“Maybe great, epic romances don’t just happen. We have to make them ourselves.”
Rapunzel and the Satellite | Cress by Marissa Meyer [Book Review]
★★★★☆ • 4 / 5 stars
The #1 New York Times Bestselling Series
In this third book in Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, 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 prevent her army from invading Earth.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped 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 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 of Cress 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.
NOTE: I’ve reviewed the first two books in The Lunar Chronicles. You can read them both here:
Cinder Review | Scarlet Review
The Summary Checks Out
Now that’s a good summary. Does what it’s supposed to. Doesn’t falsely describe the book in any way. It’s a very accurate depiction of what lies in store in the novel. (Unlike some books. Ugh.)
Cress is a 2014 novel written by Marissa Meyer, and is the third book in The Lunar Chronicles. (It’s also published by Feiwel & Friends, and is 552 pages.) This time, it formally introduces sci-fi Rapunzel as a major character, but also continues with the overarching story introduced in Cinder.
The Characters are Once Again the Stars of the Show
“Do you think it was destiny that brought us together?”
He squinted and, after a thoughtful moment, shook his head. “No. I’m pretty sure it was Cinder.”
Meyer has a knack for writing likable and interesting characters, and that continues with this book. Funnily enough, all of the major characters in the novel had already been introduced to us in Cinder and Scarlet. Even this novel’s titular protagonist – Cress.
Cress is a character that I was initially not very fond of. She was mildly interesting, but I just didn’t care for her personality at first. She was just too… innocent, I guess. And innocent-type characters tend to hit or miss for me. But she grows and evolves a lot throughout the book, and I really ended up liking the Cress in the last third of the book.
Thorne was introduced in Scarlet, and was also a key character there. We didn’t really know that much about him until this book though, and his character and personality really shine through even more here. He also has a decent amount of character development, which was nice to see.
“Come on, Iko.”
Iko was still hiding, hugging herself self-consciously. “Is he looking?”
Kai raised an eyebrow.
“He’s not looking,” said Cinder.
A hesitation. “Are you sure?”
Cinder gestured exasperatedly at Kai. “You’re not looking.”
He cast his eyes to the ceiling. “Oh, for all the stars.” Crossing his arms, he turned his back on them.
Cinder and Kai were doing their things, which were very similar things, but were doing them thousands of miles apart from one another. (Until they weren’t.) They both had things about themselves and each other that they had to grapple with, but I was pleased with the results.
Iko was a joy to read about as always, but that goes without saying.
Despite being our hot couple from the last book, Wolf and Scarlet really didn’t do much in Cress. Especially Scarlet. She has very few POVs compared to everyone else here, and she doesn’t really do a lot, or appear that often, after the first third of the book.
The Plot was Fun (…Once It Got Going)
“If you honestly believe that,” said Thorne, stowing the gun again, “then you really don’t recognize true value when you see it.”
This book had a much slower start compared to its predecessors. And that made it more difficult to get into. It wasn’t until over a quarter of the way through that things really started happening.
As with the first two, there’s a lot of references to story beats from the original fairytale: Cress escaping from her “tower,” Thorne going blind, Thorne’s name being a reference to how the prince is actually blinded in Rapunzel, wandering through a desert. There’s a lot. And I knew a bunch of it going in, so I was very excited to see it all play out.
I really like how we’re kind of going around the globe in this series. It makes the setting and Meyer’s world building even better to behold. We haven’t seen hardly anything of Luna (Earth’s terraformed moon) yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing more of it in Winter.
It always came back to love. More than freedom, more than acceptance—love. True love, like they sang about in the second era. The kind that filled up a person’s soul. The kind that lent itself to dramatic gestures and sacrifices. The kind that was irresistible and all-encompassing.
Cress was something I started reading quite a while ago, after reading it’s two prequels, and even though I’ve had a bit of a tumultuous reading experience with it, I’ve always been determined to finish it. And I’m very happy that I did. It was a fantastic read overall, and I highly recommend fans of the series to continue on with book three.
The Lunar Chronicles is such a fun and interesting series as a whole, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it ends when I read Winter. And I’ll also maybe read Fairest and Stars Above eventually too sometime. I don’t know yet, though.
Anyway, thanks so much for reading, and have an amazing day/night!
See ya ~Mar