by Marissa Meyer
Original Publishing Date: February 5, 2013
Length: 452 pages
Publisher: Fiewel and Friends
Obtained Via: Hastings
Format Read In: Hardback
Summary via Goodreads:
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.
PLEASE NOTE: While this review is spoiler-free for Scarlet, it may include spoilers for Cinder if you have not yet read it.
Bold statement time: The Lunar Chronicles is my new Harry Potter. I’m not saying it’s replaced Harry Potter on my “favorite series ever” list, but I feel similarly towards it. I anticipate each new release and cannot help but to be a gushing fan about it. It’s that good.
I’m not even sure where to begin because there’s just so much I love about Scarlet. I read reviews saying Scarlet was better than Cinder, but I was skeptical. How do you get better than something I already pretty much consider one of the best? I’m still not sure how exactly that happens, but it did.
So, the first of many things I loved about this book were the characters. Cinder is back, and this time, while she’s still adjusting to her new-found identity, she’s not the insecure mechanic that was introduced at the beginning of the series. She’s much more determined. She’s quick-witted and smart, and she uses that plus her Lunar abilities to make it through the novel. I loved seeing Cinder start to come into her own. I’m sure she has quite a journey ahead of her before the last book, but this was great progress.
Unlike Cinder, Scarlet, our newest addition to the fairy-tale gang, does not have insecurity. What she does have is a gun and a feisty streak a mile wide. She knows how to run her life, let me tell you. Even when bad things happen, like her missing Grandmother, she waste no time and springs into action. She does get down, depressed, and sad, but she’s not the type to mope. I have a feeling her temper might get her into trouble in later books, but in this book it serves her pretty well.
Prince, now Emperor Kai is back, though if I had to make any complaint with this book, it’s that he’s not on the pages nearly enough. I missed seeing him interact with Cinder, but given the circumstances to the ending of Cinder and the fact she starts the book as a fugitive that would be a bit difficult to manage. Even so, I really felt for the guy. He’s not having an easy time running his country with the plague and the Lunar Queen all on his mind.
As for the new guys, Wolf and Captain Thorne, they’re both just as great as characters. Wolf is more of a broody, dark, almost “bad boy” archetype, but unlike most, the reasoning behind his character makes a lot of sense. I can’t talk much about his character without giving plot details away, but I will say I loved the addition of Wolf and his companions. It made the story seem scarier and really drove home how much is at stake with all the tension between Earth and the Lunar colony. Thorne is more of the comic relief type, but that’s not to say his character is shallow. He was one of the most fun characters to read in this book besides Iko. I didn’t even realize how much I missed Iko until she showed back up!
The way Marissa Meyer weaves the story together is just amazing. All of those different characters I’ve come to love at first seem so separate from each other. What could Wolf possibly have to do with Cinder’s tale? How would Scarlet get involved in this plot? I was intrigued as to how the plot lines would intersect and I was really pleased by the end result. I cannot imagine the amount of thinking, planning, and plotting that had to be done to get all the different aspects of this story to flow together so seamlessly.
I didn’t dislike the ending to Cinder, but I didn’t love it either. It didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the book, but it wasn’t something I walked away from thinking was the best ending ever. The ending to Scarlet, on the other hand, is one of my favorites that I’ve read in awhile. It leaves the impression that there’s a lot more to come, but the characters are so resolved that you can’t help but to get excited for what they’re going to do!
Final Impression: I have a LOT of thoughts and opinions on Scarlet, and they’re all positive ones! The world that Marissa Meyer has created just sucks me in every time and I *had* to read this book in one sitting, no matter how much time that took. Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorn are new additions to the Lunar Chronicles, and I loved them just as much as I loved my old favorites of Cinder, Iko, and Kai. This has become one of my favorite series. 5/5 stars.