captain Thorne becoming blinded. (In the original story, the prince is thrown out of the tower and blinded by rose bushes.) This is the common thread of the Lunar Chronicles- fairy tales with a twist. And all the stories interweave to create one solid, amazing story. You would think with the amount of characters involved it would be confusing, or you would need an evidence board with strings tied to pins to keep everything straight, but you don't. Meyer tells the story in such a way that it keeps you involved enough with every character that you shouldn't be wondering about specifics.
(Though I have to say, I wish I remembered more of Cinder than I do, and might do a complete re-read of the series before Winter comes out next year. I've read quite a few reviews stating that people have seen foreshadows of things mentioned in Cinder starting to tie in to the story, and I LOVE when authors tie up loose ends. Or write things that you don't really think of as important, but then OMG become the most important thing that you totally missed!)
Another important piece of the story is Prince Kai's impending nuptials to Queen Levana of Luna. Prince Kai knows that once they are married, it's basically off with his head. And Cinder desperately wants to stop the wedding, part because she is in love with Kai, and part because, well, she believes she is the lost princess and should be queen of Luna. And Queen Levana is a horrible, awful person- but I love to read her. She is evil in the best way.
I don't want to ruin the story and say whether the characters eventually meet up. But there is resolution of sorts, however, there is still one part of the story remaining to be told, and I'm starting to see how this could all come together, but there is still so much I want to know! I was actually a little frustrated when I hit the end, because I didn't realize it was coming- there were a lot of pages left in my book because I purchased a special edition from Target with a short story. Which was also really great.
(Side note: I cried a couple times, especially the scene with Cress and Dr. Erland. That's all I'm saying about that.)
I rated this book 4 stars on Goodreads, but I really feel like it was 4.5 stars. Obviously I didn't LOVE IT enough to give it a 5 star rating, but it was a really well-written continuation to the series, and left me desperately wishing I didn't have to wait a year for Winter.
You can purchase Cress here for Kindle, or here for a hardcover copy. You can also check out the first 5 chapters on Kindle for free! I usually download the samples to read before I get a book from the library or buy it, so I think this is a great way to get to know a book before you commit!
FTC: This book was purchased with my own money. All thoughts and opinions are my own.This post contains Amazon.com affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.