Cress is the third book in the Lunar Chronicles series, which takes place on a future earth ravaged by a terrible plague. The moon has been colonized for generations, and Lunars have developed a gift that allows them to control people’s thoughts. Only “Shells,” Lunars born without the Lunar gift, are immune. But it is dangerous to be a Shell. Most are taken from their parents and put to death shortly after birth. Cress is a Shell who has grown up as a prisoner in a satellite orbiting earth, forced to work as a hacker for her “Mistress,” the right hand of the evil Lunar Queen Levana. There is unrest between Earth and Luna, and war is almost certain. Cress might have the knowledge and skills to help stop it. She joins forces with Cinder, a cyborg mechanic on the run from the law, and Scarlet, a pilot. Together, can they defeat Queen Levana and stop the impending war?
The Lunar Chronicles is refreshingly different from many young adult series that have come out in recent years. There is no love triangle. In fact, while there is a love story, it’s not the primary focus of the series. The Lunar Chronicles is not a trilogy. There is at least one more book planned, and if it is anything like the first three books in the series it will be fabulous. It takes place in a dystopian future, similar to Hunger Games, so Suzanne Collins’ fans might find a new favorite in the Lunar Chronicles. Each book in the series is a retelling of a fairy tale. Cinder (#1) is a version of Cinderella, Scarlet (#2) is Little Red Riding Hood, and Cress (#3) is Rapunzel. Because of the fairy tale theme, the series may appeal to people who read Gail Carson Levine’s fairytale adaptations as children, or fans of T.V. series like Once Upon a Time.
The plot was exciting, with a lot of action and just enough romance. The characters are well-drawn, and it’s easy to get attached to them. The setting, planet Earth at an undetermined point in the future, is cleverly imagined which makes the series a lot of fun to read. I recommend this to young adults and fans of science fiction and adventure stories.