Returning fans of Meyer’s Cinder will gladly sink their teeth into this ambitious, wholly satisfying sequel. Linh Cinder has learned that she is Princess Selene, a Lunar who was supposedly murdered by her treacherous and powerful aunt, Queen Levana, but in fact survived. Meanwhile on Earth, Scarlet Benoit and her former military pilot grandmother, now smalltown farmers in France, have recently become the target of a ruthless pack of wolflike humans who, if they don’t get the information they want, will probably kill them. Meyer’s plot is intricate and elaborate as she leaps between Cinder’s and Scarlet’s narratives, leaving readers anticipating their eventual intersection. Scarlet is a headstrong and loyal heroine, determined to save her grandmother (who has gone missing) while reluctantly falling for the protective but bloodthirsty Wolf, who might have been hired to kill her—or might be in love with her. Meyer portrays each scene with precision and rising tension, leaving readers with another mesmerizing journey. The third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cress, is scheduled for 2014. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
“A great choice for all ages, with strong appeal for both girls and boys, these novels will be read and enjoyed--repeatedly.” VOYA, starred review
“It's another Marissa Meyer roller coaster ride, part science fiction/fantasy, part political machination with a hint of romance. Readers will be pushed into a horrific alternate universe where violence, especially mind manipulation and control, create ethical and life-threatening situations for both teens. With at least one more Lunar Chronicle to come, the suspense continues. And which fairy tale will Meyer morph next?” Booklist, starred review
“Returning fans of Meyer's Cinder will gladly sink their teeth into this ambitious, wholly satisfying sequel.” Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The author has stepped up the intrigue and plot from the first novel, and readers will be eagerly awaiting the next.” School Library Journal
“Further development of this futuristic world plus plenty of action, surprises, and a fast pace will keep readers invested in their journey.” The Horn Book
“The sci-fi elements are stronger than the fairy-tale allusions this time out, but the story remains just as absorbing . . . Readers will be thrilled to discover that this steampunky fairy-tale/sci-fi mashup promises two more installments.” BCCB
Children's Literature - Leah Hanson
Scarlet's grandmother has been missing for more than a week, and no one seems to care. The police have closed the case and the townspeople are convinced that it is just a case of an old woman wandering off, but Scarlet is sure that her grandmother has been kidnapped. Determined to do something about it herself, Scarlet reluctantly joins forces with a mysterious street-fighter named Wolf who seems to have information on the people who have taken her grandmother. Wolf has an uncanny ability to sense danger, is ferociously protective, and most importantly, believes Scarlet when no one else will. But can he truly be trusted? Meanwhile half a world away, Cinder, a cyborg girl who has made some serious political enemies, is trying to escape prison with an unlikely partner, ex-airman Carswell Thorne. Thrown together by fate, the two flee earth for space to give Cinder some time to determine what to do now that she knows she is the missing Lunar princess that the Lunar Queen wants dead. Told in alternating chapters, the two girls' adventures are equally compelling, and slowly but surely they realize that their current situation comes from a tangled past that neither could have ever imagined. Fans of the first installment of the Lunar Chronicles will get their fill of Cinder and Kai and cheer Cinder on as she fights for what (and who) she believes in. But Scarlet and Wolf's star-crossed romance is just as captivating and will have Lunar followers eagerly anticipating what will happen next! Reviewer: Leah Hanson
VOYA - Stacey Hayman
A mere twenty-four hours after Cinder's arrest in New Beijing, eighteen-year-old Scarlet Benoit's adventure begins in the small, rural town of Rieux, France. Her grand-m?re, retired lunar pilot Michelle Benoit, has been missing for two weeks, but the police are dismissing the case as a crazy old lady who ran off. Seriously short-tempered at the best of times, Scarlet starts a bar brawl by defending current netlink sensation, Linh Cinder. Wolf, a street fighter, jumps in to help Scarlet, and they are both kicked out of the tavern. After a shaky start full of half-truths and complete lies, the hunt for clues is underway. In New Beijing, prison escapee Cinder has reasons of her own to be looking for Mrs. Benoit. Can she be found? What are the secrets she holds so tightly? This is another magical tale featuring girls who dig deep to do what needs to be done; guys who assist the girls as needed; an engagingly eclectic group of secondary characters; dangerous intrigue; and super fly technology. This story does include a few violent fights, and the body count rises fairly high by the end, but there are also lighter, more humorous moments for comic relief and hints at romance to come. It is hard to believe this is only the second in a four-part series, with so much action and secrets already provided, but harder still will be the wait for the next book. A great choice for all ages, with strong appeal for both girls and boys, these novels will be read and enjoyedrepeatedly. Reviewer: Stacey Hayman
In Cinder (2012), a cyborg Cinderella falls in love with a futuristic prince, only to lose him to an evil alien queen. At that book’s close, Cinder escapes execution and learns a world-changing secret about her origins. In the series’ second installment, young Scarlet does not yet understand her connection to Cinder, only that her grandmother has gone missing and the police no longer suspect foul play. When a street fighter named Wolf offers to help in the search, Scarlet comes to learn that her grandmother’s past was much more exciting than her present quiet life in the French countryside. With their engaging characters and exquisite world-building, Meyer’s far future–meets–fairytale “Lunar Chronicles” have become best sellers. This fun take on Red Riding Hood (with its sexy wolf) only whets the appetite for more.
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School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Scarlet picks up immediately where Cinder (Feiwel & Friends, 2012) ended. Cinder Linh is in prison, armed with the secret knowledge that she is the long-lost Lunar Princess Selene, and that Lunar Queen Levana will do anything to get rid of her and her claim to the throne. She breaks out with a fellow prisoner, and they use his hidden spaceship to escape and figure out their next move. Meanwhile, Scarlet Benoit is barely holding on. Her grandmother has disappeared, the police are no help, and she is trying to run her grandmother's farm and figure out how to find her. Enter Wolf, a street fighter who has a distinctive tattoo and might know more than he's saying. And Emperor Kai is still busy trying to make Queen Levana happy without sacrificing his people's freedom. Meyer does an excellent job of subtly using the tale of Red Riding Hood to move the plot along and even gives readers some things to contemplate. Wolf is big, and bad, but does he mean to be? Can he overcome his past? There are plenty of viewpoints in the book, but transitions are seamless and the plot elements meld together well. This novel has enough backstory to stand on its own, but is much better after reading Cinder. The author has stepped up the intrigue and plot from the first novel, and readers will be eagerly awaiting the next.—Kelly Jo Lasher, Middle Township High School, Cape May Court House, NJ
Meyer returns with the second installment of the Lunar Chronicles for a futuristic spin on "Little Red Riding Hood." Feisty, red-hoodie–wearing Scarlet is beside herself; her beloved grand-mère has been missing from the family farm in the French countryside for two weeks. A mysterious, tattooed street fighter named Wolf may be able to help her—and he has these awesome green eyes. Meanwhile, in the Eastern Commonwealth, cyborg Cinder—who learned she was the long-lost Lunar princess, Selene, in the eponymous first book (2012)—escapes from jail with the roguish Thorne, a charming petty crook cast in the Han Solo mold. Cinder has a new, jacked-up cyborg hand and her Lunar powers of mental manipulation to help her in her quest to find…Scarlet's grandmother, who may hold the key to her past. Meyer's story ticks along smartly, showing no sign of second-volume sag. Both fairy-tale and romance elements are blended in to pleasing if predictable effect. Less successful from a plausibility standpoint is a bloody new Lunar plot to take over the world, though it does contribute to tension. Also troubling is Meyer's tendency toward peculiar word usage that in a more stylistically distinguished work would seem fresh but here seems just, well, peculiar and may haul readers out of an otherwise effective story. Readers who can ignore the flaws will find the book goes down easy, and they will be happy to wait in line for the third installment. (Science fiction/fairy tale. 12 & up)
Read an Excerpt
Scarlet was descending toward the alley behind the Rieux Tavern when her portscreen chimed from the passenger seat, followed by an automated voice: “Comm received for Mademoiselle Scarlet Benoit from the Toulouse Law Enforcement Department of Missing Persons.”
Heart jumping, she swerved just in time to keep the ship’s starboard side from skidding against the stone wall, and threw down the brakes before reaching a complete stop. Scarlet killed the engine, already grabbing for the discarded portscreen. Its pale blue light glinted off the cockpit’s controls.
They’d found something.
The Toulouse police must have found something.
“Accept!” she yelled, practically choking the port in her fingers.
She expected a vidlink from the detective assigned to her grandmother’s case, but all she got was a stream of unembellished text.
28 AUG 126 T.E.
RE: CASE ID #AIG00155819, FILED ON 11 AUG 126 T.E.
THIS COMMUNICATION IS TO INFORM SCARLET BENOIT OF RIEUX, FRANCE, EF, THAT AS OF 15:42 ON 28 AUG 126 THE CASE OF MISSING PERSON(S) MICHELLE BENOIT OF RIEUX, FRANCE, EF, HAS BEEN DISMISSED DUE TO LACK OF SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE OF VIOLENCE OR NONSPECIFIC FOUL PLAY. CONJECTURE: PERSON(S) LEFT OF OWN FREE WILL AND/OR SUICIDE.
WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATRONAGE OF OUR DETECTIVE SERVICES.
The comm was followed by a video ad from the police, reminding all delivery ship pilots to be safe and wear their harnesses while engines were running.
Scarlet stared at the small screen until the words turned into a screaming blur of white and black and the ground seemed to drop out from beneath the ship. The plastic panel on the back of the screen crunched in her tightening grip.
“Idiots,” she hissed to the empty ship.
The words CASE CLOSED laughed back up at her.
She released a guttural scream and slammed the port down on the ship’s control panel, hoping to shatter it into pieces of plastic and metal and wire. After three solid whaps, the screen only flickered in mild irritation. “You idiots!” She threw the port at the floorboards in front of the passenger seat and slumped back, stringing her curly hair through her fingers.
Her harness cut into her chest, suddenly strangling, and she released the buckle and kicked open her door at the same time, half falling into the alley’s shadows. The grease and whiskey scent from the tavern nearly choked her as she swallowed her breaths, trying to rationalize her way out of the anger.
She would go to the police station. It was too late to go now—tomorrow, then. First thing in the morning. She would be calm and logical and she would explain to them why their assumptions were wrong. She would make them reopen the case.
Scarlet swiped her wrist over the scanner beside the ship’s hatch and yanked it up harder than the hydraulics wanted to let it go.
She would tell the detective that he had to keep searching. She would make him listen. She would make him understand that her grandma hadn’t left of her own free will, and that she most certainly had not killed herself.
Half a dozen plastic crates filled with garden vegetables were crammed into the back of the ship, but Scarlet hardly saw them. She was miles away, in Toulouse, planning the conversation in her head. Calling on every last persuasion, every ounce of reasoning power she had.
Something had happened to her grandmother. Something was wrong and if the police didn’t keep looking, Scarlet was going to take it to court and see that every one of their turnip-head detectives was disbarred and would never work again and—
She snatched a gleaming red tomato in each fist, spun on her heels, and pummeled the stone wall with them. The tomatoes splattered, juice and seeds spraying across the piles of garbage that were waiting to go into the compactor.
It felt good. Scarlet grabbed another, imagining the detective’s doubt when she’d tried to explain to him that up and disappearing was not normal behavior for her grandma. She pictured the tomatoes bursting all over his smug little—
A door swung open just as a fourth tomato was obliterated. Scarlet froze, already reaching for another, as the tavern’s owner draped himself against the door frame. Gilles’s narrow face was glistening as he took in the slushy orange mess Scarlet had made on the side of his building.
“Those better not be my tomatoes.”
She withdrew her hand from the bin and wiped it down on her dirt-stained jeans. She could feel heat emanating from her face, the erratic thumping of her pulse.
Gilles wiped the sweat off his almost-bald head and glared, his default expression. “Well?”
“They weren’t yours,” she muttered. Which was true—they were technically hers until he paid her for them.
He grunted. “Then I’ll only dock three univs for having to clean off the mess. Now, if you’re done with target practice, maybe you could deign to bring some of that in here. I’ve been serving wilted lettuce for two days.”
He popped back into the restaurant, leaving the door open. The noise of dishes and laughter spilled out into the alley, bizarre in its normality.
Scarlet’s world was crashing down around her and nobody noticed. Her grandmother was missing and nobody cared.
She turned back to the hatch and gripped the edges of the tomato crate, waiting for her heart to stop hammering behind her sternum. The words from the comm still bombarded her thoughts, but they were beginning to clear. The first wave of aggression was left to rot with the smashed tomatoes.
When she could take in a breath without her lungs convulsing, she stacked the crate on top of the russet potatoes and heaved them out of the ship.
The line cooks ignored Scarlet as she dodged their spitting skillets, making her way to the cool storage room. She shoved the bins onto the shelves that had been labeled in marker, scratched out, and labeled again a dozen times over the years.
Scarlet turned around, pulling her hair off her clammy neck.
Émilie was beaming in the doorway, eyes sparkling with a secret, but she pulled back when she saw Scarlet’s expression. “What—”
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Slipping past the waitress, she headed back through the kitchen, but Émilie made a dismissive noise in the back of her throat and trotted after her.
“Then don’t talk. I’m just glad you’re here,” she said, latching on to Scarlet’s elbow as they ducked back into the alleyway. “Because he’s back.” Despite the angelic blond curls that surrounded Émilie’s face, her grin suggested very devilish thoughts.
Scarlet pulled away and grabbed a bin of parsnips and radishes, passing them to the waitress. She didn’t respond, incapable of caring who he was and why it mattered that he was back. “That’s great,” she said, loading a basket with papery red onions.
“You don’t remember, do you? Come now, Scar, the street fighter I was telling you about the other … oh, maybe that was Sophia.”
“The street fighter?” Scarlet squeezed her eyes shut as a headache started to throb against her forehead. “Really, Ém?”
“Don’t be like that. He’s sweet! And he’s been here almost every day this week and he keeps sitting in my section, which definitely means something, don’t you think?” When Scarlet said nothing, the waitress set the bin down and fished a pack of gum from her apron pocket. “He’s always really quiet, not like Roland and his crowd. I think he’s shy … and lonely.” She popped a stick into her mouth and offered another to Scarlet.
“A street fighter who seems shy?” Scarlet waved the gum away. “Are you listening to yourself?”
“You have to see him to understand. He has these eyes that just…” Émilie fanned her fingers against her brow, feigning heatstroke.
“Émilie!” Gilles appeared at the door again. “Stop flapping those lips and get in here. Table four wants you.” He cast a glare at Scarlet, a silent warning that he’d be docking more univs from her fee if she didn’t stop distracting his employees, then pulled back inside without waiting for a response. Émilie stuck her tongue out after him.
Settling the basket of onions against her hip, Scarlet shut the hatch and brushed past the waitress. “Is table four him?”
“No, he’s at nine,” Émilie grumbled, scooping up the load of root vegetables. As they passed back through the steamy kitchen, Émilie gasped. “Oh, I’m so daft! I’ve been meaning to comm and ask about your grand-mère all week. Have you heard anything new?”
Scarlet clenched her jaw, the words of the comm buzzing like hornets in her head. Case closed.
“Nothing new,” she said, then let their conversation get lost in the chaos of the cooks screaming at each other across the line.
Émilie followed her as far as the storeroom and dropped off her load. Scarlet busied herself rearranging the baskets before the waitress could say something optimistic. Émilie attempted the requisite “Try not to worry, Scar. She’ll be back” before backing away into the tavern.
Scarlet’s jaw was starting to ache from gnashing her teeth. Everyone talked about her grandma’s disappearance as if she were a stray cat who would meander back home when she got hungry. Don’t worry. She’ll be back.
But she’d been gone for over two weeks. Just disappeared without sending a comm, without a good-bye, without any warning. She’d even missed Scarlet’s eighteenth birthday, though she’d bought the ingredients for Scarlet’s favorite lemon cake the week before.
None of the farmhands had seen her go. None of the worker androids had recorded anything suspicious. Her portscreen had been left behind, though it offered no clues in its stored comms, calendar, or net history. Her leaving without it was suspicious enough. No one went anywhere without their ports.
But that wasn’t the worst of it. Not the abandoned portscreen or the unmade cake.
Scarlet had also found her grandmother’s ID chip.
Her ID chip. Wrapped in cheesecloth spotted red from her blood and left like a tiny package on the kitchen counter.
The detective said that’s what people did when they ran away and didn’t want to be found—they cut out their ID chips. He’d said it like he’d just solved the mystery, but Scarlet figured most kidnappers probably knew that trick too.
Copyright © 2013 by Marissa Meyer