Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Posted August 6, 2013 in Review / 4 Comments

scarletScarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)
By Marissa Meyer
Published February 5th, 2013
Feiwel and Friends
454 pages
Young Adult | Dystopian | Science Fiction
Source: Library

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About the Book:

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…

 

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the 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 or 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 is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Well, it’s about time I got to the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, huh?  As good as Cinder (the first book) was, is Scarlet better?  I’m pondering that question in my head right now.  Back and forth it bounces in my near empty skull.

It’s not that Scarlet is entirely a better story than Cinder.  It’s that Scarlet is a different story.  It’s almost as if Ms. Meyer became a better writer or something.  Did her style change?  Is it the fact that she didn’t leave me dangling off the cliff’s edge like last time?  I have no idea!!!!!

I do know that Scarlet‘s characters captured me and held me through the mystery of what the heck happened to Grandma, interlaced with Cinder’s escapades as she makes her way out of prison and across the world.

Story / Tempo / World Building

Scarlet is actually two stories meshed into one book.  It’s partly the continuation of Cinder’s story from book one.  Mostly though, it’s Scarlet’s tale.  Scarlet lives in the French countryside with her grandma tending a small farm.  Her grandma has recently gone missing and she’s struggling to get the authorities to keep the case open.  Being the granddaughter of an independent and strong-willed ex-military female pilot (that’s her grandma), Scarlet has her mind set to follow some clues to her grandma’s whereabouts that ultimately take her to Paris.  Where did she find these clues?  From the big bad wolf, of course! Now you’re interested, huh?

Because Ms. Meyer flips between two very action packed plots (and does it at the most harrowing of times), the entire story flies along quickly.  True, most young adult books will do that.  But it actually has more to do with the juxtaposition of plots and the fact that the two stories are on a collision course into each other, the reader knows it, and you can’t wait to see how and when it happens.  Ms. Meyer pulls off this writing trick well – at least I enjoyed the heck out of it 😀

Characters

I regret not reading this book sooner because I forgot how much I loved Cinder and her brilliant, snarky mind.  This girl is awesome: selfless, fearless, and I think the most human out of all the humans in the story.  Even though she’s not quite human.  Kai drove me absolutely bonkers this time around but I kept reminding myself that the poor boy has too much responsibility for someone so young.  I’m soooo hoping he doesn’t let me down when this is all over.

Now, the new characters (*rubs hands together maniacally*)…  I completely and utterly identify with Scarlet.  She’s a tomboy and she just won’t accept that there’s nothing she can’t do.  LOVE!!!  Opinionated?  Oh yeah!  Got mad skills?  Oh yeah!  I just really enjoyed this girl and her banter with our leading man….

Wolf.  Okay, so our big bad wolf is actually a very secretive, sweet lug of a guy.  But he’s got a wicked darkside – his profession is street fighting.  Scarlet learns he might know a little about what happened to Grandma.  For some reason, he wants to help Scarlet so he tags along on her trip to Paris.  And boy does he help!  I can’t say anything more but the dialogue between Scarlet and Wolf… Wolf’s transformation (or perhaps a better word is “growth”) into the man he ends up at the end of the book…  all of these had me flipping quickly through this book.

I think what made this book so different from Cinder is that where Cinder had the novelty of the new world and the new story line, Scarlet has the strength in characters.  Coupled with the literary device of flipping back and forth between the old and new plots that both have you on the edge of your comfy reading chair, Scarlet stands alone as a great second and follow up book in a series.  I have no clue how Ms. Meyer is going to top Scarlet with Cress

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photo credit: Kali Raisl
photo credit: Kali Raisl

About the Author:

Marissa Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and three cats. She’s a fan of most things geeky (Sailor Moon, Firefly, color-coordinating her bookshelf . . .), and has been in love with fairy tales since she was given a small book of them when she was a child. She may or may not be a cyborg. Cinder is her first novel.

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Other Books in the Series:

Glitches cinder The Queens army

 

 

 

 

 

CressWinter

 

 

 

 

 

To read Glitches (Lunar Chronicles #0.5) and The Queen’s Army (Lunar Chronicles #1.5), just click on the cover images and you’ll be taken to Tor.com’s website where the stories are posted for free.

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Kristin

About Kristin

Kristin has to ensure she gets her minimal requirement of "happily ever after" books in between those books that contain cliffhangers and never-ending story arcs. It's for her family's sake. When not reading, she's homeshooling her 10-year old son, watching cartoons on TV, or taking a nap.

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