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Thursday, February 21, 2013

REVIEW: "Scarlet" by Marissa Meyer


Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
(Lunar Chronicles #2)

For Ages 13+
Young Adult -- Dystopian/Science Fiction
Feiwel and Friends -- February 5, 2013
Hardcover, 452 pages
Bought from Amazon

SUMMARY
Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-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 and 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 has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

FIRST LINE
Scarlet was descending toward the alley behind the Rieux Tavern when her portscreen chimed from the passenger seat followed by an automated voice: "Comm received for Mademoiselle Scarlet Benoit from the Toulouse Law Enforcement Department of Missing Persons."

MY THOUGHTS
Warning!  This review contains spoilers for the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series.  You can read my review for Cinder here.  There are no spoilers for Scarlet in this review.

Whenever I read, and love, a book and then have to wait a long time for the sequel, I get a little nervous.  My expectations are now extremely high and there is definite potential for disappointment.  These were my feelings before reading Scarlet, the highly anticipated sequel to one of 2012's most successful debuts, Cinder.  Thankfully, my fears were completely unfounded and this was an amazing read that almost, though not quite, reached the magic of its predecessor.

In the first book in the Lunar Chronicles, readers met the determined and admirable mechanic, Cinder, and watched her begin to unravel the mysteries behind her cyborg body and her missing past.  We also saw her develop a friendship, and possibly something more, with Prince Kai, heir to the throne of the Eastern Commonwealth.  I absolutely adored Cinder and found it to be a great twist on a classic fairy tale that also included some intriguing subplots to balance the more well-known storyline.  Now, readers see the aftermath of the ball that ended the first book and how it is going to affect the future of the Earth.

There are three main plots going on in Scarlet.  First, there is the continuation of Cinder's story which includes her imprisonment following the ball, her subsequent escape from that prison, and her journey to discover more about her past before she became a cyborg.  Then, readers see Kai's reaction to Cinder's arrest and watch him try to deal with the Lunar Queen's threats to his kingdom which are growing more dire by the day.  And, finally, there is the introduction of Scarlet who is trying to find her missing grandmother.  One thing that I really appreciated about this book was the way that Meyer balanced each of these plots.  I will admit that there were times where I didn't want to leave a certain storyline, but I think that was deliberate on the author's part.

It was really great to see all the "old" characters that I became invested in make appearances throughout Scarlet.  Cinder continues to be a strong, admirable heroine who is torn between her personal feelings and her slowly developing destiny.  She is the heart and soul of this series and it was great to see that her personality is still as wonderful as in the first book.  It was also nice to see the return of Kai though his story was pretty hard to read at times...especially that ending.

Cinder's android friend, Iko, also reappears and reminded me why I loved her scenes especially when it comes to her obsession with fashion.  And I have to mention the dangerous and intriguing Queen Levana.  The queen of the Lunars is quickly becoming one of my favorite YA villains with all her detailed takeover plans and the just general creepy feeling I get when she appears on the page.

In addition to the return of some well-known characters, Meyer also gives us more unique personalities to cheer for: Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorne.  I really loved Scarlet and how tough she was.  She obviously was very close to her grandmother and was willing to do anything to make sure she was safe.  And then there's Wolf who has joined Kai in my Lunar Chronicles book boyfriend list.  His character was very mysterious and took some turns I wasn't expecting, but he was just so sweet and devoted to Scarlet.  Thorne was an interesting case with his surfer boy charm paired with his strange obsession with his spaceship.  The scenes between him and Cinder were some of my favorites especially since they helped lighten the mood of a pretty dark story.

Like with Cinder, I loved the intriguing twists on the classic Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale that Meyer peppered throughout the story such as the basket, the woods, and, of course, the wolf.  I won't go too much into how the author utilizes these aspects, but it made for an even more entertaining read.  I definitely look forward to what she does with Rapunzel and Snow White in the future.

Scarlet was another great science fiction fairy tale that provided readers with new and old characters, a plot that seems to becoming more complex as it goes on, and some amazing settings.  I am really anxious to learn more about Queen Levana's plans for the Earth and what Cinder's ultimate destiny is.  I just have to wait another year for Cress!

        

4.5 STARS

FAVORITE QUOTE
"I knew they would kill me when they found out, but…" He struggled for words, releasing a sharp breath. "I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you." (pg. 444)

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
0.5. Glitches
1. Cinder
1.5. The Queen's Army
2. Scarlet
3. Cress (Coming 2014)
4. Winter (Coming 2015)

LINKS

AUTHOR LINKS

3 comments:

  1. I loved Scarlet as a character more than Cinder. She might not be a kick ass heroine, but she was so passionate towards her goal, I loved her for that. Wolf was just something, we don't know a lot about him, but still somehow I fell in love with him. And Iko was the best, I can't to read her story, and I'm praying she gets one.
    Great review =)

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  2. Seriously, Scarlet was so, so good. It is one of my favorite sequels ever. I also loved how Meyer handled the stories of the different characters, and how she tied them all together. I really cannot wait for Cress now. Glad you liked Scarlet!

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  3. Iko's back? Yay!! I was so hoping we'd get more of her. :) I can't wait to read this one. Great review!

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