Thursday, September 10, 2015

Cress : @marissa_meyer (Lunar Chronicles #3) | BookTalk w/ @sslluvsbooks

Rating: 67%
Series: Lunar Chronicles #3
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult, Fiction,
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Page Count: 550 
Format: Audiobook
Source: Overdrive via Library

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Synopsis : In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, 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 her army.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned 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 just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers for the events that have taken place in the series previous novels - Cinder and Scarlet. On Loving the Language of Literacy, the term "BookTalk" refers to a thorough review including a clearly marked spoiler free and spoiler filled section.

Background & Backstory?

In my August 2015 Reading Wrap-Up, I expressed my distress having to do with the Lunar Chronicles. Besides Queen of Shadows, Winter is a many people's most anticipated release for 2015. I marathoned Cinder and Scarlet back in Summer 2013 and I actually purchased Cress upon its release last year. The first two books in the series never impressed me, both earning a 3.5/5 stars and I consider it pretty average. Everyone insists Cress changes everything in terms of reader's opinions but despite the hype from the bookish community, I never got around to reading it. Until last month when I started feeling left out because everyone wants to read Winter.

What Was My Reaction Upon Finishing?

I can see why everybody said Cress changes everything. Why isn't Winter here!?

Even though I had expectations for this novel, I don't think those are what hindered my enjoyment of Cress, and I'm sad to say this but my opinion of the series overall didn't change with the addition.

Something I didn't expect to enjoy was the third person point of view throughout the story. Often, I wish for first so as to get a more intense glimpse into their minds - I don't sound like an evil mastermind at all. However, there are simply too many characters to accomplish a 1st person POV and so many places to be simultaneously. I enjoyed seeing the opposing forces and the tension knowing I was powerless as a reader to do anything for them. Plus it was extremely funny to see confusion from two different characters on the same matter - you know what I'm talking about with that android escort body *winks*.

I suppose the largest factor established in Cress that we hadn't seen previously was the huge scope of the universe. I've got to admit at times it was difficult to distinguish Cress's voice from little Cress or even Iko. She seemed so justifiably innocent and naive. Of course the fact that the audiobook's narrator's intonations weren't that different for the two characters impacted that. It was interesting to see her discover the Earthen world as we see it as "the future," but from the perspective of someone not Earthen but not Lunar either. 

***Spoiler Alert***

Scarlet Benoit had obviously been tested before but I personally recognized her strength as a character throughout the Lunar interrogations and torture sessions as she was used as no more than a play thing. 

I finally know what everyone was talking about when they fangirled over Captain Carswell Thorn. I couldn't help but see him from Cress' admiring perspective even if he annoyed me to no end when I was reading Scarlet, and that admiration was multiple further when he protested against Cress' attempts in finding some shred of goodness in him. Plus, when he gave her a kiss to remember on the roof of the palace... that was just icing on the cake.  

Emperor Kaito has always been a favorite of mine and his stale mate situation tugged at my feels - especially because of the serious Heir of Fire vibes, if you catch my drift. It's obvious that all he wants is peace and good for the commonwealth but in many ways he's stronger than his father because of his desire to stay true to his values. Even though a huge issue I had was not being invested enough in the characters, I HAD to fangirl when he finally kissed Cinder and it seemed that they were united against Levana for the good of the universe.

I couldn't help but feel frustrated most of the time with Cinder because of the serious middle-of-the-series syndrome she was suffering from in terms of character development. It's clear she's ready to undertake the responsibility as queen but at the same time, she has understandable albeit aggravating doubts about her own moral compass as her lunar powers increase.

Our glimpse of Princess Winter is brief when she asks for Scarlet as a plaything but it's enough to know that she is seriously off her rocker. Obviously Winter is the final retelling of Snow White but I always assumed she would be sane. Whether it's merely because of living her entire life on Luna or being the daughter of someone as power hungry as Levana, she is clearly not. I am extremely intrigued to see where her arc goes.

Despite severely disliking Dr. Erland I understood him and was heartbroken at the scene where Cress learned he was her father and the one after that where he was tortured by Levana and died. He played a crucial role throughout the series and I'm a bit nervous to see how the characters will cope without him.

How Likely Is It That I Will Read Another Book By This Author?
75% | With everything said, I begrudgingly have to admit I will probably read Winter because the last chapter of Cress was too enticing not to continue with the series.

Conclusion: Even though my thoughts on the series as a whole are still extremely mixed, Cress was hands down the best addition to the series and set up the series for a hopefully stunning arc to be completed in Winter.

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