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Cress by Marissa Meyer - Summary

"Cress" is the third book in Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series, blending science fiction, fantasy, and retold fairy tales into a compelling narrative. This installment focuses on Cress, a brilliant hacker and programmer who has been imprisoned in a satellite by Queen Levana of Luna. Cress, with her Rapunzel-like long hair, has been forced to work for Levana by spying on Earth's leaders but secretly harbors the desire to help Cinder and her allies in their rebellion against the lunar queen.

Key Themes and Characters

  • Cress: The title character, Cress is depicted as a naïve yet incredibly skilled programmer who dreams of freedom. Her journey from a sheltered existence in a satellite to becoming an integral part of Cinder's rebellion against Queen Levana is central to the story.

  • Cinder and her Allies: Cinder, the cyborg mechanic with a claim to the Lunar throne, continues her quest to prevent Queen Levana's domination of Earth. Along with Scarlet, Wolf, and Captain Thorne, Cinder's team embodies themes of resistance, friendship, and the fight for justice.

  • Queen Levana's Ambitions: Levana's plan to marry Emperor Kai is a strategic move to gain control over Earth. Her ruthless ambition serves as the primary obstacle for Cinder and her group, highlighting the dangers of unchecked power and the necessity of resistance.

  • Sacrifice and Alliance: Emperor Kai's willingness to marry Levana to avoid war and secure an antidote for a deadly plague demonstrates themes of sacrifice and the complexities of political alliances.

Plot Overview

The narrative weaves together multiple storylines, including the attempt to rescue Cress from her satellite prison, which results in the group being scattered and facing great peril. As the royal wedding approaches, the urgency to stop Levana intensifies, leading to a series of fast-paced adventures and close calls.

Cress's character development is notable as she transitions from a sheltered existence to actively participating in the group's daring missions. Her perspective brings a fresh naïveté and wonder to the experiences and sights beyond her satellite confinement.


"Cress" expands the Lunar Chronicles universe with new characters, twists, and a deepening of the series' overarching conflict. Marissa Meyer skillfully balances action with character development, making this installment a crucial turning point in the saga. The book not only advances the plot but also delves deeper into themes of freedom, power, and the importance of fighting for a just cause.