Young rulers, fugitives on the run and war on the horizon. The Legend by Marie Lu and Cinder by Marissa Meyer audio books wow’d the contributors at Book sand Sensibility last year with their intriguing worlds, complex story lines and smart plotting. In 2013, both series debuted their second installments and I’m ready to see how these sequels hold up to their predecessors.
Synopsis: Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-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 and 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 has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.
Synopsis: June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.
It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.
How to describe Prodigy ? ; ending makes you go “WHAT?!”, love and loyalty are called into question and Day oddly gets upstaged… by his hair. Prodigy is certainly a “smart” sequel. It makes you look at Legend in a completely different matter and you learn that not everything is what it seems. We see June and Day actively standing up for what they believe in while still being faithful to each other. We also get to see a bit more of the world they live in and it’s very eye-opening. Lu’s writing is visual and engrosses you into the plot. We are talking scaling buildings, explosions and high stakes. I have to admit I still want to know why Lu made the characters so young ? I have this theory that the next book will take place like a year or two in the future. I don’t know why I just do. I’m a big fan of both of these narrators, but I wanted a little bit more from June’s narrator, Mariel Stern. Her voice just doesn’t scream 15 year old girl.
Spaceships, evil aliens and cyborgs all add up to be a fast paced all-around epic Star Wars-esque space adventure. In Scarlet Cinder shares page-time (?) with Scarlet, a young French farm girl who is looking for her missing grandmother. This sequel answered a lot of questions left in Cinder and did what good sequels should do; reminded me why I like the original story while throwing in a few curve balls and obstacles for the characters. Also did you wonder were the smarmy bad boy was in The Lunar Chronicles ? Well he shows up as the arrogant American, Captain Carswell Thorne. Move over Prince Kai, who by the way doesn’t have as much presence in this book. Narrator Rebecca Soler had her hands juggling different accents and inflections, but her performance was amazing and she ramps up her acting.
As sequels both novels take vastly different approach. Scarlet expands the story of Cinder while introducing new characters and story-lines. Despite all of this, it was much more of an origin story. We don’t actually solve any problems, just build stakes. The Lunar Chronicles feels more like a continuous story and we haven’t arced just yet.
Prodigy starts off fast and ends in a rather clean story arc. I’m glad the story didn’t go into the direction I thought it would. It was super intense and a fun read, but I just can’t figure out where this story is going and that is what keeps me coming back.
Winner: This is a tough one, but I have to give it to Scarlet. I feel that Meyer has a better grasp of her setting and world-building. She makes space alien queens seem realistic. Not to mention Soler’s phenomenal job on the audio book.
Either way if you don’t have an Audible membership sign up for a free trial to experience one or both of these amazing audio books.
Side Note : Also check out Kat’s review of Prodigy.