Author: Marissa Meyer
Published: February 5th, 2013 by Feiwel and Friends
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.
This review may contain spoilers from Cinder. You have been warned.
From the very first chapter, I could tell that I was going to love reading Scarlet. While I did enjoy Cinder, I didn’t think it was that amazing, especially considering the hype surrounding this series. But after reading Scarlet, I think I understand why people love The Lunar Chronicles so much. The story is more interesting, the characters more complex and the fast paced writing kept my eyes glued to the pages, and I finished the book in just a few short hours.
The main plot in Scarlet is about (surprise, surprise) Scarlet trying to find her grandmother, who was kidnapped, with the help of a street fighter named Wolf. That being said, the original storyline about the impending war with the Lunars and Princess Selene is still expanded in this book through the multiple POVs. That is one of the things I love about Scarlet. The chapters throughout the book are narrated by several different characters, mostly Scarlet and Cinder, but we do have a few chapters from Wolf, Captain Thorne, Prince Emperor Kai’s POVs, and even one chapter by Queen Levana (OMG I hate her). The multiple POVs lets us keep up with all the important things that are going on, like the progress of the political issues through Kai’s POV, and learn more about Cinder’s past –how Princess Selene became a cyborg, while still maintaining focus on Scarlet’s journey to find her grandmother. The two storylines merged nicely at the end and to me, it was very well done. Cinder has more people on her team now! Yay!
The multiple POVs also gives the readers more insight to the characters. I really love the characters in Scarlet, more than those in Cinder. The characters in this book feel more believable, each with their own weird/defining characteristics that make them unique from each other. Like Scarlet with the wiping her dirty hands on her jeans all the time, Wolf and the tomatoes, and Captain Thorne just being Captain Thorne. In Cinder, I feel that Cinder is the only character with any development, but in Scarlet, the characters are well developed and realistic. Cinder is still as sassy as ever and I enjoy reading her banter with Thorne, who provides comic relief to the story. I think Captain Thorne may be my favorite character 😀 . Scarlet and Wolf are also great additions to the story, and I think they’re both great. Scarlet’s love for her grandmother becomes the driving force behind her actions and it’s very relatable, while Wolf is the conflicted character everyone loves and he gives more layers to the story.
The story progresses at a steady pace, not rushed, but not slow and boring either. The writing is readable and eloquent, with important information (like Cinder’s history, etc.) interwoven throughout the story without making it an info-dump. Even though the author doesn’t use flowery language, Scarlet still made it so easy for me to imagine everything in my head, like a mental movie (is that the right term?). One thing that I find not very realistic is how fast Scarlet and Wolf’s relationship developed. I feel like it progresses really quickly from Scarlet not trusting Wolf, to what I think is supposed to be lifelong commitment (?), I’m not too sure, but I just feel like it was a bit insta-love.
Other than that, I really enjoyed this book and I think I like it more than Cinder. A lot of people have told me that the series gets better with each book, and they’re right! I think that Scarlet is a great read with an engaging storyline and memorable characters. I’m going to read the next book right away because I need to know what happens next. If you’ve read Scarlet, I’d love to hear what you think about it!