Cress – Marissa Meyer

Release date: 4 February 2014
Rating: ★★★★★★★★ – 8/10
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These books are getting serious (and long)!  I just pulled Winter off my shelf and it’s over 800 pages.  There’s something about a crazy long book that I equally dread and love.  I have this “it’s going to take me forever to read” conversation in my head, but equally “this is going to be epic otherwise it would have been edited down to nothing”.

Anyway, back to Cress.

So we pick up pretty much exactly at the end of Scarlet – the Rampion crew are in the air after having just left France.  Scarlet and Wolf are making googly eyes at each other, Kai has agreed to marry Levana, and Cinder is … well, Cinder.

I’m honestly not sure how much more I can add at this point without giving away some pretty big plot points…

Meyer’s writing is great – it’s smooth and easy to read and understand.  The plot points aren’t quite as obvious as they were in the first book, but they’re also not unsurprising.  I picked Cress’ parental secrets at the start of Scarlet, so that was expected.  But there were things that I didn’t expect to happen as well, which was great.  There was a much better balance of ‘familiar expected surprises’ and ‘unexpected WTF surprises’.  I even cried a little bit towards the end.

I found this story is more gripping than the first two — not in an edge-of-my-seat mystery/thriller way, but the story is more engaging.  You want to invest in it and spend the time reading because you care about the characters and what will happen to them.

In saying that, I didn’t feel that any of the characters really had a huge OMG moment in terms of character development.  Cinder and Kai probably had the most character growth, but again, it wasn’t until the end of the book.  Thorne kind of did, but it felt a little bit contrived — which is partly why I’m only giving it 8 instead of 9 hearts.

Anyway, I enjoyed it.  Definitely a good read, but hoping for a little bit more for Winter!

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