I was expecting a lot for Cress. 550 pages? I could do this! Except…I couldn’t. Cress put me in one of the longest reading slumps. It took me over a week to read, which is strange since I normally manage to finish a book every two or three days. I think I struggled with this story because Maddie had hyped it up so much (it’s one of her favourite books of all time!) so of course I was under quite a bit of pressure to enjoy the story. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it! But the middle was rather slow and I was sad that the characters didn’t become a proper team until the very end! Cress was an adorable character, and I loved that we got more Thorne, but I think the book could’ve been at least 100 pages shorter.
Once again, I will start with the newbies! Cress had a cameo role in Cinder so we knew her backstory in its most basic form. I really enjoyed her chapters because although everyone is trying to tell her than she’s innocent and naive because she’s young, she’s strong and incredibly resilient. She adpted well with her environment and wasn’t ridiculously sentimental about her old life – she was ready for change and this made her a very refreshing character. I loved the Rapunzel intertextuality, especially Marissa Meyer managed to include the desert and Thorne’s blindness but legitimately explain it. I have been so impressed with this series how all of the fairytales have been effortlessly woven together to make once thrilling sci-fi adventure.
Thorne was just as hilarious as ever, but he had to take on a much more serious role with Cress. He definitely underestimated her in the beginning and he was a bit of a d-bag if I’m honest, but I could forgive him because his morals where in the right place. For a joker, he certainly was a rational thinker. There are a lot of facade’s in this series, and I think Thorne’s is the best, and I liked Cress’ journey of trying to break that mask and figure out the real Carswell.
Another new character is Jaquin, who I hated. BUT I have my suspicions that he’s going to be Winter’s love interets, which would be kind of cute, I guess. Also Iko! Gosh, I love her. She adds some humour to this otherwise rather sombre story. (Lots of socio-political and ethical undertones that you might not expect.) Her personality is so adorable and quirky, she’s the perfect addition to the team. What do you think, should Iko get a love interest in Winter. If everyone else is pairing up, why can’t she? Talking of pairings…
I mentioned in my review of Scarlet that Thorne was Cress’ love interest, so I knew what was coming. What I wasn’t expecting was disection of the unequal/unrequited romance. Perfection. It’s so rare to see, but it was so wonderful. Cress thinks she knows Thorne because she knows his life story – the basic facts – and she’s modelled him into her very own prince charming, but it real life she has to deal with hiding her feelings because he obviously doesn’t feel the same way. In this sense I suppose Cress was naive, but we all knew that the pair had to have a happy ending, because Tangled (the Disney movie) tells us that the hidden girl always ends up with the roguish handsome man. It was such a realistic portray of feelings, and I really appreciated that.
But oh no! Disaster strikes and Wolf and Scarlett are torn apart! NO NO NO. They were my favourite couple and I wanted to see the kindling of their relationship, but did I get to? No. Instead, I got an angst-ridden Wolf with a protectiveness complex – still pretty nice to read I suppose because I just wanted to hug him. All I can say is, Winter better be 80% focussed on romantic relationships. Because if my OTP aren’t fully canon by the end I will be annoyed.
Plot and Pacing:
Again, a few minor reveals that happened in quick sucession, but Kai was still playing catch up. FINALLY, he seemed to clue in with what was going on but not until the VERY end. I find myself reading these books more for the characters and their relationships rather than the plot. Obviously how long it took me to read is indicative of the pacing of the novel. The middle was perhaps a bit dry – get it? They were in the desert. But everything started to really kick off at the end of the book.
Therefore, I gave Cress 3 stars, because I enjoyed it, and Thorn and Cress’ character development was excellent, but I wasn’t engaged enough to give a high rating. Maddie, on the other hand would like to give this book 5 stars so if you haven’t started Cress yet, start reading, and see who you agree with!