Book Review: Cress

Cress is the third book of the Lunar Chronicles series. It’s the sequel to Cinder and Scarlet. Like Cinder and Scarlet, Cress is also based on a fairy tale – Rapunzel. Cress is a captive programmer to the Head Thaumaturge of Luna. She has no love for the Queen. After contacting Cinder, Cress arranges for herself to be rescue, though the rescue mission does not go well. Meanwhile, back in the Commonwealth, Emperor Kai is preparing for a wedding to the Queen of Luna.

This book is written by Marissa Meyer, you can read more about her in my Cinder review. I love that she’s a NaNoWriMo veteran.

The Good

Okay, I officially like Thorne now. He’s not quite the rogue with a heart of gold but he’s still very much lovable. I actually sniffed when Cress was thinking about how he’s a great guy, all the crimes and misdemeanors he has done has a good reason for it. Turns out, he’s not that great at all. One of the most enjoyable plot threads of the book.

Cress Alternate Cover

Cress Thai Cover

Cress is also lovable too. She’s like the timid version of Iko, in some ways. Excitable and ever optimistic with an aura of innocence around her that just makes me want to give her a great big bear hug, and give her a few rubs on the head for all that she’s been through. And boy, has she been through a lot.

The plot is developing at a good pace too. I was never bored and kept wanting to find out what’s going to happen next. We even find out a whole lot more about letumosis. And there was even a section where two characters were stuck in a desert, and I usually hate those. That said…

The Bad

…the transition to the final act of the story was a little sudden. Remember when I had an issue with the ending of Cinder? Well, the opposite happened here. There was a point in the story where the main characters were discussing what to do next. I was expecting it to be carried out in the next book, because there was only about a few dozen pages left. I was sure it wasn’t going to be told in this book. Turn out I was wrong, because it started right on the next chapter. Maybe reading Cinder had changed my expectations a little.

The character blot problems is starting to happen. Scarlet is almost nonexistent in this one. Wolf is relegated to a side character. Jacin is someone new who doesn’t have a lot of “screen” time, though I think that will be fixed in Winter. Winter is the thickest of the four books, but it still has me wondering if Cress and Thorne will suffer some role cut in it. I hope not, because next to Cinder, those two are my favorite characters so far. Oh, and Iko, but I like the amount of her we see, feels like she’s the type of character that might get annoying if there’s too much of her.

Cress Alternate Cover

Cress Korean Cover. Please tell me that’s the Death Star she’s sitting on.


Though Cinder and Scarlet were loose adaptations of Cinderella and the Little Red Riding Hood, Cress is almost nothing like Rapunzel, except for the titular character for both sharing some characteristics – both have long hair, sing a lot and are trapped high up in the sky. Well, one is so high up she’s literally in space. Thorne has more in common with Flynn from Tangled than the original prince character from Rapunzel. Not that I had a problem with that. It’s actually the better choice.


If you liked Scarlet, you’ll like Cress, especially if you liked Cinder’s character, otherwise, why are you still here reading a review of the third book in a quartet?


14 thoughts on “Book Review: Cress

  1. I actually liked Flynn better 🙂 I really liked this story – especially the bit about Thorne, because he is one of my favourite characters!! Looks like we both need to read Winter!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just read Winter and I loved it. I can understand your reservations with Cress about Scarlet and Wolf. I don’t want to spoil but bear in mind it’s 9 characters in the main band of merry men or so.

    A lot also happens in Winter and you get more of Cress and Thorne which I think was lacking in Cress but I think you’ll really enjoy the final book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve actually finished Winter, just behind on the reviews. Absolutely loved it. I had no issues with the “screen time” of the characters in that one. You’re definitely right about the Cress and Thorne thing. Loved their moments together in Winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ahhhh YAY for Cress! I’m glad you enjoyed this one! 😀 Although I was sad that Scarlet/Wolf got stuffed in the background a bit there too because they are my favourite darlings. ❤ And I so love Thorne, but am kind of a little confused why he’s so much like Flynn Rider? Isn’t that stealing? hehe. WHO CAN KNOW. (Also he’s kind of Jack Sparrow-y too!) BUT OMG CRESS IS ADORABLE. I loved how she was more timid and anxious and awkward. So relatable.😂

    Liked by 1 person

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