Title – Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)
Author – Marissa Meyer
In Book #1, Cinder, the cyborg girl Cinder confronts the evil Lunar Queen Levana and the reality of her own hidden past. In Book #2, she teams up with the young girl and pilot Scarlett and cage fighter Wolf. Along the way they pick rogue pirate Space Captain Thorne. That is a quick summary of two very good and exciting YA, sci-fi, fantasy books that I strongly urge you to pick and read before you read Cress.
In Book #3, Cinder and her crew are orbiting the Earth deciding on their next course of action. The forced marriage between Queen Levana and Emperor Kai of Earth. Levana expects through this marriage to rule not only her Lunar kingdom but Earth as well. Cinder has learned that she is the long lost Princess Selena; true heir to the lunar kingdom sent to Earth as an infant for her safety from Levana when her ship crashed and she was horribly injured. Resulting in her becoming the cyborg girl she is now.
The crew receive a communication, alarming them as they felt no one knew where they were. Cautiously they answer the call. It is a young girl named Cress who has information of Levana’s plans that she is willing to trade for your escape.
“…I’m not on Luna!” The words tumbled out of Cress, coaxed on by a twist of hope. “You don’t have to come to Luna. I’m not there.”
Cinder scanned the room behind Cress. “But you said before that you couldn’t contact Earth, so you’re not…”
“I’m on a satellite. I can give you my coordinates…”
“How long have you been living in a satellite?”
She twisted her hair around her fingers. “Seven years…or so.”
“Seven years? By yourself?”
“Y-yes.” She shrugged. “Mistress restocks my food and water and I have net access, so it isn’t so bad. But…well…”
“But you’re a prisoner,” said Thorne.
“I prefer damsel in distress,” she murmured…
For seven years the girl named Cress has been isolated on a satellite orbiting Earth, monitoring all transmissions for Queen Levana, when a new task was set before her. Find the fugitive Cinder and her crew. But for Cress, it was an opportunity of another kind. The chance to escape from her captures and join Cinder on her quest.
I have a hard time deciding which of these books I enjoyed the most. Cinder, Scarlett or Cress. For the uninitiated into Marissa Meyer’s fantasy sci-fi world. Cinder is Cinderella. Scarlett is Red Riding Hood and Cress is Rapunzel. Wolf, from Scarlett is the big bad wolf but with a change of heart. And Levana, was think every evil female Disney stepmom and Queen and you got her. Emperor Kai, is the Prince only in these tales it is he who needs the saving.
But don’t get the wrong message, these books are far from feminist ravings, they encompass far more. There is class warfare, Orwellian themes of the all powerful Government and the controlling of the minds of its people and enemies.
Into all of this steps Cinder. She is far from beautiful, her scars and metal body parts keep her from seeing the true beauty that she is. A powerful albeit reluctant hero.
Scarlett, who’s family loss haunts her. There is a grandmother here that doesn’t quite make it. And Wolf whose prior acts of violence he seeks to rectify as his love of Scarlett is the most powerful emotion he knows.
There are many other characters in and out of these books, characters who resemble a childhood memory but whose part in these tales is stunningly their own.
Meyer has done far more than re-write a fairy tale or two. She has had the audacity and originality to re-write beloved characters into an adventure all her own.
A very good read!