Meyer, Marissa. Cress. New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2014. Print.
image from: www.marissameyer.com
This is the third installment of The Lunar Chronicles. In Cress, we meet Crescent Moon (Rapunzel) who is kept in a satellite by Queen Levana. All of the characters from the first two books are here as well. Hunky Captain Thorne (who reminds me of Han Solo) provides strength and wisdom. Wolf is moody and fighting being controlled by Cinder and the queen. Iko is precious. She finally gets "out" of the ship and into a very helpful body form. Scarlet's arc of the story sets up the final chronicle.
One thing I really enjoyed about this installment was how the story was told. As one thing was happening in a place, the next chapter would propel the story by focusing on a different character (or more) and what was happening at their location. It reminded me a little of leap frog.
There are a few "reveals" in this book, that I don't want to spoil, but I will say that when the fourth book came out, I thought the title was about a season, not a character. Maybe this was a detail I just forgot in the first two books. Princess Winter is Queen Levana's stepdaughter (Meyer 321).
Meyer is retelling fairy tales, yet she is also showing universal, timeless characters and themes. For example, she writes about the division between humans and cyborgs. When I read:
For years people had been complaining about the rising population of cyborgs, many of whom received their surgeries at the hands of taxpayers.
Cyborgs were too smart, people had complained. They were cheating the average man out of his wages.
Cyborgs were too skilled. They were taking jobs away from hardworking, average citizens.
Cyborgs were too strong. They shouldn't be allowed to compete in sporting events with regular people. It gave them an unfair advantage (Meyer 306).I marked this because I know that throughout history, the word "cyborg" has been replaced by almost all ethnic groups.
Another timeless theme Meyer uses in this story is human trafficking. Dr. Erland/Dr. Darnel was collecting blood from Lunar shells. He had to buy these shells when true volunteers were unavailable. His experiment, albeit to find a cure for the letumosis disease, cost many lives. Dr. Erland is haunted by his past, which is explained and a revelation is made in Chapter 37. Dr. Erland also makes a very important connection and reveals it to Cinder in Chapter 53. I think MUCH more of this discussion will show up in the fourth book.