Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher/Year: Square Fish 2/4/14
Length: 512 Pages
Series: Lunar Chronicles #2
Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison—even though she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive if she does—in this second installment from Marissa Meyer.
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.
Loved it! I’m really a fan of how Ms. Meyer writes – we get a sequel to a well written first installment of the series, and it’s full of surprises and adds depth to the series. When we left off in Cinder, book 1, Cinder was imprisoned after the chaos that ensued at the ball when she went to warn Prince Kai of what Queen Levana was planning – if he were to accept the marriage deal. Of course things went from bad to worse, and Cinder ended up losing her cyborg foot, damaging her hand, and being captured.
We pick up in book 2 when Cinder’s still in jail, Dr Erland comes to her rescue in a sense with a new foot and hand that are much more advanced and equipped to help her in the future, as well as with a plan for escape – as he informs her that he’s going to flee to Africa and she should follow. He also drops the bomb on her that she’s the long lost (and thought to be dead) Princess Selene and that people had gone to great lengths to ensure that she was hidden and never discovered.
So what we have here is the quest to escape from jail, and discovery of why and how she was hidden as well as figuring out a way to help over come the fear and death that Queen Levana and the Lunars pose. In her escape, Cinder encounters ‘Captain’ Carswell who helps her by providing his stolen ship and assistance through their travels.
What’s nice to this story is that there’s a parallel story going on – with Michelle Benoit going missing in Rieux France – halfway across the world and her grand-daughter Scarlet is left to pick up the pieces and really figure out what’s happened to her ‘grand-mere’ since she doesn’t believe that Michelle just disappeared from her own reasons. This is where the story takes a nice twist…and i have to say that it took me a few minutes to follow that book 1 was ‘cinderella’ and book 2 is ‘Little Red Riding Hood’
In this parallel story, Scarlet is reunited in a sense with her father, whom she has no relationship with, after he’s been returned to the family estate, being released from his captors,whom we then learn have Michelle. This is where the story gets interesting. Scarlet’s father is firm in the sense that the captors think that Michelle is hiding something, and Scarlet can’t imagine what that could be.
At the same time, Scarlet has crossed paths with a street fighter named Wolf who plays an interesting role in the whole story as well, given that there is a nice twist that we learn about him as the story progresses.
It’s only after about 2/3 of the book that paths fully cross – and it’s interesting to see how it all meshes together. We’re taken on a journey with all these characters, wondering who can be trusted, who knows what about whom, and really wondering if Queen Levana will succeed in turning the whole planet into an uproar. We can only assume that she will since she’s just that evil.
The other piece that’s nice about this story is that we still have the underlying story of Kai who has now assumed the role that his father had before his death as Emperor. Kai is forced to continue the search for Cinder in the hopes of saving the planet, yet his heart’s not in it. We see that he’s flip flopping a bit about what’s real and what’s not, and what he wants to believe. It’s pieces like this in a story that keep me engaged since we see him coming of age in a sense, thinking for himself and questioning everything that he knows and is being told.
The question now becomes in book 3 – Cress, who’s going to survive, again who’s on which side, and what will become of those in power. I can’t help but adore the role that Iko plays in this story – taking on new forms and roles to help, and i love the interactions between Scarlet, Wolf, Cinder, Captain and even Kai. I also wonder what Levana knows and what she’s capable of.
Well, good news is that i have book 3 ready to go tonight, and i can’t wait for the next phase of this story.