Science Fiction

Review: Cress

Cover of "Cress," showing the back of a person with a long blond braid with a red ribbon wrapped around it
Image from Marissa Meyer

Title: Cress

Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3

Author: Marissa Meyer

Genre: Science Fiction

Warning: This book is third in a series, so this review will probably contain spoilers of Cinder and Scarlet.

Back Cover:

Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth. 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 being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.


After loving the heck out of Cinder and really enjoying Scarlet, I was really looking forward to reading Cress when it came out. Then finally it did. And even though there was a long pile of books I needed to read, I dove straight into this one and finished it in two days.

Cress is a (mostly) new character this book – she showed up briefly in the first two books, but this was the first time she was a major character. And she was so fun. Innocent and naive, sometimes clueless, and really, really socially inexperienced, she was probably a teenager but she felt like a sweet little kid a lot of the time. Plus, she was an amazing hacker.

Cinder felt like a little less of a focal character this time around. I think a lot of it is that Cress spends less time in her head than the previous books, but she almost seemed a little jaded this time around. I still liked her, but I hope the next book has a lot more of her.

I wish I could devote an entire paragraph to all the minor characters. Thorne was just so-so last book, but he had a lot of page time in Cress and for a fictional character, he’s awfuly charming. Iko is more of a teenage girl than Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress combined, and she was just so darned fun. And there was Kai and Wolf and Dr. Erland…even Kai’s wedding planner was a good character.

Cress is told from multiple perspectives, and at first, it annoyed me. There was Cinder and Scarlet and Cress and a little bit of Kai. And that was just too much. But eventually, Scarlet’s narration was reduced to a minimum, and Cinder and Cress weren’t together for a good half of the book, which completely solved the issue.

After finishing Cress, I finally realized why I didn’t like Scarlet as much as Cinder. Scarlet and Cinder had similar personalities, so I almost felt like they were competing – and since I had all of book one to get to know Cinder, I naturally liked her better. Cress and Cinder are completely different, so I didn’t get that feeling at all and I was free to enjoy her half of the story.

The plot…oh, the plot! There’s so much happening. Cress and Thorne are in one place doing one thing, Cinder and company are all over the place doing other stuff, Kai is struggling with a wedding, and one of the characters (not saying who) gets kidnapped and tortured on Luna. And there’s so many revelations. Some of them I’d half-guessed, but it was nice to have them confirmed. Now if I just knew how it all goes down…

I’ve just about run out of synonyms for “great.” Now I’m going to gripe about the fact that Winter doesn’t come out until next year.

The Lunar Chronicles:

  1. Cinder
  2. Scarlet
  3. Cress
  4. Winter

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