Cress by Marissa Meyer Review: Meet Rapunzel the Awkward Cyber Hacker

February 18, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 5 stars, Books, Reviews

Cress by Marissa Meyer Review: Meet Rapunzel the Awkward Cyber HackerCress by Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #3
Published by Penguin Australia on February 6, 2014
Source: Publisher
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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Incarcerated in a satellite, an expert hacker and out to save the world - Cress isn't your usual damsel in distress.

Cress grew-up as a prisoner. With only netscreens for company she's forced to do the bidding of the evil Queen Levana. Now that means tracking down Cinder and her handsome accomplice Emperor Kai. But little does Levana know that those she seeks, and the man she loves, are plotting her downfall . . .

As paths cross and the price of freedom rises, happily ever after has never seemed further away for Cress, Scarlet and Cinder.

This is not the fairy tale you remember. But it's one you won't forget.

The whole internet is gushing about Cress and now I know why. It’s superior to Cinder and Scarlet and I loved every single page of the book. At 500 pages, that’s a big call, but the plot was paced so perfectly with the perfect amount of action, laughs, and character development that I wanted more. Each of the characters’ stories are interwoven seamlessly here, even with the changing point of views (which is a criticism I had with Scarlet). 

Cress was a fantastic addition to the cast and so different to the snarktastic, loyal Cinder and the straight talking, fiery Scarlet. Her social awkwardness, obsession with Thorne and unrealistic ideals for romance makes her completely charming in her own way. Seeing Thorne finally get his match warms the heart as he takes center stage in Cress.

“Since we have a few minutes…maybe we should talk about how to handle this girl. If she’s been stuck on a satellite for seven years, with no one to talk to but a Lunar tharmaturge, she might be…socially awkward. I think we should all make an effort to be extra welcoming and supportive and…try not to terrify her.” – Scarlet 

With so many leading ladies and men, Meyer manages to avoid the ‘too many cooks’ syndrome with each character shining on their own accord. You’ve got Cinder who is now taking on the weight of the world on her shoulders. The broody, fists first Wolf who only has his eye on Scarlet. Scarlet, the fiery, tough as nails orphan who unfortunately gets kidnapped. The shy, socially awkward but brilliant hacker Cress. The upbeat android Iko who narrates the ship. And of course, the witty, self confident Thorne who gets by with style and swagger. This cast of characters is absolutely brilliant and I adored every single one of them.

It’s not often that I find myself rooting for several couples in one series, but I love all of the pairings here, especially my favourite Cinder and Kai who are perfect for each other. Thorne and Cress had a really cute dynamic, with Cress being a socially awkward, idealistic romantic at heart and Thorne with his charm and overconfidence.

“How are your eyes?” she asked. (Cress)
“Well, I’ve been told they’re dreamy, but I’ll let you decide for yourself.” (Thorne)

Cress is noticeably heavier than previous books, with the plot more serious than it ever has been before. Thorne is blinded at the start of the book, Cinder uses her Lunar powers in a dark way and Scarlet is not treated well on Luna. Even Cinder’s trademark sarcasm is wit is bogged down with the weight of responsibility, as she assumes a leadership position within the crew. We are ramping up for some pretty major political breakthroughs, with Kai’s forthcoming marriage with Queen Levana and Cinder planning to stop the Lunar war. But Thorne’s hilarious remarks and Iko’s charming personality were a much needed reprieve from all of the seriousness.

Marissa Meyer is a genius for reinventing these fairy tales into something fresh, vibrant and completely enthralling, placing beloved fairy tale characters into the futuristic world of Lunar. When the story for each book is interwoven into the single point of awesomeness that is Cress, you know that the author has a plan for the series as she takes us to its epic finale in Winter. Cress is a magnificent, flawless story that just makes me want to squeal like a fangirl over the characters, the cover, the writing and Kai. If you haven’t read this series yet, do yourself a favour and READ IT NOW. You can thank me later.

Rating: 5 out of 5

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Jeann is an Aussie blogger, gamer, reader who loves to read, write, fangirl, geek out and eat food. You can find me glued to one of my many mobile devices 24/7, or fangirling over the latest YA book, TV show, movie or game. Chat with me on Twitter @happyindulgence

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52 responses to “Cress by Marissa Meyer Review: Meet Rapunzel the Awkward Cyber Hacker

  1. Not sure how I just saw this post…but anyways…my bad!

    Moving on…yes! So glad you enjoyed Cress as much as I did Jeann! The characters were absolutely fabulous; and I just ship every single romance! (Wolf & Scarlet most of all though!) Gah…the wait for Winter is going to be torture, isn't it?!

    As always, brilliant review Jeann and thanks for sharing! 😀
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  2. I know, I just loved everything about this book I'm totally fangirling. I LOVED Cinder madly, was kind of disappointed at Scarlet but I'm glad that love for the series is renewed again in Cress. I just love it when series get better! Thanks Zoe.

  3. Yeah, we don't hear from her much but the author did give us some good point of views from her. Haha that is so adorable, we all have our own preferences (which is what I love about this series)! I can see the appeal for wolf, but my heart is for Kai. Thanks Siiri!

  4. I can't believe we have that long wait ahead but knowing Marissa Meyer she will make it brilliant. Haha Cress was so adorable, especially with the crush on Thorne! Happiest ending. Thanks Cyn!

  5. Thank you Nick, I thought Cress was lovely too! Her obsession was what made her super cute lol. I ship all of the couples too! I think it's going to be an interesting dynamic between those 2 in Winter.

  6. Girl, you're making me wonder why I haven't dropped everything and read this yet! 500 is such a big number though and I usually think those are for high fantasy stuff, but what the heck! This is Marissa Meyer we're talking about here! If anyone can make a 1500 page entertaining and beautiful, it's gotta be her 🙂 thanks for the review, Jeanne! Très jolie!
    Faye @ The Social Po recently posted…Review: Amulet of Elusion by Katie Lynn JohnsonMy Profile

  7. Gaaaah, so embarrasse to say that I've yet to pick up this series. But EVERYONE seems to be gushing about it, so I know it's something I have to pick up asap! I'm so glad this series continues to shine for you, I'm looking forward to getting myself acquainted with these characters soon 😀
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  8. Yeah! So glad you liked this one as much as I did Jeann! I definitely agree it's probably the best book of the series – and I loved getting to know Cress! But OMG…poor Scarlet! 🙁 This is definitely the most serious book in the series so far, and the writing, romance, and characterization are just AMAZING!

    I started Cinder, and was left with kind of a "3.5 star" – feeling, so I wasn't sure if I was going to continue the series; but I'm so glad I did – because these books keep getting better and better!

    Thanks for sharing Jeann, and, as always, fabulous review! xD
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  9. What? Scarlet will be taken into captive on Luna? O.o Oh, noo!!! She's my favorite character. What, no! I don't approve. Idk. Everyone loves Thorne, while I, myself, prefer Wolf. I like his quiet nature more than Thorne's flirty one for some reason. I hope I'll finally fall in love with him in this book. I'm glad that this one still has some comic relief and most of all, I'm so very glad that you enjoyed it! 🙂
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  10. Cyn

    YAY! You're totally right, I adore adorably social awkward Cress haha. And I loved that she had a huge crush on Thorne. Oh my gosh, I loved the ending with Cinder and Kai! So happy. And seriously, Thorne remembering his promise to Cress at the big battle!!

    I also totally agree about Meyer doing a good job of not going overboard with "too many cooks in the kitchen", definitely a lot of storylines going. I'm so sad we have to wait a year for Winter lol Great review Jeann!

    (here's my review for Cress)
    Cyn recently posted…Teaser Tuesday: Cress & Solving for ExMy Profile

  11. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! It's length was slightly scary, but I'm glad it turned out great. I didn't enjoy it as much as I loved the first two, but I agree on the character developments/plot seriousness. Great review, Jeann!

    Hafsah @ IceyBooks

  12. Gahhh this is on my shelf waiting to be read! I loved the first two books in the series, but I haven't managed to read this one yet. I'm so excited, however, to see that Cress lives up to the hype, and that our heroine is worth our investment 🙂 Lovely review!

  13. I LOVE THIS REVIEW, Jeann! I absolutely adored this book and Cress was such a sweet-heart. I know a lot of people were put off by her at times because of how obsessed she was with Thorne, but I loved her with all my heart. I actually think she might be my favorite leading lady.

    You're absolutely right! The characters in this book are absolutely wonderful and the couples! <3 I ship all of them!

    I can't wait for the last book and I hope Scarlet and Wolf don't have to go through too much in Winter.

    Beautiful review, Jeann!
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  14. OH MY AAFAJDKSLF;JDS!!!!! I'M SO GLAD YOU LIKED IT!!!! Okay, calming down (I promise). It was unbelievably good, though, right? I usually am very aware of how many pages I'm reading and how many it'll take me to finish etc…but I totally got lost in Cress. First time that's happened in FOREVER. I just read and read and read. Delicious. I particularly adore how Marissa Meyer can use so many characters and it never feels like we're drowning in too many personalities/info. Everyone is so different. She is such a talented writer…I'm just…awed. Totally awed.
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    • Thank you Cait, I can't believe how amazing it was! Some people noted how many pages it was but I wouldn't have minded if it was even longer. I know, and every single character is unique! And it seems like she takes on board any criticisms we have about the previous book and just makes the next one shine. /fangirls