CW: Ableist Slurs
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. 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.
“I just think we shouldn’t judge her, or anyone, without trying to understand them first. That maybe we should get the full story before jumping to conclusions. ”
I loved Cinder when I read it last year (I did reread this recently!), but despite being 5 stars, the book didn’t quite make it unto my Best Of list for 2017. I still love the book profoundly, but this sequel … it was A LOT better than book 1 and a huge improvement in terms of both plots and more perspectives. I cannot even express how surprised I was that Scarlet turned out to be even better than Cinder and as a book provided a lot more surprising twists and turns. I can only hope that the following books are just as good!
💕 I loved ALL the new characters! We got even more characters than in the first book, which really improved the story, as we got to see multiple perspectives. This book definitely got better with even more nuanced, great characters that I grew to love. Now let’s talk about my three new faves!
“But her grandmother had never suggested she could think the same of Scarlet. You’ll be fine, she always said, after a skinned knee, after a broken arm, after her first youthful heartbreak. You’ll be fine, because you’re strong, like me.”
I love my fierce Redhead so much! I do love Cinder, but I think I like Scarlet even more. Generally, I adored her devotion to finding her grandmother and I loved their relationship in general. They are very close and it broke my heart how difficult things were for them. Despite everything going on, Scarlet is never giving up, she’s pretty self-reliable and determined to do what she has to in order to save her loved ones. She definitely has a temper, which I loved, because it showed her inner strength and I love characters who have a bit of spice. I mean she’s totally the alpha female 😉 (if you’ve read the book, you know what I mean). During her time in search of her grandmother Scarlet got even stronger and unraveled a lot of secrets.
“I lied to you about a lot of things….but I meant every apology.”
Uhm yes this is my poor baby, someone needs to give him a hug right now! I knew immediately that I would like Wolf, as he fascinated me from the very beginning of the book. He’s a very complex character with many faces to him, which makes me love him even more than Thorne. Despite being bloodthirsty and driven by instincts because of well … spoilers, he’s also kind and shy, which made for a very interesting contrast. I couldn’t help but welcome Wolf in my heart, as he’s too precious. I mean he’s confused about tomatoes and general human life. It’s very easy to forget that he’s an incredibly good and ruthless fighter, because sometimes I just got the urge to wrap him in a blanket and protect him.
“He gaped at the controls. “Why is my ship talking back to me?”
Yes hello, of course I liked the snarky character, that drove everyone else to despair. Throne perfectly fits into my ‘favorite characters’ scheme. He’s charismatic, really arrogant, thinks he’s funny and has a morally grey side to him. After all he is a criminal from the US, who meets Cinder in prison so. Generally, I loved reading about him, because our dear ‘Captain’ is super fun to watch, he is the kind of arrogant asshole character you actually root for, because he has some good sides to him as well. In general, he’s really flirty and self-confident, we’ll see how that will develop. I love him okay, he’s the kind of sassy character that owns my heart.
💕 Scarlet x Wolf are my new OTP ♥
“But you’re the only one, Scarlet. You’ll always be the only one.”
The retelling – like with Cinder – was on point, Meyer literally always makes this aspect so unique and perfectly fitting within her new world! And I mean like … Red Riding Hood falling for the Big Bad Wolf. I also have to say that … this is like the only time ever insta love worked for me WHAT IS HAPPENING? However, Scarlet and Wolf profoundly go to know each other and had great chemistry! It definitely felt like more time had passed during their travels and I didn’t get any annoying co-dependency, ‘we’re suddenly soulmates’ vibe from them. The end also suggests more work for their relationship and them figuring out how they work as a couple together, which I liked.
“We met less than a week ago and in that time I’ve done nothing but lie and cheat and betray you. I know. But if you give me a chance…all I want is to protect you. To be near you. For as long as I’m able.”
Generally they are sweet and heartbreaking I LOVE MY BBYS. Scarlet starts out wary with him, kind of hating him, but then he offers to help her and they start working together. They are so precious together! Wolf is always trying to protect her and despite being pretty wolfish, he was never controlling or alpha male like but genuinely concerned for her Him being so shy and trying to withdrawn from her, but not being able to stop developing feelings for her AAAH. I love them!!! I especially loved the ending, where they talk openly. I know a lot of things happened where he lied but in the end Wolf gave up everything to save her and he did try to warn her secretly. He was struggling with his inner loyalties and owned up for what he did (see above). Both are still developing and taking things slowly!
💕 Thorne and Cinder’s banter was so funny! Those two have the best friendship and the best banter omg, I laughed so many times during their chapters it was great and refreshing! They are totally those kinds of friends who bicker, but secretly care about each other (in a platonic way of course). That’s why I was very happy to see their perspective as well, it never failed to amuse me and make me chuckle.
Quotes that made me laugh
- “A relieved grin filled up Thorne’s face. “We’re having another moment, aren’t we?” “If by a moment, you mean me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, then I guess we are.”
- “A captain always knows where his ship is. It’s like a psychic bond.” “If only we had a captain here.”
- “But I’m a wanted fugitive, like Cinder.” Thorne continued. “They do realise I’m missing, don’t they?” “Maybe they’re grateful,” Cinder muttered.”
- “I promise not to make fun of your boyfriend anymore.” “He’s not my boyfriend!”
- “”Right, my life is a real dream come true.” Thorne wiggled his eyebrow. “Maybe not, but at least dreamy Prince Kai knows your name.”
- “Wherarewe?” Thorne muttered. “Oh, you’re awake already,” said Cinder, returning with salve and gauze. “I was hoping you’d stay knocked out awhile longer. The peace and quiet was a pleasant change.”
“Cinder has a bit of crush on him”, Thorne stage-whispered. “Don’t we all?” said Iko.”
💕 Cinder is struggling & developing! I loved seeing her again, despite her not being my fave character anymore, because I did like our new characters a bit more. However, I loved seeing Cinder’s character development – her struggling with her new powers that surface and make her feel guilty for using them on others. She fled rather than facing that she was the heir and I liked that later with Kai’s announcement (rip out my heart) that she can no longer hide, that she has to fight and win back her guy. I just need to see her and him happy okay?? I’m massively rooting for Cinder and I’m so hoping for a happy ending for her, she definitely deserves it!
💕 IKO, I love that android. I’m so so glad to have her and her comments back, she’s so hilarious! Definitely the best android sidekick that we could have wished for – Iko needs the new body that she dreamed of asap. I still LOVE Cinder and her friendship, it was so good to see them back together!
“Scarlet and Wolf are saying gushy things in the galley,” Iko said. “Normally I like gushy things, but it’s different when its real people. I prefer the net dramas.”
💕 Amazing Twists and great plotlines! With the wolves and new characters coming into view, we were diving deeper into the world, which I was a huge fan of. It was just the right amount of new information to not feel overwhelming. Bit by bit we were unraveling more background information on Cinder and how that connects to Scarlet’s story – I loved that everything was connected in a way. We also had lots of good plot twists, some more obvious than others, but a lot better done than in the first book, where they were so easy to guess. Overall, Scarlet was a huge step-up with the plot, we get to see more perspectives and that makes the story very interesting, we are not as limited as in the first book!
“Kai neared his desk again, seeing that the fugitive’s profile had been transferred to the screen. His frown deepened. Perhaps not dangerous, but young and inarguably good-looking. His prison photo showed him flippantly winking at the camera. Kai hated him immediately.”
💕 Additionally: Please give Kai a break, my poor cinnamon roll 😦 He is suffering so much, my boy does not deserve this, why oh why? Everything is difficult for him and Kai just is not allowed to catch a break, ever. HE STILL CARES FOR CINDER but tries to ignore it, despite hoping that they will never find her – why do you hurt my heart like that???
- Kai: I don’t feel anything for her anymore, she manipulated me
- Me: OMG this is bullshit and you know it!
Kai desperately needs a hug, please let him be part of Team Space and get him away from Levana!! But first more suffering on the horizon for him *slams hand unto table* I’m so mad that my poor Kai must suffer like that.
IN CONCLUSION: Scarlet was a huge step up from Cinder and made me fall in love with the world of The Lunar Chronicles even more! We got to see more perspectives from amazing characters that really added something to the story and made me enjoy this sequel a lot more than the first book. Furthermore, the plot was better developed and left me very satisfied and engaged!
Have you read the Lunar Chronicles? If so tell me what your favorite book is! 💕