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Review: Scarlet - Marissa Meyer

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Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
My rating: {★★★★☆}

YA Fantasy Fairy Tale Retelling
Published February 5th 2013 by Feiwel & Friends

Source: Borrowed
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. 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.
I buddy read Scarlet with a close real life friend after we had read Cinder together.

Di's rating: {★★★★☆}
Alissa's Rating: {★★★★☆}

Both of us enjoyed Scarlet more than it's predecessor and there was a distinct evolution in Meyer's writing and characterisation.

We both connected to the character of Scarlet more easily than we had connected with Cinder and she is a pretty kick-ass lead to have in a YA book/series like this. There was nothing outstanding that she could do, there were no particular talents that she had and yet she was smart and witty with a quiet determination and a quick temper that made her easily relateable.

The new characters were well thought out and well placed in the story and the sci-fi world was better fleshed out with a much greater sense of place than we ever got from Cinder. Thorne was a wonderful contrast to the rest of the cast and provided some interesting dynamics and the interactions between him and Cinder made me warm to Cinder as a character more than I had in the previous book. Platonic friendships are something that really need to be explored more in YA!
A relieved grin filled up Thorne’s face. “We’re having another moment, aren’t we?”
“If by a moment, you mean me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, then I guess we are.”
The fact that Wolf had such an interesting back-story and such a compelling characterisation made the interactions between Wolf and Scarlet that much more engaging which impacted the entire book (for the better!). Their romance felt somewhat rapid although natural and I think young love can easily happen over a matter of days.
She sighed, annoyed at her restlessness. “So,” she said, disrupting Wolf in another backward glance.
“Who would win in a fight—you or a pack of wolves?”
He frowned at her, all seriousness. “Depends,” he said, slowly, like he was trying to figure out her motive for asking. “How big is the pack?”
“I don’t know, what’s normal? Six?”
“I could win against six,” he said. “Any more than that and it could be a close call.”
Scarlet smirked. “You’re not in danger of low self-esteem, at least.”
Kai's storyline with Levana also made him a more interesting character as now he's more than just a romantic lead and more than simply the troubled Prince Charming. His character had to stand on it's own two feet instead of feeding off interactions with Cinder and we both found him a much more enjoyable persona.

The plot was faster paced with more action and more reveals than we previously saw in Cinder which also made for a better read and while this was built on the foundation of Cinder, this book definitely made that storyline more enticing.

It's fun and exciting, action packed and heartbreaking with an emphasis on the bonds of family, great friendships and girl power.


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Spoilers Ahead! Proceed at your own Risk!


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With Cinder, we first discussed what parallels we drew between. What did we see in Scarlet?

A: I was disappointed in the parallels between Red Riding Hood and Scarlet.

D: I enjoyed the way that Meyer brought in the wolf in Grandmother's clothing - and the fact that the eyes were what gave him away... (What big eyes you have!) .
I think Little Red Riding Hood hasn't been done so often so there wasn't a lot to draw from - the red hood, the scene where the wolf is lying in the bed pretending to be the grandmother - the main stuff was there. Although... In the fairy tale a huntsman comes by and saves the pair - which Wolf did at the headquarters... I just like the way she's interpreted it and twisted it a little.

What do you think of Iko? What do you think will happen to her?

A: I'm glad they brought her back because she is the only one left from Cinder's old life

D: Agreed - I hate it when YA protagonists have no friends or history. I hope she gets a new droid body for her sake.

A: I'm getting a real Zaphod Beeblebrox vibe from Thorne and an Eddie vibe from Iko.

D: Ahhh. Captain Thorne. He was one my favourites actually and I got a bit of a Hans Solo vibe from him at times.

A: I'm shipping Thorne and Cinder, I don't care about Kai.

D: I don't think that Cinderella can be without her Prince Charming, and I thought Kai was a much stronger character in this book. I wonder how we'll get around him marrying Levana.

A: Speaking of plot devices - I really thought that Cinder's cyborg brain recollection was too convenient and an immature plot device.

D: Yes, I agree. My eyes rolled a bit at that scene but luckily it was back in the first parts of the book and the story and total plot arc didn't really hinge on how or where this information came from.

D: So, we took a little while to get to the reviewing of this one. Are you up for reading Cress soon? I do specifically remember being rather excited for it at the end of this book.

A: Absolutely. If we leave it too much longer we'll have to re-read the other two!

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)