My rating: 4 of 5 stars
One phrase comes to mind after finishing Cress, the third book in Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series: "balancing act." While each book is Meyer's take on traditional fairy tales such as Cinderella and Rapunzel, each book also connects those characters in a larger story. By the time we get to Cress, we have Cinderella and her Prince, Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, Rapunzel and her Prince, plus their associated collection of stepmothers, witches, and sidekicks. In less skilled hands, that could easily become a tangled mess (pun intended) rather than weaving together multiple storylines for one fast-paced novel.
I did find this one faster paced than Scarlet (hence the higher rating). Unlike Scarlet, it seemed to end on more of a cliffhanger, making me excited to read the next book (Winter), which, sadly, does not come out until 2015.
Like the other novels, Meyer's spin on the Rapunzel tale is clever without trying too hard to be clever. We have
- a girl with super-long hair
- who is trapped in a "tower"
- by a witch
- rescued by a prince
Also, about two-thirds of the way through this book, a couple of other fairy tale items clicked in my head that Meyer has been setting up, but not explicitly stated yet. Specifically, (view spoiler)[the fairy tale identity of Queen Luna and Princess Winter, how they fit into the fairy tale universe. Perhaps everyone else already knew they are Snow White and the Evil (jealous, vain) Queen, plus the Huntsman, and I'm just a little slow. Like I said, it was before Winter was really mentioned, but suddenly it all fell into place. (hide spoiler)] Well done on that, Meyer! It's not often that I don't see such things coming.
I'm now just sad that I have to wait another year to see how things turn out.
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