Review: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Format/Source: Hardback/Gift from a friend
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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)
*Actually, there is one slight spoiler for this book in this review, so look out for the bold-lettered spoiler warning below.*
Cinder was my absolute favorite read last year. I knew right after I read it that it was going to be my favorite of the year–that nothing would top it. And I was right. So of course I couldn’t wait for Scarlet to come out, and my awesome friend Jessie from The Daily Bookmark ordered a copy for me (thanks so much, Jessie!!), so I was all set to read it once it was published.
And I’ll say that for the most part I was extremely pleased with Scarlet. I did have a few issues with it (which I’ll get to later), but overall it was a solid, fantastic followup to Cinder.
What Great Plots and Characters You Have…
Meyer’s writing, characterization, and worldbuilding are just so intricate that sometimes I forget that this series is a retelling of fairy tales. Because in both Cinder and Scarlet, these stories become a new entity in and of themselves that you catch a hint of a reference to the original fairy tale and you’re like, “Oh, yeah, this is a retelling!” And I love the way that Meyer puts a twist on these little aspects of the retelling–like how Scarlet delivers food, because Little Red Riding Hood takes food to her grandmother. There were a lot of great little aspects like this throughout Scarlet.
And I really liked the new characters in this book. I really liked Wolf and I LOVED Captain Thorne. He reminded me of a mix between Mal from Firefly, Jack Harkness from Doctor Who and Zaphod Beeblebrox from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. All fantastic characters, of course! Thorne’s spaceship also reminded me of Firefly and Hitchhiker’s Guide–I pictured the spaceship as the Serenity and Iko at times reminded me of Marvin the Paranoid Android. And I pictured Alcide from True Blood as Wolf (which was not a horrible mental image, I must say!). And Adri and Levana were still two of the most perfect villains I’ve ever read.
But I do have to say that because there wasn’t a set pattern to the chapters and which POV they were from, I sometimes found myself thinking I was reading from Scarlet’s point of view when I was reading Cinder’s, and vice versa. And those aren’t the only POVs in the book, which doesn’t really bother me, but I do know it bothers some readers.
What a Nerdy Fangirl I Am…
The books in this series make me FANGIRL TO MYSELF. I shut the book, fan my face, shake the book around and talk to myself about how awesome it is. Yes, I’ll fangirl about them to other people, but I just love them SO MUCH that I have to stop reading for a minute and tell myself how much I love them. In Scarlet (and in Cinder, too, actually), there was one plot point that I had a theory about early on and in ALL CAPS in my notes I wrote things like “OH SNAP,” and “SO COOL,” and “IF THIS IS TRUE I’M GOING TO BE SO HAPPY!!” Dork, party of one, right here. I’ve also had a theory about one of the characters since I first read Cinder, and it has yet to be confirmed or denied, but it’ll make me pretty happy, too, if it is confirmed in one of the future books.
But this brings me to my not-so fangirly moments for this book. There was one plot point that I thought was pretty cliched. I won’t go into detail because I don’t want to spoil anyone, but if you’ve read it, feel free to email me and we’ll discuss. I just really thought that it could have gone three different ways and the one that was chosen was very overused.
Also, (and this is a tad bit spoilery so if you haven’t read Scarlet, maybe you should skip this paragraph) was I the only one who read the synopsis and thought that Cinder, Scarlet, and Wolf were going to be together for the majority of the book? Because that’s not what happens. So I was kind of disappointed about that.
But there were great twists and the theory I had that made me fangirl so much turned out to be true, so overall, I really loved Scarlet.
My rating for Scarlet by Marissa Meyer:
5 big stars. I can’t wait to read the last two books in this series!
Disclaimer: I received this book as a gift from a friend (Thanks again, Jessie!). I was not compensated in any way for this review.