Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #2) / ★★★★★
One sentence summary: Scarlet Benoit teams up with a shy street fighter, Wolf, to rescue her kidnapped grandmother, while Linh Cinder teams up with a convict, Captain Carswell Thorne, to escape the Eastern Commonwealth after she’s imprisoned.
“I suspect you would shoot me all over again if you thought it would help your grandmother.”
She blinked up at him, almost surprised to discover how close they were standing. “I would,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be sorry about it afterward.”
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Young Adult
Guys, I’m loving this series so much. I loved the first book in The Lunar Chronicles, Cinder, but the main reason I enjoyed this sequel even more is because I had less of an idea of where the story was going to go. I love how these books hit the main beats of the fairy tales they’re based on, but follow them with such originality. The way Meyer intertwines these fairy tales with one another is fantastic. Scarlet, based on Little Red Riding Hood, took me on an entirely new adventure with new and old characters. I loved how these characters were taken away from home, that we got to see more of their world, and we got to see the way the characters interacted with it. I love books where the characters physically travel on their quest, and it made this book so entertaining.
Meyer continues to set these books at a great, consistent pace. So much happens, and yet I never feel rushed, or like it was too much at once. I felt like Scarlet went out with much more of a bang than Cinder, action-wise, and for that I enjoyed it even more. I love how I basically know what’s going to happen because I know the fairy tales, but Meyer incorporates so much innovation that I don’t really know. It’s like knowing the bare outline of a story without the details. I love it. This second Lunar Chronicles book was another story of pure, fun entertainment.
One last comment: if you saw my review on Cinder you’ll know I hate its cover, but I love the cover of Scarlet. I love that billowing red cape. The Lunar Chronicles has redeemed itself, coverwise. A+.
I so love these characters. I love how Scarlet is so feisty and determined, and the way her personality is set against Wolf’s quieter nature. They’re both very solid characters. Even though they didn’t know each other for very long within the story, I thought the development of their relationship was great, and very fun to read.
Okay, but if we really want to talk about fun: Carswell Thorne. I adored him, and I loved his adventure with Cinder. He was such a different, wild, colorful kind of presence to see Cinder interact with after having seen her alongside Kai’s more demure, sarcastic nature for so much of the previous book.
Speaking of Kai. That poor kid. He needs a very good sleep and a vacation. And as for Cinder, I really like the moral battle she’s faced with concerning her abilities in this book, and I love the quiet sense of development of her strengths that I’ve gotten from her.
In my review of Cinder, I said that I wished I could see more of the Lunar Chronicles world and culture in descriptive writing. In Scarlet, I definitely found I was picturing things much more vividly, and I very much felt like I had a better grasp of the surroundings, especially the parts in France. I love Scarlet’s farm.
I did sometimes feel like balance of the two stories – Scarlet’s and Cinder’s – could have been done with a bit more suspense. A chapter would end on a cliffhanger on Scarlet’s part, and I would turn the page expecting to find myself back with Cinder (or Kai), but instead I’d still be with Scarlet and the cliffhanger would be immediately resolved. I would have preferred a bit more back and forth rather than staying with each for long periods of time.
I really like Meyer’s writing, it’s concise, consistent, and in this book I found it had just the right amount of flair and description.
Was I satisfied?
Yes! It was even more fun than the last book. Loved loved all the new characters. Book 3 here I come.