In the third installment of Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, we are introduced to Cress, an orphan hacker trapped on a satellite orbiting Earth. She is forced to spy on Earth for Queen Levana, and has now been tasked with tracking down the fugitive cyborg, Cinder, and her accomplice, Captain Thorne. When Cinder and her group learn about Cress and her hacker abilities, they plan to rescue her and use her skills to invade Levana’s Lunar base and stop the impending wedding between Prince Kai and the evil Lunar queen. The rescue mission goes awry, the group is splintered, with Cress and Thorne stranded on Earth, Scarlet captured by Levana’s agents, and Cinder left to deal with Wolf, who is almost uncontrollable in his grief over Scarlet’s capture. Cinder has to figure out how to reunite the group of rebels, get them into Levana’s headquarters, and stop both the wedding and the impending war between Earth and Luna.
This was another audiobook that I listened to while packing for our move. As with the other two installments of the Lunar Chronicles, Meyer takes the skeleton of a familiar fairy tale-in this case Rapunzel- and builds a first-class science fiction tale that makes a wonderful addition to the story the author is weaving.
All of Meyer’s characters are individuals, with their own personalities and flaws. Her females are strong and able to fend for themselves, but they are not perfect, nor are they simply window-dressing. Cress is delightfully naive for her age. Her isolation has given her a rather skewed view of the world, and she idealizes Earth, what it must be like to live there, and particularly the rougish Captain Thorne. When those ideals are cracked, Cress reacts but also learns and grows.
The action moves along well, with very few slow spots. Some questions are answered, some of the overall story is filled in, and more detail about Cinder’s heritage is revealed. And yet, enough is left untold that I was left eager to read the next installment.
Anyone who enjoys retelling of fairy tales with a completely original twist to each story would likely be satisfied with the Lunar Chronicles.
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