Narrator: Rebecca Soler
The Lunar Chronicles book #2
(book #1 - my review)
The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...
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.
Wow! I knew it would be good, but still wasn't expecting all the excitement and adventure that awaited me. Oh Ms. Meyer. I don't know how you so skillfully combine science fiction with fairy tale re-tellings, but I am completely in awe! Cinder's story was wonderful, a great beginning. But Scarlet's story? Definitely a big step up! More action, more conflict, and a little more violence. (But nothing truly gory, thank goodness. It's not glossed over, yet it's not dwelt upon either.) Plus more fun and more romance and so much more to love!
We smoothly slide into Scarlet's story and find out pretty quickly that she is different than Cinder used to be. Not content to stay on the sidelines, she throws herself completely into trying to find her missing grandmother. Willing to do whatever it takes, even accept help from Wolf although she's unsure if she can trust him or not. Off they go into an adventure far beyond what either of them ever imagined. Through forests and cities, by train and on foot, not knowing who to trust, with worry and fear dogging their every step, and even a little romance blooming in the midst of all the stress. Basically, I loved Scarlet! She's strong and fierce and loyal, and never gave up no matter what. Always, always determined to care for those she loves. And Wolf? He's pretty awesome too. And he is certainly just as fierce as Scarlet (considering he's a street fighter, he kinda has to be!). As much as I loved Cinder, Scarlet is now giving her a good run for her money on my favorites list. :)
Speaking of Cinder, breaking out of prison isn't easy. This was one spot where I felt the pacing wasn't quite as strong as Scarlet's portion of the story, at least in the beginning. It took Cinder way longer to get out of prison and on her way than I was expecting. I kept thinking things would move a little quicker. But nonetheless, she does make it out and with a fellow escapee by her side. Thorne was amusing; he certainly added a little levity to the goings on. Especially when things were getting a little sticky! And Cinder herself, now knowing who she really is, would love some time to think things through. Alas, no such time exists. Once out of prison, it is full speed ahead with no downtime! But the very best part? Iko's back!!!! I love that "little" android. Nothing better happen to her in future books, Ms. Meyer! Just saying. ;)
With all the happenings and all the multiple point-of-views, it seems like it could get a little confusing. But once again Ms. Meyer shows her skill and interweaves all the threads beautifully. I had no problem picking back up with each person and remembering what was happening in their portion of the story. Another thing I appreciated is that, like Cinder, there wasn't this huge cliffhanger. Yes, the story will continue, and yes, there are lots of unanswered questions. But the big conflict of this installment has pretty much ended (at least for now) and things are left in a relatively good spot.
I also continue to be amazed at the narrator of these audiobooks. Ms. Soler does a wonderful job with all the voice changes and inflections. She was the number one reason I decided to listen to the audio version. I'm positive I would love this series anyway, but listening to her just makes it all the more fun! I truly hope she continues narrating the rest of the series.
If you've read Cinder and enjoyed it, then read this one quickly! (And come back here and gush about it with me. ;) If you haven't read Cinder, then what on earth are you waiting for? Go and read it right now, then read this one. Then anxiously await February 2014 along with all the rest of us! :D
She sighed, annoyed at her restlessness. "So," she said, disrupting Wolf in another backward glance. "Who would win in a fight—you or a pack of wolves?"
He frowned at her, all seriousness. "Depends," he said slowly, like he was trying to figure out her motive for asking. "How big is the pack?"
"I don’t know, what’s normal? Six?"
"I could win against six," he said. "Any more than that and it could be a close call."
Scarlet smirked. "You’re not in danger of low self-esteem, at least."
"What do you mean?"
"Nothing at all." She kicked a stone from their path. "How about you and … a lion?"
"A cat? Don’t insult me."
She laughed, the sound sharp and surprising. "How about a bear?"
"Why, do you see one out there?"
"Not yet, but I want to be prepared in case I have to rescue you."
The smile she’d been waiting for warmed his face, a glint of white teeth flashing. "I’m not sure. I’ve never had to fight a bear before."