Lately, I’ve been enjoying Marissa Meyer’s best selling series “The Lunar Chronicles”. I reviewed the first book, Cinder, Meyer’s debut novel that follows the story of a cyborg Cinderella in a dystopian/futuristic earth. After enjoying this new adaptation of the classic fairytale, I quickly got the second book, Scarlet, from the library. While Cinder is a creative take on the story of Cinderella, Scarlet is an original retelling of the story of Little Red Riding Hood, following the story of a girl named Scarlet, who is somehow connected to the lost princess of Luna (a country on the moon). But even Scarlet doesn’t understand how she is connected to the lost Princess Selene. Scarlet continues the storyline of Cinder while introducing new characters that get caught up in Cinder’s quest to save earth from the evil queen of Luna.
In the Cress, the third book of the series, Meyer introduces another fairytale to weave into her overarching story: Rapunzel. Cress is the story of a girl named Crescent, or Cress, who lives imprisoned in a satellite orbiting earth. After having very little to keep her occupied for the last several years, Cress has become an expert hacker, a skill which her mother figure/captor utilizes as the evil Lunar queen tries to hunt down Cinder. But Cress’ hacking skills have allowed her to learn more about Cinder and her friends than anyone else, and she decides to try to help them. But before she can help them, they must help her. So Cinder, and the friends she picked up in book 2, set out to rescue Cress. Things don’t go as planned and now Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress must all fight to survive, reunite, and overthrow an evil queen.
I think the greatest charm of Meyer’s books are the creative adaptation of the fairytales—Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Rapunzel. Set in Meyer’s new version of earth, each story has clever reinventions. But Meyer honors the original fairytales in old and new ways, like Rapunzel wandering in the desert and her prince/hero being blinded. Meyer’s balance of the original fairytale and her new telling of it make each book entertaining and fun to read.
One issue with Cress that didn’t exist with Cinder is that as the third book, I expected more to be happening plot wise. While I enjoyed Scarlet and the new characters it introduced, the book felt like a tangent from the main storyline introduced in Cinder. With Cress, the plot seemed to return to the main story, but then it seemed to stall. Stuff happened in the book, characters were separated and faced different obstacles, but as far as the main plot point of overthrowing the evil queen, almost no progress was made. So while I enjoyed Cress, and Scarlet for that matter, the plot could have pressed forward a little more. However, I will eagerly await the next book in the series, Winter, scheduled to come out in 2015, and hopefully then the plot will come to a climax and be resolved.