Cress is the third installment in The Lunar Chronicles. The series picks up fairy tales and drops them into futuristic, science fiction settings:
Cinderella becomes a cyborg in a city slowly being swallowed by a pandemic. Little Red Riding Hood becomes a spaceship pilot chasing her grandmother’s military secrets. In this latest novel, Rapunzel is a prisoner in a satellite, practicing espionage for her captors while she dreams of escape to Earth. All of them are trying to keep the Evil Queen of the Moon from controlling the Earth.
Without giving anyway spoilers for those who haven’t read books two and three, I can only say two things:
1) This was not my favorite book of the series, but the gap between it and the other two was small. I simply didn’t buy into the main love story as much as I would have liked.
2) Based on the introductions of two new characters in Cress, I am extremely excited to read their story in the concluding novel, Winter due out this November. I expect to start wandering around the house murmuring “Winter is coming” with a delighted grin on my face at any moment.
My sister read and enjoyed this book years ago. It’s a fairytale retelling that includes heroic knitting, so if you know her, it’s no surprise that she picked it up. But this week, she sneakily slid it toward me with a quiet, “If you want to…”
The author, according to the interview in the back of the book, wrote it because she wanted someone to explain to her why in the world The Twelve Dancing Princesses would continue to dance night after night after night after night, when the sort of dancing that wore out shoes in a matter of hours must have hurt their feet. What she gave us was a book with not one, but twelve damsels in distress who were clever, confident, and loveable.
The story follows the eldest princess, who at eighteen, understands their curse better than the others. Her thoughts kept me bound to the book, and I loved her for her patience and her determination. I liked her relationship with her father, and the very subtle comments on victimization that were implied in their conversations. And I liked her gardener, who loved her and loved those she loved by extension.
And of course, I am thrilled that the day was saved by improvised knitting projects.
This is not the best book that I have ever read, nor has it really worked its way onto my list of favorite books, but I would recommend it to anyone without hesitation.