Cover Image: Icon and Inferno

Icon and Inferno

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Member Reviews

This was so much fun. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed the first book, but as soon as I started reading this it all came back to me. I really like how Marie Lu doesn't ease you into the story with reminders of what already happened. You're just dropped in and bam! it goes 0-60 and the rest of the book is an adrenaline rush.

It's very clear to me, as a BTS Army, that Winter is based on various members of BTS. He felt so familiar and it made me instantly connect with him and be on his side. It's like, yes, obviously, any member of BTS -- I mean Winter -- could easily live a double life as an international pop star and also a spy. And obviously they'd be great at it.

Sydney is a great partner for Winter. She challenges him and doesn't let him get away with anything. And their chemistry is off the charts. They're both very charismatic and pop off the page. The secondary characters were good too and added a lot of drama, but I'm here for Winter and Sydney.

The political stakes are raised even higher in this one, and of course not everything about their mission is as it seems.

I really hope we get more books in this series. I will continue to happily devour them as soon as I can get my hands on them.

The audiobook was fantastic. The narrator did a great job conveying the tension and high stakes and I listened to it in one sitting and was on the edge of my seat the entire time. The voices were great and believable and distinct.

Highly recommend, especially in audio format.

*Thanks to Netgalley, Roaring Book Press, and Macmillan Audio for providing an early copy for review.

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Every time I pick up a new Marie Lu book I think I couldn’t possibly love it as much as the last and every single time she proves me wrong.

Icon and Inferno takes you back to the world of secrets and spies with our beloved characters Winter and Sydney on a new mission where their feelings for each other and their job will be put to the test.
This time they will be forced to confront everything they have been trying to avoid since their last mission together and face what the future might hold.
Icon and Inferno is glitzy and glamorous and takes all the best from the world of a famous pop star and combines it with the excitement and danger of operating in the shadows.

This is a book I would recommend to any and everyone. I hope everyone else loves it as much as I do!

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Thank you NetGalley for the e-arc of this book! Let me tell you, when I got approved for the arc of this book I was over the moon excited and literally read half of the book in one sitting. Sydney and Winter have been on my mind since the ending of Stars and Smoke and whenever I look at the cover of Icon and Inferno my heart skips a beat. If you enjoyed the first book you will love this book even more. This book is similar to the first book but everything is heightened. The stakes are higher, the tension is amplified, the plot twists kick you in the face, your emotions are pulled every which way. My jaw dropped multiple times while reading this. The mission in this book is definitely more intense, so this explains a lot of the amplification. This time, the characters are in Singapore for a rescue mission, but let's be real, a rescue mission is way too boring for Sydney and Winter and things switch gears right away, with many lives on the line. The tension between Sydney and Winter could cut as well as any knife and did I mention that both of their exes are in this book. The perfect factors for jealousy and ANGRY LOVE CONFESSIONS. The last fourth of this book was my favorite, all the plot twists left me gaping and I could not put the book down. If you've watched the show Alias or the K-Drama called Flex Cop you will devour this book just like I did. It was amazing and if you can't tell by now, I very much enjoyed it.

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Marie Lu has done it again. With the first book, Stars and Smoke, I instantly knew I needed to add this spy meets k-pop book into my classroom library for my students to experience. When I learned there was going to be a sequel, I could not wait to get my hands on it. I think I enjoyed this book as much, if not more, than the first one. I am definitely going to pre-order Icon and Inferno to add to my classroom library!

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After absolutely loving Stars and Smoke, I was thrilled to receive an early digital copy of the sequel. This was such a fun ride with twists and turns and lots of spy-filled action, plus plenty of swoony romantic moments. I loved Sydney and Winter and their chemistry felt so natural. Both characters are intelligent, strong, and seem made for each other.

Both Winter and Sydney are vulnerable and have experienced great losses in their lives--some more recently than others--and yet, to successfully continue their mission and chosen lives, they must hide their personal feelings and ignore the pain. This made my heart ache for them.

This book kept me on the edge of my seat reading and not wanting to stop; so many chapters ended on cliff hangers that made me gasp out loud. Please, someone tell me there will be another book or even more! The ending left me instantly wanting to continue Winter and Sydney's journey.

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I really enjoyed this second book (and hopefully not the last) in this fun YA spy thriller series that also has a wonderful romance. I did have a few issues with the plot, but hopefully things were smoothed out in the final edit.

Sydney and Winter are so good together. Both of their characters really grow and change throughout this book. I loved the scene where they finally admitted their feeling for each other. The dialog was perfect and full of things that people would say to each other. I love them both. I also love how they refuse to leave the other one behind, even when they could be in peril themselves. They always seem to find a way to save each other.

We had some solid secondary characters in this one, two of which were new, the rest from the previous book. I loved Gavi, although I wasn’t sure how she really fit into the narrative of the mission. But she did add some tension and backstory to Winter’s life. Tems, the agent they are trying to rescue, was also a bit confusing as to his motives for what he was doing in Singapore. His role was part of my issues with the overall spy part of the plot.

The setting was great! I loved seeing Singapore and there were even some cameos from the Warcross series. I don’t think I realized that this series was set in the same timeline as that one. The near future aspect of the story was also well done, with just enough new tech to make it believable.

The romance is very well done, with Sydney and Winter finding time for each other and finally admitting their feelings. The other storyline of the rescue mission, was a bit confusing and felt very muddled at times. There were also some aspects of this that stretched the believability mark even for a spy thriller. But it was fast paced and had lots of action, so that kind of makes up for it. The targeted YA audience also might not notice the flaws as readily as me.

I really hope that this is not the last time we get to see this wonderful cast of characters. But given that ending, which I loved and hated at the same time, it very well could be the last. But I will hope and pray for another in this series at some point. I am not ready to give up on these two having the happy ending they deserve.

If you enjoy fast action and thrilling plots than you really need to read this series. There is also a great slow burn romance that will make you want more. The characters are also endearing and relatable. If you are a fan of the author, you will not be disappointed by this one. If you haven’t read her books before, this series is an excellent place to start.

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3.5 rounded up.

Ugh this was a good one, albeit there were some things I had issues with.

First and foremost the ending 😭

Sydney and Winter agreeing to MAYBE see each other once they’re done with their respective careers—idk man that kinda hurt. Especially considering how much they both cared for each other. I don’t like not knowing what happens to them.

And Winter’s cover?? They talked about how his cover wouldn’t survive another mission, but he didn’t really have a cover. They just used him to get into Singapore… no one besides Panacea knew about his involvement so it just didn’t make sense.

The whole assassination of Pres Rosen didn’t make sense and this whole “two plans” caused some confusion and I spent some time going back and forth between those pages trying to make sense of things but again, in the grand scheme of it all, I did enjoy the book. I loved that we got more Winter and Sydney scenes and interactions; I don’t like we didn’t get to see Leo at all and Dameon had minimal interactions. We don’t know what happened to them, to Claire, Winter’s mom, etc. it just doesn’t feel like a good enough conclusion, I guess.

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Unfortunately, I didn't love this book as much as the first one but it was still pretty fun. I'll definitely read the next book!

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A year has passed since Winter and Sydney last saw one another. A year of thinking about the other constantly but knowing there was nothing they could do. They can’t be together. Winter is still a very famous pop star and Sydney is an undercover agent. But their paths are about to cross once more when Sydney lands a new mission that requires Winter’s help. A mission that perhaps is even more dangerous and the outcome catastrophic if they fail. The pull between them is still as strong as it was the last time they saw one another and with everything that happens on this latest mission… maybe just maybe they can find a way back to one another. I really enjoyed another story about Winter and Sydney! They have great chemistry and I love learning more about them. It was fun being back in this world and also seeing some cameos of those in the Warcross series. I will say some plot points were a little predictable but there were definitely still moments that took you by surprise. I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing more stories in this world and with Sydney’s agency. I’m sad to see Winter and Sydney’s story finished!

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a solid follow up to Stars and Smoke and a decent second book for the series. I’m a sucker for anything Marie Lu puts out and this was no exception. Its pace moves quickly without forgoing the character development. I wish this one had a little more plot and honestly just a little more content. I do enjoy where Winter and Sydney’s relationship is heading and I’m already ready for the 3rd installment in their story and to dive back into the world of undercover spies.

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Icon and Inferno by Marie Lu is the second in a new series that started with Stars and smoke. This one is tough for me because Marie Lu is one of my all time favorite authors and she is super talented. I just did not connect with these characters or the story line. Both books in the series focus on Winter, a pop star with a longing for love, and Sydney a secret agent. The series has some good twists and this book even gives a nod to Warcross (my favorite of her books), but I never quite fell in love. I'm also disappointed because this is likely going to become a long running series and I'm not sure I will stick around for the ride.

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This book lost everything that was so great about the first one. It felt disjointed and the chemistry that existed between Winter and Sydney just evaporated for me. The plot was pretty absurd, even by spy novel standards.

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Winter and Sydney meet again for another undercover mission, this time a few exes were thrown in, a sorry excuse for a father, and found family. There was nothing average or easy about their mission to save the world from a war, things went sideways quite a bit with twists and turns I didn't expect. This book ran the emotional gamut: ups, downs, sadness, excitement, and heart wrenching. I enjoyed this continuation of Winter and Sydney's adventures and look forward to more.

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Good plot! Complex characters! Action, romance, SPIES! Marie Lu always delivers a good time 😎

Winter and Sydney have a unique relationship. Sydney works as a agent. Winter is a famous singer. They both travel so much, both have to keep appearances and secrets, and they both have a hard time letting others in.
I kind of hated how Sydney kept Winter at arms length's understandable too. Especially when, in her line of work, she can both be lost to those who love her and also lose those she loves. She doesn't treat Winter as useless this time around, but as an equal partner which was nice!
I kind of saw a few things coming but overall the pacing was just right. Wasn't too slow but gave plenty of time to set up the scene and wasn't too intense. It had plenty of action, while also leaving room for character development and emotional growth.
The ending isn't my favorite, but again, it makes sense and it leaves me hopeful for Winter and Sydney 🥰
I'm so glad they got a book two 🤩

p.s. we get scenes in this book 🙊🫣 Let's just say our couple seem like good kissers🤭 hehe Love their chemistry 😍

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I loved this book! It was a really interesting read, I loved all of the characters, especially Sydney. The book was so realistic about what kind of trouble that I imagine a superstar and a spy would get into. I loved the imagery and the fight scenes. I wish that I had read the other book first but this was great as a standalone novel.

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Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for the copy of Icon and Inferno
by Marie Lu. This is the sequel to Stars and Smoke, but you can read it as a standalone. What an action packed book with some great reveals! I loved how the Warcross world had a small appearance, because Warcross is one of my all-time favorite books. I’m not a romance fan and this one had a little too much for me, but if you love romance paired with action and intrigue, this is a perfect book for you.

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Incredibly fast paced, chaotic, and fun as hell. I’m so fond of these characters and I sincerely hope this isn’t the last we see of them. A third book would be an amazing treat :)

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Icon and Inferno had a similar feel to the first book, with action, mystery, romance and thrills. I read the books together, but enough background information is given catch you up if it's been a bit. Once again, I enjoyed the complicated relationship between Winter and Sydney, and the addition of their exes added extra tension. There are surprises along the way, though I'll admit to having my suspicions about some of the things that happened beforehand. There's a lot of action, and while sometimes it feels a little unrealistic, it gives it the kind of excitement you feel while watching a movie. It was definitely a quick read that was hard to put down. I'm not sure if there will be another book in this series, but I'd love to read more by the author, Marie Lu.

Thank you to Macmillan Children's Publishing Group | Roaring Brook Press and NetGalley for the advance review copy of Icon and Inferno! All opinions in my review are completely my own.

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Thank you NetGalley I’m unbelievably grateful to have gotten an advanced copy of this book!!

I loved every second of this and am sad it’s over bc I was having so much fun reading it. I love Sydney and Winter so dearly and hope to see more of them someday. The warcross referenced warmed my heart because I love everything Marie Lu has ever written. This one had some insane plot twists and I loved how it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. If I hadn’t finished this while sitting in class, I guarantee I would have been balling my eyes out at the ending because it broke my heart a little bit but was so perfect. I feel lucky to have read this and highly recommend to all!!!

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I loved being back with Sydney and Winter. Both books in this duology are just so fun! They give me Mission Impossible vibes.

This mission includes both of their exes, so that added another fun, snarky element to the story.

Another great book from one of my favorite authors.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review.

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