Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Square Fish (4th Feb 2014)
Genre: Sci-fi, dystopian, YA
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.
I have always been fascinated by modern retellings of fairytales. When I was recommended to read Cinder by Marissa Meyer, the first book of The Lunar Chronicles, which is inspired by Cinderella – which sounded totally amazing from the blurb, I jumped at the chance and I flipping loved it. So I decided to spend some of my book vouchers on the second book of the series, Scarlet.
Scarlet follows the story of Scarlet Benoit, whose life has taken a turn for the worst when she discovers that her beloved grand-mère has gone missing. And she is on a quest to uncover the mystery behind her grand-mère’s sudden disappearance. If you didn’t know, the story is inspired by The Little Red Riding Hood, which is pretty obvious, judging from the stunning cover. She meets Wolf, a reserved and incredibly talented street fighter who is a total beast in the ring but off the arena, he’s a completely different person. Besides the fact that he’s a handsome stranger, can Scarlet trust him enough to lead him to her grand-mère or should she beware of the big bad wolf?
Unlike Cinder, the second book of the series is set mainly in France, and what’s not to love when it comes to the country that is immensely rich in culture, arts and the delectable cuisine? I loved the descriptions of Paris and the little village Scarlet and her grand-mère live in, Rieux. Once again, Marissa Meyer has left me speechless with her world building as the universe where The Lunar Chronicles is set in is beautiful, haunting and vivid and with every wonderfully crafted sentence or description of the surroundings, it paints a vast, vibrant image in my head.
The characters in Scarlet are as brilliant as the ones in Cinder and readers are introduced to Scarlet’s world where she meets Wolf, the handsome yet reserved street fighter who exhibits characteristics of a wolf (hence, the name and his assuming of the role from the original story). I adored Scarlet as she’s a feisty, determined little fighter who will stop at nothing to save her grand-mère from the evil grasps of her captors. If there’s a writer who can write strong, independent and kick-arse heroines aside from my queen, Sarah J. Maas, it would be Marissa Meyer! In Scarlet, the book alternates between Scarlet’s tale as well as Cinder’s – where the cyborg girl creates a massive hoo-hah when she breaks out of prison and becomes the most wanted fugitive. I cannot, for the life of me, not be charmed by the irresistibly charming Captain Thorne. I am a complete sucker for cocky, confident yet charming male characters and Captain Thorne is the Flynn Rider of the story. (Psst. Not to mention, the next book in the series is based on Rapunzel!)
Scarlet is every bit as wonderful as Cinder and it’s even more so when it comes to the development of the plot. It’s enchanting, exciting and so flipping good. I was blown away by Marissa Meyer’s writing and Scarlet didn’t disappoint at all. The Lunar Chronicles has reignited my love for Star Wars and I only have Marissa Meyer to thank for that. Scarlet is well-paced and solid in the sense that every moment in the book was well-written which made the story flowed really well and suspenseful.
If you think Cinder was amazing, I urge you to pick up Scarlet right away because the series gets better. Christ on a bike! I wonder how readers who have been following the series since 2012 could wait for the next books in the series. Luckily for me, the entire series is out now and I’m reading Cress now and it’s amazing so far. If you’re looking for a new series that is incredibly gripping, bursting to the seams with kick-arse action and heroines that know how to kick arse, I would strongly recommend The Lunar Chronicles!