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I suggest that if you haven’t read Cinder, the first book in The Lunar Chronicles, you should probably not continue reading this review. There will be spoilers from the last book.

Cinder escapes from prison, but not without having to use her new-found abilities to manipulate a fellow prisoner into helping her. Not that Captain Thorne needed much persuading; he loves women, and he loves his stolen ship. That’s where Cinder wants him to take her, so she can get away and figure out what to do next.

Meanwhile, in France, Scarlet is having troubles of her own: her grand-mere is missing.

The investigators have quit their search, thinking that Scarlet is being paranoid and that her grandmother is just a crazy old woman. Scarlet is frustrated, and she jumps at the opportunity to find her when Wolf, the mysterious street fighter, offers her information.

Wolf is dangerous, but for some reason, Scarlet feels drawn to him, and when she learns that her grandmother may be in danger, they leave together on a rescue mission. But Scarlet is worried that she can’t trust Wolfe, and must constantly be on guards even though she may be developing feeling for him.

Firecracker Scale: rated “Flame”

SPOILER: Based off of the brief summary I’ve provided, I hope you picked up that a sort of romance grows between Scarlet and Wolf. I found this to be a completely amazing development in the story, and I was overjoyed to see Marissa being so creative with her use of these otherwise well-known characters. They share at least one kiss.

Captain Thorne also has a naked woman painted on the side of his ship (not described in detail, obviously).

Tongue Scale: rated “Slap on the Wrist”

There’s a few more profanities in Scarlet than there were in Cinder. Four or five uses of mild language.

Where story is concerned, this installment in The Lunar Chronicles is even better than the first. It is engaging and interesting, and the characters are incredibly likable. Scarlet, however, I’ve found is weaker than Cinder, who is a very strong, smart, and self-sufficient person. Unfortunately, Scarlet tended to be more dependent on Wolf, although I know I couldn’t possibly expect her to be able to fight off a swarm of wolf-dudes.

I adore this series. I’m very excited to see what the author does in the third book, where she introduces Cress, a character based off of Rapunzel.