Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Published by Square Fish on February 4, 2014
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #2
Genre(s): fiction, adventure, fantasy, science fiction, young adult
Format & Length: paperback, 452
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Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison—even though she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive if she does—in this second installment from Marissa Meyer.
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.
An NPR Best Book of 2013
After finishing Cinder, I wasn’t in a rush to read the rest of The Lunar Chronicles, but I have read several reviews saying the series gets better as it progresses. And in a recent trip to Barnes and Noble, I purchased Scarlet. (Partially based on my love of the cover!) So it seemed now was the time to dig in and read it.
As we all know, this is a reimagining of Little Red Riding Hood. Scarlet, with her red curls, fiery temper, and red hoodie, is a strong woman and a strong main character. I did find her to be a bit of a broken record through the first three quarters of the book, but by the last quarter she seemed to grow into her own.
After reading the first three chapters of Scarlet’s story, it was a jarring jump to Cinder’s, especially with it starting out with an entirely new character. However, once I got used to the switching back and forth, the rest of the book flowed well. Both were well paced and they tied together naturally – nothing felt forced. I noticed small hints from one storyline that point to happenings in the other, and appreciated the careful planning and solid execution of the plot.
I can’t quite put my finger on why – maybe Meyer’s writing improved, or seeing more of the backstory, or the tie in of multiple storylines – but whatever the reason, I found Scarlet to be way more entertaining than the first installment. With more action over all and a twist I didn’t expect, I’m much more excited to continue on with Cress! I know I won’t be the first to say it, but if you read Cinder and felt disappointed, give this book a shot before giving up entirely.