Thursday, April 24, 2014
Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer
I read Cinder, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles, a few months after it was published for two reasons. 1. Marissa lives (lived) in the same area as my school and one of her neighbors, a boy who has I wouldn't identify as a reader, came to the library to talk to me about the book and asked me to buy it. 2. My daughter, who loves any story related to fairy tales, read it and couldn't stop talking about it. As I started the book I was pretty critical of the writing but the plot caught my attention and the ending has this huge cliff hanger, so, of course, I had to read the sequel, Scarlet to find out how things turned out.
I don't always make a point of reading all books in a series, especially if all the books aren't published by the time I start it. Enough time passed between reading Cinder, roughly based on Cinderella, and the publication of Scarlet, that I had to take a refresher course to remember all the characters and the plot-line of the first book before I could enjoy the second. With Scarlet, based on Red Riding Hood, there were more characters to keep track of and yet I enjoyed the writing more and felt myself becoming ensnared in all the plot twists and turns.
My experience with books in a series is often the first book is the best. That is not the case with The Lunar Chronicles. In my estimation Cinder was good, Scarlet was great, and Cress was fantastic. The writing has improved with each book right along with the character development and the exciting plot. With this upward trend, Winter should knock my socks off.
Cress, our title character, is patterned after Rapunzel who is imprisoned in an escape-proof space. She even has super long hair. She is rescued by Thorne, a handsome but unlikely hero. They meet up with Cinder and get tangled up with her plot to stop the wedding between Emperor Kai and Queen Levana. If I counted correctly, there are eight (maybe nine) different narrators with point-of-view chapters. Each character has a unique voice and adds to the unfolding story.
As I said in my opening paragraph, when I closed the book on the last page of Cress I was ready immediately to open up the next book and start reading. In lieu of being able to do that I contemplated rereading Cress from the beginning. I talked to a friend who also read Cress this week-end and she felt the same way. She cried, "A year. We are going to have to wait a year for Winter. How can we wait that long?"
I'm not sure. But wait I must and wait I will because I have fallen in love with a series and I HAVE to know how it all works out in the end.
Disclaimer: I listened to the audiobook version of Cress with Rebecca Soler reading. Soler's pacing and voice inflections were spot on and I enjoyed the experience immensely. I checked the audio CD set out from my public library.