Marissa Meyer continues her unique twist on traditional fairy tales in Cress, the third book in The Lunar Chronicles. This installment has all of the ingredients for a great book – strong female characters, atrocities of war, a super-villain, romance, and discovering one’s roots. Meyer once again shows off her story-telling skills with action-filled scenes, likeable characters, and interwoven romance and drama.
In this book, we meet Cress, who has been imprisoned alone on a satellite since her childhood. She can see Earth and Luna through her window, but cannot be a part of either society. Her only contact with humans is with her mistress, Sybil, who uses Cress’ hacking skills for the benefit of Luna. Cress can hack into any software on Earth and provides Sybil and Queen Levana the information they need to wage war with Earthens. Cress is so good with technology that she has created her own computer companion, “little Cress”, using her own recorded voice from when she was younger. Cress is so isolated from either world that she doesn’t even realize how valuable her skills are. However, Cress no longer wants to remain in her satellite and risks getting caught when she warns Cinder about Queen Levana’s plans and to request a rescue. Of course, the rescue goes wrong and Cinder and her crew are separated. Captain Thorne and Cress crash-land in a desert; Scarlet is kidnapped by Sybil and her guard; Wolf is gravely injured and Cinder has to get him to the only doctor she knows that can help him, Dr. Erland in Africa. Will the group find each other? Will Wolf survive? Can they save Scarlet?
When I first came across this series, I read Fairest first, then I read this book not knowing it was the third book of the series. I’m glad I read Fairest before this book because I would have really been lost. This series has a weave of characters that could be a little complicated if a reader just jumps into the middle of the story. With that being said, this book has so much action and drama that even if I was lost, I wouldn’t be able to put it down. I ordered the rest of the series and cannot wait to start from the beginning. My only suggestion to the author would be to have the book number put on the cover so that people like me don’t start in the wrong spot.
I enjoy this series for several reasons. First, it is well written and edited. Several young adult novels that I’ve read have typos, noticeable grammatical errors, and poor sentence/paragraph structure. This has none that I can tell. Second, Meyer has a unique and interesting storyline. I love the retelling of fairy tales, especially with a twist! I wonder how many more fairytale princesses will become involved! Third, the main characters are strong and well-developed. Strong female characters are important to me. The basic fairytale components are there, but these “princesses” can fend for themselves. Without bringing up the females in the other books, this book has a top-notch hacker who can survive in the desert with a blind man, knock out a doctor, and help kidnap a prince by disabling his security system. Last, despite each fairytale being separate, Meyer has found a way to fit them all together like pieces of a large puzzle. The secondary characters and ancillary storylines really weave together the tales of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Snow White.
If you want a well-written summer reading series that will keep you entertained and you enjoy retold classic stories, this is for you!