Cress by Marissa Meyer | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Cress by Marissa Meyer | Book ReviewCress by Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #3
Also by this author: Scarlet, Winter, Gilded
Published by Macmillan on 2014-02-04
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 560
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

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.

Listen up, it’s time that we finally all get to understand what the whole #Save Cress hullabaloo is all about. You see, with the release of Cress by Marissa Meyer, we finally get to meet the title character, a reimagining of Rapunzel and catch up on what is happening with Cinder, Scarlet, and the rest of the gang. I am one of those people who has been anticipating Cress ever since I read the very last word on the very last page of Scarlet and that was before Scarlet actually released. I have been crazy anticipating this book. However, I am also kind of a fail at reading and did not actually read Meyer’s third Lunar Chronicles book until the weekend it released even though I have had my copy for some time. I KNOW FAIL. Did the book live up to all of my ANTICIPATION?! Not quite, but stop ye of little faith, and realize that for the most part I LOVED this book, just there were like two things I wasn’t aboard the love train for.

The clock is ticking down to Kai’s wedding to Queen Levana. Cinder, Scarlet, Thorne, Wolf, and Iko are on the run together aboard the Rampion which is Thorne’s space ship. The gang decides they need to put a stop to the wedding or else Earth is doomed. Meanwhile, Cress, has made contact with Cinder and has been trapped on this satellite and forced to do hacking for Levana for her entire life. Also, Doctor Erland, the Lunar who is obsessed with finding a cure to leutomosis is hanging out in Africa with an interest in Shells aka Lunars who aren’t affected by glamours. Cress is really about how the title character, Cress, joins the gang after breaking out of the satellite and then wanders around in the desert with Thorne while Cinder is off to Africa to find Erland, but also working on a master plan and trying to figure out how to save Scarlet as well and meanwhile Scarlet is on her way to Lunar under some sort of glamour/mind control. Basically, a large chunk of Meyer’s latest book is the group on the run together, saving Cress, splitting up, and eventually coming back together. And I just have to say that because Scarlet is my favorite, this book was kind of a let down for me because she did not get all that much page time.

This is the book where, obviously, we get to know Cress. Friends, Cress is okay and all but she’s no Scarlet or Cinder. She’s a lot softer than Scarlet and Cinder which is okay. I mean, she’s lead a very sheltered life, living all by herself in a Satellite with visits from a terrible Lunar thaumaturge and that’s kind of it. She’s never been to Earth or anything. She has all these ideas built up in her head about Thorne and has this major crush on him, even though he is not actually like the image she has built up for him. Anyways, coming to Earth and then getting split up from everyone is a huge adjustment for her. She’s not immediately girl warrior and that’s okay but hey, I know what I prefer. As for Cinder, I loved that we got to see more of her. I love how she’s growing into her leadership role. I love that she has this awesome master plan and is so stinking brave. As for Scarlet, she’s always my favorite, but oh my goodness she got like three chapters of the book once everyone split up and they were disappointing chapters. MORE SCARLET PLEASE when Winter comes out.

I will say that Thorne totally shines in Cress. It’s like Meyer has dialed his spotlight bits up a lot. You see, I am pretty sure that he’s going to end up paired off with Cress. Anyways, he’s all charming and a total rogue during this book. He loses his vision, so while he’s in the desert he makes Cress act as the guide even though she has never experienced Earth. He has this total devil may care attitude and adds some levity which I enjoyed. As for Kai, he’s got the weight of the world on his shoulders, figuratively, as he navigates a dangerous marriage alliance with Queen Levana. Kai’s character kind of matures a bit which is nice to read. Then, with Wolf, he gets more page time than Scarlet, but most of it he is being scary and you know, not Scarlet’s lover. Hah. OH and there is a new guy introduced, one of Levana’s soldiers.

Meyer expands upon her world building with Cress. Like, we get to visit space. We get to go to Luna and see what it’s like there. We learn about other countries and what’s up and learn hey, there are plenty of Lunars hiding in plain sight on Earth. I really liked the bits that took place on board the Rampion. OH OH OH and we get some critical interesting information about letumosis and you know how I love learning about plagues, so that bit was like icing on the cake. The more I see of this world, the more I like it. ALSO! WINTER IS COMING, by that I mean, we finally get to meet Winter and while she is a weirdo at first glance, I will be interested in exploring her character in depth in the next book.

Overall, Cress is a valuable addition to the Lunar Chronicles. Is it my favorite book in the series? No. I hate saying it is the weakest because that sounds like I hated it and I did not, but there was kind of a disconnect for me. I very much enjoyed reading this book, but eh, needs more Scarlet (excuse me, I seem to have turned into a broken record).

Am I the only one with this feel or did Cress exceed your wildest expectations! Talk to me!

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. I LOVED this story. Definitely agree with the 4 1/2 star rating but mostly because I wanted more of everyone, including Scarlet (is that fair? Probably not. But that’s how I feel). It’s amazing to me to watch how everything is unfolding and connecting and how the characters intertwine. Again, love.

  2. I really love these books, but the one thing that continually bothers me is how exceptionally much Thorne reminds me of Han Solo. (Pilot of a stolen ship, sarcasm, helping a princess “for the money,” insistence upon being a scoundrel…) I mean, in this book he even goes temporarily blind. Does Marissa Meyer really not see it?!?!

    Anyway, I agree with your 4 1/2 also. I found Cress a little blah too. I didn’t dislike her, but she didn’t inspire me to awesomeness the way Cinder and Scarlet do. I LOVED the last scene w/ Cinder and I can’t wait to read what happens next.

  3. I just finished Cress last night, and, although I’m still digesting it, I think Cress is my favorite of the three books. Followed by Cinder and Scarlet. I’ve loved them tremendously, of course, but there was something that I just loved about Cress (both the book and the character).

    I really liked that Cress was a bit softer. Maybe I just identified with that more. But I still felt like she was a really strong character. She always tried to do her best. Her fear just shows more, I think, that Cinder ot Scarlet. Actually, Scarlet is my least favorite of the three girls. Again, I really like her (and I am TOTALLY freaking out with worry for her right now!) but I liked Cinder and Cress a lot more.

    My only complaint about Cress, really, is that I wanted more chapters with Cress.

  4. Cress was my favorite of the three MC girls, despite loving all the others. But I agree that this book wasn’t as strong as the other two. I mean, it was phenomenal, but not quite as strong. I did miss Scarlet and wish she had gotten more page time, but was excited to see so many new characters. And Winter? She was totally crazy but I am overexcited to see more of her!

  5. I’m a huge fan of this series, and I did actually enjoy Cress! While she’s not my favorite girl in the series (we’re the same because I LOVE SCARLET), her story is pretty interesting. I love how it shows how the gang all ends up together, and how more of the story (and a few new characters) are revealed. I had a LOT of feels with this book, and I can’t wait for Winter!

  6. Awwww, yeah, Scarlet’s not on screen much. I am glad that you like her. I think Cinder’s my fave heroine, followed by Scarlet. She’s not all that popular for some reason. OH MY GOODNESS, I LOVE YOU for not being the biggest Cress fan (and other reasons). I mean, she’s fine, but I just like don’t enjoy her as much as the others, and I super do not like the ship, even though I am usually pretty yay kissing. Anyway, I just don’t like swaggery Hero Thorne as much as silly, jokey Thorne.

    I mean, I actually still liked Cress best because of the plot, but yeah I do feel you on this.

  7. Hi,

    I really like this book, i am the biggest fan of this series


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