Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #2
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"Alpha female" he murmured. "I sort of like that." Beaming, Scarlet gave a mild shrug. "It could grow on me."
- Wolf and Scarlet, ScarletCinder, 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 loved 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 Levena, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
I offically called Cinder one of my favourite books of 2013. But then, I got to read the second book in The Lunar Chronicles: Scarlet. What a book.
Despite there not being a Disney movie, Little Red Riding Hood is a fairy tale I loved as a child. I still do. Even before reading, my love for this fairy tale made me more excited about Scarlet than I was for Cinder. This may have also to do with the setting I so adore. France is a perfect country for the story of Little Red Riding Hood to take place. It's not something stereotypical, yet very fitting.
We dive into Scarlet with Scarlet Benoit getting comm about her grandmother's case. I got bombed with questions, but no answers. After a while I wanted to know the exact same things as Scarlet did. Maybe because we were in her head? It didn't matter. I felt her sadness, frustration and anger. I felt compassion for a character. That's not something I do a lot.
The first appearance of the stranger, by hearing Émilie talking about him, I knew. I knew he was the boy from The Queen's Army. Immediatly I felt such pity, and confusion. How did he end up in a tavern in France? What happened with his pack? Him telling his story didn't help much either, because the things he told didn't make sense with what I've read. I tried to put pieces together, but I kept failing. Almost never did I want to know more so desperately. I wanted to know what happened. It wasn't until he told the truth I "figured it out". I hated myself for not seeing it through.
From the beginning on, I wondered how Cinder and Scarlet were supposed to meet. They had nothing in common: a farmer from Rieux, France and a cyborg from New Beijing. The author just had to surprise me once again. We get an answer to Cinder's past and the connection to Scarlet, which is done perfectly. It makes sense and I applaud the author for having everything detailed very well.
While Scarlet is searching for her missing grandmother, there's suddenly a chapter with information about a Captain Thorne. What may be confusing at first, gets cleared in a jiffy when Cinder makes her appearance. For a moment, I was afraid of an upcoming love triangle between Cinder, Kai and Thorne. Thank the Gods it didn't, but just because nothing romantic between the two happened, I really enjoyed their chemistry. Cinder and Thorne can both be a know-it-all, and sometimes that clashes. When it does, it brings along hilarious conversations. And I haven't even talked about one of the most complicated hate-love romances: the one between Scarlet and Wolf. Their romance is one of the highlights in Scarlet. It was done correctly, their dialogues were realistic and loveable. They fit perfectly: Scarlet, a fierce badass and Wolf: shy but dangerous. Marissa Meyer never fails to create characters that are to die for.
The only little thing I had to struggle with in the beginning, was getting used to the multiple stories at once. In the previous book, Cinder, we had the same story but from different points of view. In Scarlet, we have multiple points of view, but also two completely different stories. Looking back, I now find this rather a luxury problem, because I became quickly used to reading both. Using this method, I guess that's why what made me finish it so fast. In the transition from Cinder's situation to Scarlet's, sometimes one ended with a small cliffhanger. That, and the fast pace, was what made me kept interested.
I got to love Scarlet as a person even more than Cinder, so I'll wonder if I'll love Cress even more.
My expectations? An original take on the fairy tale of Rapunzel, Cinder taking on her role as a princess and development in that, more Wolf x Scarlet scenes and Cinder x Thorne humour.