“Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them. I’m beginning to think that maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.”
Can you hear that ? That’s the sound of me being relieved because this book is All That. Finally, my expectations were met and it feels… so good.
Cress is the third installment in the Lunar Chronicles, which is essentially a retelling of some iconic tales such as Cinderella or the Little Red Riding Hood. Cress is based off of Rapunzel. That being said, that’s where it stops being a retelling.
The Lunar Chronicles are set in the future where the Earth is in conflict with Luna (the Moon) ruled by Queen Levana. While book 1 and 2 weren’t my favorite, book 3 is in my opinion completely different. The main problem I had with the past two was that the story wasn’t fleshed-out enough. The side characters ended up being less developed than the main and it made for a very unbalanced cast of characters. This installment is the first where I can confidently say I’m invested in the characters and the plot. They’re all much more fleshed-out and they were given proper agency where it felt like for example in Scarlet, we were kind of lost, searching around for meaning around this whole mission aka How To Deal With Levana (who btw, makes for a great villain but I wish she’d step up even more). I can honestly say that Meyer’s writing has improved a lot with this one.
Cress is the main focus of this book. She’s a girl who’s been raised on a ship (a satellite maybe?) and is in charge of doing Levana’s dirty work (aka surrounding the Earth with Lunar ships while remaining undetected). Cress undergoes a lot of abuse at the hands of her “mistress” Sybil, the Queen’s right hand woman. She’s verbally and physically abused to make sure she doesn’t disobey her orders. While Cress started out as a very naive almost sheepish character, she grows into her own character with her own personality by the end of the book. She was a bit overshadowed by the main plot and the other characters but it didn’t feel disproportionate. Like I said, the story becomes much more fleshed-out so Cress’ personal struggles were implemented nicely with the rest of the plot.
One thing I particularly enjoyed was the depiction of Cress’ anxiety and the way she deals with it, by imagining she is someone else.
Cinder : While I sometimes struggle with the Chosen One trope (i.e Cinder), it didn’t bother me that much in this book. I loved Cinder’s progression and how she finally starts to claim her title. “She didn’t think she’d ever felt so invested in her identity, and determined to claim her place. It was a strange feeling, bordering on pride.”
Thorne, YOU HAVE MY HEART BREAK IT IF YOU WANT. Cinder and Thorne’s relationship : A+, I Stan Friendship. Thorne truly is one of the Softest character in the Lunar Chronicles (ironic) and I love him so so much. His relationship with Cress, although somewhat very predictable, ended up being one of my favorite things about this book. Their relationship is 100% my favorite from the series.
Iko : I Love Her. “In another life, we could have been sisters, and I feel it’s important to acknowledge that.” A blank stare. A blink, every six seconds. “But as it stands, I’m a part of an important mission right now, and I cannot be swayed from my goal by my sympathy for androids who are less advanced than myself.”
Winter is introduced as the niece (?) of Levana and I’m so excited to learn more about her (she gives off Nelly Crain vibes and it’s an understatement to say that I’m here for it). Her potential is infinite.
“But you are crazy.” “I know.” She lifted a small box from the basket. “Do you know how I know?” Scarlet didn’t answer. “Because the palace walls have been bleeding for years, and no one else sees it.”
✨In Conclusion ✨
What I admire the most about Marissa Meyer’s writing is the fact that she mastered this transition between book 2 and book 3 and lit back my interest in the story. Her ability to build up a plot is quite impressive : while it felt empty during book 1 and 2 (which does serve a purpose but I personally prefer to be literally thrown in and I’m too impatient for a slow build-up), book 3 reminds me of that little something that still made me enjoy book 1 and 2 but it’s also giving me So Much More.
Have you read Cress ? What did you think ?
I’d love to hear your thoughts, tell me below !