Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.
This is a loose retelling of Rapunzel. Cress was placed in a satellite when she was a child, and, since then, she’d never had a haircut. So, her hair is very long, and it’s *everywhere*. It’s how I imagined Rapunzel’s hair would be in the fairy tale, except she always kept it tamed (in good fairy tale form).
The main difference in Cress is that she’s not locked in a tower and blind to the rest of the world. Cress is in a satellite, and has hacked into every system she can find. She knows exactly what’s going on in the world and she wants to be a part of it. She doesn’t wait to be rescued—instead, she rescues herself. She just needs a ride in order to do it. I liked that.
The relationship that develops between Cress and Thorne is predictable, but enjoyable. And I really like that Thorne didn’t ‘change’ at the end. So many YA stories have the hot-jerk-boyfriend suddenly change and become not-a-jerk by the end so that the protagonist can live happily ever after with him. That drives me crazy. Thorne isn’t the hot-jerk-boyfriend type, but he has a reputation of being something of a player. Cress has a crush on him, but that crush doesn’t develop into insta-love. It takes a more realistic path. I really liked that.
The action is just as fun and engaging as previous books. Cinder’s doubts in herself are realistic and fitting, and her choices fit her age and experience. I’m very much looking forward to the next book, which appears to be a retelling of Snow White.