This is my review for the third book in the Lunar Chronicles by Merissa Meyer. This book like the previous ones is a fairytale retelling; this one is loosely based on Rapunzel set in the same dystopian world of the previous two books.
While I have previously read Cress reading it with the aim of reviewing it gave me a greater appreciation of the intricate way that Merissa Meyer has not only linked the fairy tales together but allowed them to run side by side in a believable way.
The plot continues from the previous book, allowing a deepening understanding of the problems facing the characters and the world surrounding them.
This is not the first time that we are introduced to Cress, briefly having seen her in the first book Cinder but we officially find more about her in this book. Cress is a very intelligent individual who is an expert in computers, but she is a little quirky. Having spent the majority of her life alone, that is not unexpected. Cress has come up with a number of coping mechanisms to help her keep her sanity some of which may be helpful during this time of social distancing.
During this book we also gain a better appreciation of Captain Thorne and his resilience in the face of adversity. He faces a number of challenges and supports Cress to survive in the dessert, even going without water, and carrying their supplies. While Thorne is still in love with himself Cress brings out a slightly softer side of his character. Which allows the reader to start to relate to his character.
This book also allows a deeper look at Dr Erland, who while he has driven some of the main points of the story we did not know a lot about him. This book explains some of the work that Dr Erland has previously been involved with showing a darker side to the character that previously the reader was unaware of. It helps to illustrate while we may doing as we are requested or told, we still have to follow our morals and values.
This installment of the Lunar Chronicles explores good versus evil and the truth that individuals are not inherently good or bad. In fairytales, that these books are based on a character is automatically a good or a bad person. There are very few fairytale characters who are in the greyscale of good and bad and this book shows that you can be in the middle, such as Captain Thorne. Cress sees Thorne as a hero, based on some of his history, however Thorne does not see himself thusly and it is a lovely to see this in a fairytale retelling.
Another theme in Cress is mental strength. Everyone should be aware how important their own mental health is and this book shows that having a mental strength to carry on regardless of the opposition is very important. As I mentioned above Cress spent a number of years alone and she managed to stay sane with only the three monthly visits from her Mistress. She also utilises her vivid imagination and daydreams to get through challenges she faces that she is not comfortable with. Whether she is pretending to be a soap opera star or an explorer. Occasionally she cannot keep up the illusions but this ability can allow you to reframe difficult situations into something that you believe you can face.
In places Cress was heartbreaking, it drew a few tears to my eyes. But the ending of the book made me feel like I could take on the world which right now is great. Right now people feel helpless but staying at home is keeping others safe and making you a hero.
I am giving this book a solid 5 Stars.
If you have read this please let me know what you thought.