Icon and Inferno (Stars and Smoke #2)

Marie Lu

YA Romance Thriller 

Spies meet romance meet popstars in this thrilling follow up to Stars and Smoke by bestselling author Marie Lu.

A year has passed since superstar Winter and secret agent Sydney Cossette went undercover – on a dangerous mission to bring down the baddest man in London.

Winter hasn’t stopped thinking about Sydney since, and she’s been trying not to think about him

Family secrets and nasty newspapers has Winter desperate to re-enter the secret world. And it’s not long before he gets his chance.

Sydney is back, and this time the mission goes right to the heart of the United States of America. A rescue gone wrong, an assassination attempt – and the return of an old flame – puts Winter right back into the action . . . and into a country on the brink of chaos.

And when a murder accusation has Sydney on the run, suddenly it’s not just a life at stake, but all-out war.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) Winter’s fame is once again needed to get access to certain people. Sydney is tasked again because this time, they are trying to find an agent that is missing, along with a more pressing mission.

I liked this one even more than Stars and Smoke. It had more action and fast-paced scenes but also the build up of their relationship added that extra layer of entertainment. There is the danger, the mission itself, an old flame (or two) and a possible accusation for war. What could go wrong?

Have I mentioned I hate the name Winter? It just did not seem to fit. It rubbed me weird each time I heard it. But as a character, I liked his genuine demeanor and heartfelt personality. He complimented Sydney well. And even if it was a bit difficult to see her as an accomplished spy (because of her age), her character brought a boldness that accentuated her sensitivity.

This addition to the series is full of sabotage, treason, lies, secrets, deceit and more. There was never a slow moment but yet a steady pace of intrigue lasted throughout. I recommend this to those that love a thriller with some romance on the side.

AUDIO REVIEW: Becca Q. Co did an excellent job. The differing voices was just enough to tell each character apart. She also added inflection during suspense scenes making it more enjoyable.

General content summary: 

Little to no language

Parent death (previous, sickness)

Child abuse (by parent, previous, few details)

Alcohol (alcoholism)

Intimacy (m/f, previous, few details, closed door scene, few details m/f scene)

Sibling death (previous, no details)

Knife threat 

Gun shot (blood, death)

Car crash (some details, blood, 2x)


Motorcycle and car accident (fire)

Physical violence (fighting during arrest, bite, aggression with objects, gun injury, knife threat, near falls from high speed)

Sedative (given unwillingly)

Captivity (tied up)

Death (previous, gunshots, water, body found, explosion) 


M/M relationship (references to a previous relationship)

Thank you to Macmillan Audio for the copy!

The book releases June 11, 2024.

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

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