Although I liked Cinder I didn't really understand the love for this series until I read this book. I've already started Cress and if the series keeps progressing like this I'll be so excited for Winter.
I was so excited for Cinder to rock out on her own without Kai, and when she found Thorne I was initially disappointed, until I fell in love with their rapport and bickering. Scarlet is a wonderful character, and the little red riding hood references are so good in her storyline that I'm constantly smiling whenever they happen. I really like that this story is told from different perspectives all the time, it's most often Scarlet and Cinder, but it's really cool that if there needs to be a chapter from Kai's or Thorne's perspective Marissa just throws it in. My favourite characters were Iko and Wolf. Iko is just a really good comedic character that lightens up the tense situations and is a good way of humanizing the androids in the story. Wolf is one of the great fictional loves of my life (yes I have a list) and although he was rocky in patches, my faith was rewarded in the end. I also like a good double agent where it's hard to learn where their loyalties lie for a while. If you were kind of unsure about the series after reading the first book I would definitely recommend reading this book before giving up entirely on the series.
Scarlet's grandmother goes missing and when she learns she was taken by a street gang, she enlists one of it's wayward members, Wolf, to help her find her. Cinder escapes from prison with Thorne, a military cadet who stole a ship and many valuables before being caught. Cinder and Thorne become allies and they fly his ship to go find Michelle Benoit, Scarlet's grandmother, because she was the one who had Cinder before she has her memories with the Linh family. Scarlet and Wolf start to develop feelings for each other and he tries to get her not to confront the pack that's taken her grandmother but when she does he turns on her and hands her over because it was his mission. Cinder and Thorne find Michelle Benoit's farm empty with Michelle's ID chip left on the table and they go to find Scarlet. Wolf gives Scarlet an ID chip so she can escape and then he goes and attacks the city because the pack is actually an army of medically enhanced lunar operatives working for the Queen, all controlled by different thaurmaturges. Scarlet escapes and finds her grandmother, who tells her to find Princess Selene, her name is Linh Cinder and to help her overthrow the Lunar Queen. Wolf's brother Ran then comes in and kills Michelle and is about to kill Scarlet when Wolf comes and kills Ran. Cinder and Thorne then help kill Wolf's thaurmaturge and take Wolf and Scarlet onto their ship to start a battle plan against Queen Levana.