Scarlet by Marissa MeyerScarlet is the much raved-about second installment in the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. After waiting far too long to continue on with the sequel, I finally took the plunge and I couldn't be happier that I did! Scarlet is every bit as good as Cinder was but I found myself even more impressed with the addition of another classic fairytale was weaved into an already richly imagined world.
Lunar Chronicles #2
Published February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends
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.
With Scarlet, we are once again taken to a futuristic Earth with cyborgs and Lunars. Since Cinder's story as our cyborg Cinderella isn't finished, she makes a return to the scene here as well. Only this time, her story gets combined with Little Red Riding Hood's. Enter Scarlet herself as a fiery protagonist living in France with her grand-mère. At least, she was...until her grandmother went missing weeks ago. Determined to find her at all costs, Scarlet finds herself joining up with Wolf - a furtive street-fighter. As they begin to unravel the mystery of her missing grandmother, they begin to realize that this goes way beyond anything they'd ever imagined. When Cinder & Scarlet's worlds finally collide, both will be rocked to the core.
I have to say:I am truly amazed, not only at Marissa Meyer's ability to imagine these fairytales in a completely different setting and tone BUT especially at the way she tied Cinderella & Little Red Riding Hood together in the same world! The way it all ends up fitting together is truly stunning to behold. It makes me all the more eager to get my hands on Cress and the rest of the upcoming books in the series to see how they'll all mesh together...and how all these updated and kick-ass heroines will team up :D
Scarlet herself is an amazing MC. She's fearless, stubborn and fiercely protective. Her affection for her grand-mère was especially relatable to me and it just made me love her even more. I found that she complemented Cinder beautifully. They're both strong females but in pretty different ways - Cinder is more level-headed and reserved, where Scarlet was all fire and impulses. I also really enjoyed Wolf, even though he frustrated me immensely for a while there...I won't say any more but yeah, I wanted to punch him a few times. The romance that develops was bordering on insta-lovey but it was more of an attraction brought about by circumstance, so it didn't really bother me. Plus it never took over the plot; there was enough other stuff going on to just sit down and enjoy the ride.
Plot-wise, Scarlet was not only well-crafted, but a truly engaging read. I was just as interested in Scarlet's side of the story as I was in Cinder's. I liked that we usually got more than one chapter for each POV, so you don't feel like the story switches just when things are getting good. Every bit of the story was suspenseful and captivating - I needed to keep turning the pages no matter how long I'd been reading and I finished the book feeling more invested in this story than ever! I can not wait to get my hands on Cress.