Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Release: Feb 5, 2013
Source: ARC via trade
Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-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 and 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 has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.
As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.
With Cinder, Marissa Meyer introduced readers to a fascinating futuristic world. I mean, come on—a Cinderella cyborg? It’s also fair to say that Cinder ended in an awful cliff-hanger: MY HEART. It’s for this reason that I found myself desperate to get my hands on Scarlet. When I did, though, I became hesitant because Scarlet begins by introducing us to a new main protagonist instead of continuing where Cinder left off.
But readers, do not worry. Scarlet is an equally captivating protagonist. Practically orphaned and raised by her grandmother, we’re introduced to a young girl in search of answers. Where is her grandmother, and who took her? She’s equally fierce and determined, and a far cry from the little timid red-riding hood we know in the original tale.
In addition, Cinder’s story is not forgotten. Meyer writes about Cinder’s escape, her adventure with the hilarious (and charming) prisoner, Captain Throne. Both story arcs are different, but Marissa Meyer skillfully interweaves both of their stories in ways that is sometimes predictable and sometimes surprising. No, the romance between Kai and Cinder doesn’t disappear, but it stays stagnant in light of recent events (which include the Ball and Queenn Laviana). This lack of romance between Kai and Cinder doesn’t mean that there that romance is absent.
Wolf is dark, dangerous, and used to be a part of a violent Clan. Their members, their purpose, are all a mystery until the end. He agrees to help Scarlet in her quest to find and save her grandmother. Their mutual goals bring them closer.
One of my biggest complaints with Cinder was that I found it very predictable. Scarlet had some rather unexpected twists and turns that had me nodding my head and saying ‘Yes, Marissa Meyer is a genius’.
And Marissa Meyer is a genius.
I think Scarlet was a far stronger story than Cinder, and the romance far more interesting. My only concern is that, if Marissa chooses to write Cress and Winter from different perspectives, the narrative will become too cluttered to become invested in the new characters we meet. Hopefully, this won’t happen, and she’ll find a way to masterfully weave all four stories.
RATING: 4.5 SLICES