Thursday, February 6, 2014
By Marissa Meyer
Feiwel and Friends, 2014
Reviewed from galley
Audience: Ages 14 and up
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Cress has been locked away in a satellite running technological defense for the Lunar army for seven years. She sees the feeds from Earth and honestly feels for the earthlings and their society as Queen Levana prepares to wed Emperor Kaito and take over the world. So, instead of finding the fugitives Cinder and Thorne to turn them over to Luna, she wants to help them. But a strange set of circumstances leads to an ambush that lands Cress stranded in the desert with Thorne, Scarlet abducted by Luna official Sybil Mira, and Cinder, Thorne, and Wolf with a Luna guard flying them to Africa. Cinder must come up with a plan to stop the royal wedding and instate herself as the rightful queen of Luna if there is any chance of survival, but with this unusual group, is that even possible?
If you haven't read Cinder or Scarlet, then stop. These books must be read in order and there will be spoilers for both previous books, and maybe for this one too.
Like the previous two books, Cress is based on a fairy tale, Rapunzel to be specific. Cress was given up as a child, locked in the satellite and her hair has grown to cumbersome lengths. She dreams of a prince, namely Thorne, taking her away, but when he does manage to rescue her, he's blinded in the process. That's right, Rapunzel's prince is blinded--funny how Disney forgot about that plot point.
And that's where the Rapunzel story ends and the rest picks up. I'm personally amazed at how Meyer uses the fairy tale plot to get started, then just goes on from there, weaving these characters together in a way that makes you forget you ever started with a fairy tale retelling.
Even though Cress was told from several different points of view (Cinder, Cress, Scarlet, Dr. Edelstein, Emperor Kai), the narrator's voice is always clear, so readers don't forget where they are. There are some shocking scenes in Cress, mostly to do with Scarlet's imprisonment on Luna, but also about Cinder's humanity, and Cress' parentage. The whole package just begs to be read quickly, yet savored because the plot is full, but there are smaller events that deserve just as much attention.
I received a galley of Cress at ALA and I waited until this winter to read it. Then it took me weeks to really get into. Not because it's bad, but because I didn't have the attention span to devote hours to reading it at a time. This book is a major time suck because you become so involved in the plot that you forget about life in general.
If you've read and loved Cinder and Scarlet, then you must already be dying to get your hands on Cress. Now we'll have another long year until Winter is released. But remember, Dreams of Gods and Monsters is out in April!