“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.” – Goodreads
In this second instalment of Marissa Meyer’s “The Lunar Chronicles” series, Cinder, who has recently discovered that she is the missing Lunar Princess Selene, embarks on a journey to France in an attempt to discover more about her past. Meanwhile, we are introduced to a new character, Scarlet, a farmhand who teams up with an unusual ally in a desperate search for her missing grandmother.
The key characters in this novel are Cinder, Thorne, Scarlet and Wolf.
I enjoyed Cinder in this book, I feel that her character was very strong both in terms of depth and her personality. She took charge of a lot of situations in this book and I really enjoyed the way she acted and reacted to other characters and situations throughout. A major improvement from the first book in the series where her character was a little flat for me.
I also enjoyed Thorne’s character, I feel as though he was a brilliant character to challenge and push Cinder. He was written in a way that he complemented her extremely well without any sort of love-story intertwined. He also added a little comedy into the book, a welcome break from the rest of the characters who are all very serious and focused.
Scarlet, I loved, from the start Scarlet’s character really appealed to me. At the very beginning she was set up as a very sympathetic character in the way she reacted to pub-goers making fun of the ‘cyborg girl’ who made a fool of herself, “Scarlet rolled her eyes in disgust”. However, these sympathies did not make her a weak character in the slightest. She was also portrayed as a little bit hot headed, I very much enjoyed moments such as “Scarlet’s fingers twitched with the fantasy of chucking the sandwich as the back of his head”. However, she kind of lost this characteristic towards the end of the book, I would have loved to have seen a few more moments like these further on.
Wolf’s character for me lacked at the beginning, he felt very childlike and I’m not sure if this was intentional but it didn’t feel right. He was supposed to be this scary professional fighter who was very dangerous and the childlike demeanour given to him felt somewhat confusing and out of place. I think the aim here was to create a certain innocence to him, but it was overshot a little.
As Kai and Cinder had no contact whatsoever in this book, their romantic subplot could not be furthered. However, the romantic focus was switched instead to Scarlet and Wolf. I really liked the development of this romance, even though she started developing strong feelings for him in a short space of time, it didn’t feel too insta-lovey. Apart from one moment that felt weird to me. At one point in the book it is being drilled into us that Scarlet doesn’t completely trust Wolf and is even slightly scared/wary of him after seeing him fight but then she reaches over and puts her hand on his leg to stop him from bouncing it. I suppose that this was to start hinting towards a romance between them, but surely if you don’t trust someone and are slightly scared of them, the more natural path would be to ask them to stop bouncing their leg rather than to reach over and stop them from doing it yourself.
The main issues I had with this novel were the odd wording or grammar slip-up. I’m no expert but there were a few sentences I had to re-read a few times to fully understand what the author was trying to get across. Also there were just a few areas of personal preference where things were written in a way that I felt could have been simplified and would have sounded better simplified. For example, “His legs stayed still – for the time, at least-” For the time? For me personally this just doesn’t sound right, I would have replaced this with “for now, at least” or something similar. Again, this is me being picky, but there were a few moments in this book where I had similar thoughts.
There was also a moment where Scarlet said, “Can I controlled?” which obviously makes no sense, it should have been “Can I be controlled?”. Minor errors like this really annoy me but the overall story was good enough that I could overlook it.
One thing that I was happy about in this book was the descriptions, they improved so much for me from the first book and I could really feel the places the story was set in this time. I loved the descriptions of the run-down part of Paris and of the farm.
I am going to be continuing on in this series, I’ve already started actually, and am enjoying the next book even more than this one.
If you’re thinking of starting this series or if your not sure about continuing I personally recommend you do as the characters, plot and writing are all getting better and better for me with each book.
Kindle Edition | 464 pages
Goodreads rating: 4.31 Published: 05/02/2013 | Feiwel and Friends
My rating: 4