Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Retelling, Young Adult, Science Fiction
(SPOILERS FOR CINDER)
“Even in the future, beware of the big bad wolf…”
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.
This was so much fun. I feel bad because I really can’t push myself to give it five stars, since according to my system it doesn’t deserve them.
Scarlet was such an improvement. It took about a year for me to convince myself to continue with the series (don’t ask, I don’t know why), but the wait was worth it. While Cinder was slightly boring for my taste, Scarlet was a delightful experience that left me craving for the next installment.
Let’s start with the multiple POVs, in 3rd person specific. It’s hard to pull these off, but Meyer gave each of her characters a voice and a personality I kind of liked. Also, I really like when there are interconnected stories happening at once, and in this particular book I loved all the switching between Thorne/Cinder and Scarlet/Wolf.
I had two favorite characters. One was Thorne. I feel like the author tried really (maybe too) hard to make him lovable, like a character put in there just for comic relief, but even if I noticed that, it was very hard not to like him. We don’t know much about him but I’d like to find out more!
My other favorite was Wolf. He’s got a certain mystery to him and I really enjoyed all the big reveals about him. To me, he seems like a well layered character, who will blossom in the next books. Again, there’s something about Meyer’s characters that makes me feel like they were created to cause a certain emotion and not necessarily to feel real, but I didn’t really care because I’ve grown to love them anyway.
From reading this, you might think I loved all the newcomers, but surprisingly my least favorite character was Scarlet. I think she had the worst voice out of all the characters, and I don’t think she was really defined. My mental image of her is blurred, and that happens when I don’t have enough information about a character’s personality and/or appearance. Red curls and an attitude. That doesn’t seem like the description of a real person to me. Anyway, some of the more “emotional” scenes with her were good, but a bit short and some even seemed pointless.
Seeing Cinder and Iko again was nice because in a more complex situation, they were actually really good characters that I liked.
The book as a whole was a fast read because it was very gripping, which scores some extra points.
Honestly? I loved it. If you think about it, the elements alone don’t deserve the four stars, but actually reading it was lovely and I think that even if you didn’t like Cinder that much, you’ll get through this one fast and have fun doing it.