If you see the Instagram image below, you will know two things, one that I suck at photography and two that it took me two whole months to finish reading Cress. My struggle to complete the Lunar Chronicle series is real and surprising. Surprising because this series is highly recommended by innumerable book lovers and I too want to adore it but I somehow fall in the minority who are not big fans of the series.
After having a disappointing start with the first book Cinder, I had some relief in Scarlet. And I am glad that the series got better with each book and Cress, though a long read, was more engrossing than its predecessors. Just like the first two books, Cress has a slow start, which is why it took me so long to finish reading it but towards the end it leaves you wanting for more paving an enchanted path for the next, Winter.
Cress by Marissa Meyer
Synopsis: Living in a satellite all by herself, Cress, a trained hacker, is an instrument used by Queen Levana to spy on Prince Kai. Now that Cinder is a wanted fugitive for Queen Levana, Cress is expected to help track her down but Cress has something else on mind. Tired of living in complete isolation in a satellite for years, Cress decides to defy her Queen and side Cinder and her crew in their fight against Queen Levana. However, freedom from Queen Levana is not the only motive behind Cress’s actions. She has been in love with Cinder’s accomplice Carwell Thorne for years after reading about his past activities. She has been imagining him to be a hero misunderstood to be a criminal. Helping Cinder will only make her dream of meeting her ideal man, Thorne come true, and Cress grabs this opportunity with both her hands.
Points I Liked About Cress
Storyline: I liked the way the story unfolds in this book especially how Cress is indirectly connected with the other protagonists of the series. She is a catalyst for this story that will aid in several crucial events in the future. Cress’s first experience on earth with her dream man is funny in parts and also interesting. I would like to mention one specific incident that I liked and could relate to. When Cress is kidnapped by some people she is hopeful that her ‘hero’ Thorne will fight against all odds and rescue her. She waits and waits for a drama hero like entry of Thorne but that never happens. Once Cress realises this she decides to do something about her helpless situation and breaks out of her shackles on her own. In the book, Cress is shown to be hugely influenced by television dramas, which is why she expects Thorne to rescue her like a hero but when her expectation is shattered, she takes things in her own hands and walks out like a boss. The writer here wants to explain how real life is not a drama in any way and how in times of crisis you have to rely on yourself. (Fellow drama lovers please take note, not all boys are drama heroes to rescue you every time, sometimes you have to be your own hero and help yourself like a boss.)
Points I Did Not Like About Cress
Slow Start: Once again, my main problem with the Lunar Chronicles is the slow start. The whole ‘mission: rescue Cress’ takes more than 90 pages. It was frustrating to wait and watch Cinder and her crew try to rescue their well-wisher and supporter Cress who was stationed in a satellite in space. There were some Scarlet and Wolf moments as fillers but they were too bland to hold my attention.
Incomprehensible Cress: The book starts with the new heroine in the series, Cress and a little background about how she has been living in a satellite for the past several years helping Mistress Sybil spy on Earthlings. This whole scenario was baffling for me as I couldn’t understand how a girl living alone, in a satellite far away from human (or Lunar) civilization for so many years, can remain sane. I stay holed up in my house glued to my PC for more than a week and I start hallucinating. But Cress, has barely seen or interacted with her fellow beings and she remains completely normal. Even when she comes on earth, she shows no signs of withdrawal symptoms and has hardly any trouble adjusting to the new planet. The only thing that makes sense about her is her overly heroic and romantic image of Carswell Thorne, which is the direct influence of binging on television dramas for years (As a drama addict I can relate to Cress in this matter.) Similarly, several such instances are conveniently added without any explanation. The loopholes in the Lunar series is way too wide for me to ignore them and like the book completely.
Final View: The plot thickens in this third instalment as we have a new heroine join the crew. Cress is a compelling read and much better than the previous two books in the series. If you liked Cinder and Scarlet then you will certainly like Cress but if you have not liked them then Cress will ensure you like her at least.
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