In a move totally out of character, I’ve been reading fairytales. Well, maybe it’s not so out of character…or out of character at all… Back to the Lunar Chronicles! Cress is book 3 of this futuristic retelling of fairytales that started with Cinderella as a cyborg in New Beijing, and the Earthen territories are teetering on the edge of war with the Moon (Lunars). Cinder is also a lunar lost princess. In Scarlett, it’s about Red Riding Hood, a French girl who’s grandmother goes missing, and her only help is a street fighter called Wolf. They all become friends and hobble off in a stolen spaceship at the end of book 2. Book 3 is Rapunzel. Book 4 is Snow White. I borrowed this from the Library.
Cress has lived most of her life in a satellite, spying on the Earthen leaders for Queen Levana of Lunar. She dreams of being on Earth, of experiencing life, of falling in love. Levana doesn’t realise that Cress has been helping Cinder and her motley crew evade capture, and they don’t really know either…
“Her satellite made one full orbit around Planet Earth every sixteen hours. It was a prison that came with an endlessly breathtaking view— vast blue oceans and swirling clouds and sunrises that set half the world on fire.”
Cinder – Marissa Meyer
Cress is sweet. She’s sixteen years old and the only company she has in her satellite is her ten year old self recorded as an AI, and the monthly supplies visit from her Mistress. She watches the feeds of planet Earth, all the shows and the living too. She daydreams and fantasises about being a part of it. In fact, her coping method for pretty much everything is to pretend she is somewhere else. She is in love with Thorne’s (a pilot Cinder picked up on her escape from prison, incredibly vain) profile and fantasises about meeting him. When she does it doesn’t go to plan. Her dreamed romance is really quite irritating sometimes. Like I get she’s sixteen and he is the first man she’s ever met, and he gets that, but she is a bit dewy eyed. At least Scarlett can hold her own in a fight (maybe not against Wolf) .
There is an interesting bit where the crew are reminded that Cress might have no social skills, because she’s been alone so long – and when it is just Cress and Thorne, he tries to help where he can (albeit in a brusque and potentially off-putting way). I liked that touch, and also how Cress is delighted by absolutely everything – sand! Sky! The constellations are wrong! Potatoes! It’s genuinely quite sweet, she’s lived her life in captivity and she absolutely marvels at the world she has her feet on.
Cress is 522 pages, which objectively is far from the longest book I’ve read – but there was a point where I had to put the book down and make a cup of tea because of how much I had left to read. It wasn’t quite as…I don’t know… enaging as the others. Cress is an expert hacker, and Thorne is always a laugh (His characters purpose is comic relief) but as more people are added the narrative needs to be split more ways, and it gets a bit long-winded. I just checked how long part four is going to be, and Winter is 832 pages! I like the split narrative, and how the sections are told through different people’s eyes, but it’s getting quite long now – everything takes so much time!
Also, is all the romance absolutely necessary? – Wait, I just remembered I’m reading fairytales retellings so please ignore that question – romance is necessary to the plot. personally I think I’d enjoy them more if they were focussed more on the revolution rather than the boyfriends. That being said, I am reading a book designed for mid-teens. As far as plots go, it’s still good, and 832 pages notwithstandaing, if Winter comes into circulation at the library, I will read it – but I think I liked Cress a little less than the second book in the series, if only for the long-winded feeling going on.
I gave this 3* on Goodreads because the goodreads systems wouldn’t accept 3.5* – the half is because I did enjoy it, and its a good addition to the series, but it isn’t as amazing as the first two books and I can’t stop myself from comparing.