SOURCE: ARC loan from friend who won it from author
PUBLISHER: Feiwel & Friends
LENGTH: 464 pages
SUMMARY: Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
REVIEW: While continuing Cinder and Kai’s story, the book also delves into Cinder’s creation as a Cyborg as well as giving more insight into the tension between the Lunar colony and Earth. The conflict created between Cinder and Kai in the first book rings true in the second with both characters realistically missing the other but steadfastly committed to their current course. Queen Levana and her minions seek to destroy earth and at no other time has Earth posed such a threat as now that Cinder is part of the equation. Readers will still hate Queen Levana and root for Cinder and Kai to figure out a way to defeat her, even if they must do it separately. It is good to have Iko back and the conflict between Cinder and her adoptive family intensifies as we find out more about how Cinder came to live with them.
The introduction of Scarlet and Wolf is what really makes reading it a multi-layered experience instead of just a linear continuation of the first book. As readers discover Scarlet’s connection to Cinder and why her and her grandmother’s stories are important to the book, they will come to appreciate the complex conflict Meyer has created. Scarlet will undoubtedly play a key role in the resolution of the conflict and Wolf’s competing loyalties will keep readers guessing. Wolf and Scarlet are drawn into Cinder and Kai’s personal and political struggle. Scarlet must trust Wolf despite his earlier duplicity if she is to survive and they must all trust their instincts if they are to succeed in uniting Earth and bringing out Levana’s defeat.
READERS: The Lunar Chronicles books will appeal to fans of science fiction and post apocalyptic fiction. There is a healthy serving of action with a sprinkling of relationship drama to keep all readers happy. Fans of classics will appreciate the links to traditional fairy tales with a decidely technological twist. Sophisticated middle grade readers will enjoy the story but it may be too complex for readers who struggle with length or plot complexity.
OTHER TITLES: Readers who enjoy this book might also enjoy Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, The Looking Glass Wars book by Frank Beddor, or The Jenna Fox books by Mary E. Pearson.