Friday, February 21, 2014

Title: Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer
Narrator(s):  Rebecca Soler
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, book #3
Length:  15 hrs 40 mins
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Source: purchased, ARC received from publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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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.

So, I had this ARC of Cress sitting on my shelf for months, and I really wanted to return to this story and the amazing world that Marissa Meyer has created. But I also really like to continue a series via the same method with each book, and since I listened to both Cinder and Scarlet on audiobook, that meant I had to wait like everyone else.

But it was worth it. Sooo worth it to hear Rebecca Soler bring these characters to life again. I don't think I'd like these books half as much if it weren't for her narration. That's a lie. I'd still love them, but it just wouldn't be as much fun because I wouldn't make Cinder sound as feisty in my head, Kai wouldn't seem nearly as regal, Scarlet wouldn't have that slight French accent, and Thorne, well, okay, Captain Carswell Thorne will always be that swoonworthy rogue. But you get the picture. Some audiobooks are just books that are being read to you via some unknown narrator, but the Lunar Chronicles on audio is like having a movie going inside your head. It's impossible not to put yourself in the story, to imagine everything as it's happening and hope for the best right along with the rest of the crew. Rebecca Soler's narration of this series is pure magic, and even if I were to get an advance copy of Winter -- assuming they will exist -- I'd still probably opt for the audio version because it's just. So. Much. Fun.

No matter how much I started off enjoying this series, I'm constantly surprised by it. Each book just gets progressively better, introducing new characters and new villains and new romances. And somehow, no one ever gets left out or sidelined in order to concentrate on a different story arc. No matter who the leading lady is in each book, the others are not forgotten. I follow the author's blog and Twitter and I know how crazy-organized she is and has to be in order to keep all of these storylines in check, so I can imagine how easy it might be to let a character fall by the wayside. But Meyer never does, and you seriously have to applaud what a masterful storyteller she is.

And I love seeing how everyone's story is coming together, how everyone fits into this giant picture Meyer undoubtedly has in her head. Her reimagining of some of my favorite childhood fairy tales is beautifully done, and I love how the author has woven bits of science and fantasy into her stories to create something fresh and vibrant and completely her own. In this installment, it's Rapunzel's turn in the spotlight, with Cress as the damsel in distress, imprisoned in a satellite orbiting Earth, far from her hero's reach. And yet, that daring Thorne makes a rescue attempt anyway. (He wouldn't be our dashing hero if he didn't, now would he?)

I have to admit, I like Thorne with the feisty Cinder better. But as her heart is elsewhere and Thorne only seems to relish pushing her buttons, plus the fact that Cress is almost obsessive when it comes to the Captain, it was inevitable that Cress and Thorne should be paired together. I just wish Cress weren't so consumed with the do-gooder she believes Thorne to be, and I wish that I knew whether Thorne was being honest when he explained that he didn't do those things out of the goodness of his heart. Also, Cress seems a bit immature for a cad like Carswell Thorne, but maybe that's just the kind of girl he needs. I guess only time will tell.

If the previous books were action-packed, then this one is just plain explosive. There are shocking revelations and touching reunions and kidnapping plots and all manner of craziness. Things are lost. Things are gained....only to be lost again. And there are swoons. Not nearly enough but I'm really hoping for an epic finale when it comes to that department. Like I said, this series just gets better with each installment. So, if that holds true with Winter -- and I have no doubt it will -- we'd all better gird our loins because we are truly in for it now. I'm ready to see Queen Levana get her evil comeuppance, and I'm eager for more than a few happy endings for our storybook heroes.

GIF it to me straight:
Sci-fi/fantasy that is just good, wholesome fun. I love this series!

About the author:

Marissa Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and three cats. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, color-coordinating her bookshelf . . .), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was given a small book of them when she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg. Cinder is her first novel.

Find Marissa:

Website | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads | Pinterest


  1. This is my favourite instalment of the series so far. I think Marissa Meyer did such an amazing job of the group dynamic and of really taking time to show the strong character relationships. No person or arc was neglected and I think that was amazing. Also KAI <3 I was waiting forever for that moment!

  2. I love this series and can't wait to read Cress. To be honest, I skimmed much of your review to avoid potential surprises, but it sounds like the audiobooks are a must-listen and that the series is getting even better! I'm so excited!! <3

  3. Woohoo! I'm going with the audiobook route for this series too and I'm excited to start it soon :)

  4. I'm going the audio route with this series too. :) Hope I can start it soon!

  5. I completely agree with you about the audiobooks. I read them on my own first, but then my boyfriend got the audiobooks to listen to on the way to work, so we've been listening to those, and I have to admit that her reading made me enjoy them even more. I didn't realize that the Cress audiobook was out already (in my head you had to wait a while for it for some reason), but we will definitely be getting that this weekend!

    And I'm with you. I like Cinder/Thorne way better. But I do like Cress, so I'm hoping she gains a bit more confidence in the next one and stops idealizing him quite so much. Although, really, can you blame her? :D

  6. It amazes me that Marissa Meyer is able to do SO MUCH with these books, and they never feel messy or convoluted. I care about every single character and every single romance. I can't wait to see how everything will come together.

    I think Cress/Thorne are adorable, but it still feels tentative right now. Frankly, I'm hoping all the romances heat up a bit in Winter. :) Wolf/Scarlet are by far my favorite, although I think Jacin(yum!)/Winter could give them a run for their money.

  7. Okay, so I didnt read your review, because I've not read any of these books yet, but I just wanted to tell you that I believe Cinder is my next buddy read with Jess! we plan to read them straight through. :)

  8. I AM UNBELIEVABLY CRAZY ABOUT THIS SERIES. I haven't listened to them on audio, but now that you mention it...that would be seriously cool! I loved Code Name Verity on audio, particularly the Scottish/English accents. But audios can be quite expensive, eh? pity. I DO think Thorne/Cinder were hilarious, but they were never really an item in my eyes. Cinder just needs to sort Kai's stupidness out so they can live happily ever after together already. xD

  9. I love this series so much! I can't get enough. And each book gets better and better. I can't wait for Winter, but I don't want it to end! I get to meet her this Wednesday and I can't wait! And like you, I constantly get surprised by how it just gets better and better! Great review!

  10. I have to agree that there are not quite as many swoons as I hoped for.

    I think I might need to re-read these books on audio before Winter comes out, like you are convincing me that audio is the way to go.

    Love your point about Cress being a bit immature for Thorne, I kind of agree totally.


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