Sunday, February 16, 2014

Cress Improves an Already Great Series!

Cinder's revelations and efforts to save a world that doesn't even see her as human have made her one of the greatest heroines of the genre. The addition of Scarlet only added to that dynamic. In Marissa Meyer's third book of The Lunar Chronicles, Cress, Crescent (Cress), brings a little Rapunzel and one more amazing character to this story. 

Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet, and Wolf escaped from Earth, but all are wanted. With the Earthens after them for "threatening" emperor Kai and the Lunars after them because Queen Levana suspects Cinder isn't just a lowly cyborg: she is the missing Lunar princess who could final dethrone Levana. When they make contact with a hacker imprisoned in a satellite, they realize their luck at remaining hidden in the sky isn't luck after all. Cress has been making sure no one could find them. Even though they can't risk being detected by Levana's soldiers, they also can't live with themselves and leave Cress in her isolated prison in space. Against everyone's better judgement, they attempt to rescue the girl with the long cresses. 

The attempt goes horribly wrong, leaving Wolf critically injured, Thorne and Cress hurtling toward space in the satellite, and Scarlet captured by the Queen's most deadly servant, Sybil. While their focus should be on stopping Levana from going through with her blackmail marriage to Kai, instead they are scattered across the universe just trying to survive. With the threat of war (or rather massacre) if Kai doesn't marry Levana and make her empress, he is making a sacrifice for his people he knows will be deadly. Not marrying Levana would keep the antidote for the plague from his people, so Kai will do anything he can to get treatment for the people of Earth, even if it means marrying the one woman he despises the most. Meanwhile, all he can think about is Cinder. While he knows Lunars have the ability to manipulate Earthen minds, he can't stop thinking about her. What he doesn't know is that Cinder is doing everything she can to save Kai and the people of Earth... even if saving the world comes at a great, great cost. 

I am not sure how Meyer came up with such a simple concept but managed to create such an incredible and complex story, but boy, am I glad she did. This series just gets better and better as it goes on, and I mourn the day it finally ends (while simultaneously dying to get my hands on the final book!). First, the twist this story took with Cress was truly ingenious. Making the Rapunzel character a girl trapped in a satellite, helping the rebel forces? Brilliant! Cress appeared to be such an innocent, delicate character, but when she was thrust from her safe, but stifling, prison, she truly rose to the occasion to match the other heroines of this tale. Cress does not disappoint! Just like Scarlet and Cinder were very different form one another but still phenomenal heroines, Cress brought a third and unique dynamic to the group but did so in a way that makes you love these women even more! I really love how this story has great and loyal male leads (Thorne being the snarky but charming version, Wolf the loyal to a fault version, and Kai the bravest emperor possible), right next to these amazing female leads. Sometimes when you have strong female characters, the male characters tend to get lost behind their power, but in this story, Meyer matched her heroines with the perfect heroes. There is absolutely nothing I would change about these characters. I think they represent different types of people, but all people we would be proud to call leaders. It is a true testament to the readers that there is no cookie-cutter template for being a good person. There are many ways to do brave, kind, phenomenal things in your life (or in the universe!) and still be you, which is a message I think we all want to infiltrate our next generation!

This is a supreme example of science fiction, supernatural, and fairy tale literature all woven into one. While the premise sounds strange, I find myself daring people (skeptics) to read the first book and not get hooked. I know that is how I got over my own initial skepticism! And I think that is what this story requires of its readers- a little leap of faith. It is so new and unfamiliar, that some readers would hesitate before giving it a chance (I know I did!). But once they do, they will be as blown away as the rest of the world has been. So convince your adult or young adult readers to give this story a try, and if your powers of persuasion are good enough, you will find them as hooked as we have all become. It isn't easy to weave together so many different elements into one book, but Meyer makes it look effortless! 

No comments:

Post a Comment