Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Published: February 4, 2014
Rapunzel’s tower is a satellite. She can’t let down her hair—or her guard.
In this third book in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army.
Their best hope lies with Cress, who has been trapped on a satellite since childhood with only her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker—unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing stop her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only ones who can.
Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles only get better as the series progresses. In Cress, Meyer continues to give readers great plot, while expanding her setting and character base. Cinder and her team find themselves traversing parts of the world they would never have imagined and bring readers with them on journeys into space, Africa, and back to their homes. Meyer’s imagination allows her to write science fiction that truly gives readers the sense that technology can lead to global connections. No place is too far for her characters to go, and no effort for them too great to make in hopes of saving their world.
As usual, Meyers also introduces new characters in Cress—the star being the titular Cress. Cress is inspired by Rapunzel, and she is perfect. Meyers takes a bit of a Disney Rapunzel route, imagining Cress as someone bubbly and excited about seeing what lies beyond her prison. But Cress is also vulnerable and a little unsure, intimidated by how much there is she has never known or experienced. Her time with Cinder’s team, however, allows her to grow into a confident young woman.
Readers get to see new facets of old characters in Cress, as well. There is a particular focus on Thorne, who may have a hero’s heart under all his bravado. Readers who were not already in love with Thorne may begin reconsidering that position. Additionally, old romances continue to simmer. Meyer knows how to give readers just enough for them to swoon and sigh over, while clearly holding material back for a big finale.
Plot-wise, readers know they can expect something fast-paced and exciting. Cress has the distinction of being the most unpredictable of the series, however. The one flaw of the Lunar Chronicles has hitherto been that its direction has always been quite obvious—and not just because the stories are drawing from well-known fairy tales. Readers may have a sense of the general path Cress must take, but it actually has several surprising plot-twists, which makes reading it all the more pleasurable.
Cress is breathtaking, offering adventure, romance, and intrigue all in one novel. It is completely satisfying—except that it will leave readers tortured that Winter is not being released right now. Highly recommended.