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 review is spoiler-free!
Last month I reviewed Cinder, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles, and planned to write about Scarlet and its sequel Cress together in this post. But the series is my new obsession, so I’ll give each novel its own review. These books are seriously some of the best I’ve ever read, guys.
First, I want to fangirl about that cover. All the (currently published) books in this series have colorful, elegant covers that are fantastical but not too “busy” and cluttered with stuff. Marissa Meyer has some excellent people helping her to put these books together.
As its name indicates, Cinder is an adaptation of “Cinderella” – but I didn’t think the sequels would follow the same format. I don’t really know why, but that’s what I thought and I was pleasantly surprised to realize that Scarlet retells the tale of “Little Red Riding Hood.”
Cinder was just as awesome in this book as she was in its predecessor. I loved how no-nonsense she was, and she had more purpose in Scarlet than in Cinder because she had something more important to work towards (trying to find Michelle Benoit).
She picked up a friend, Carswell Thorne, along the way. Actually, it’s more like she kidnapped him because she needed his spaceship, and then discovered that he was completely irritating. I laughed so much at their bickering-filled friendship.
However, Cinder didn’t appear as often as I would’ve liked. This was completely logical because Scarlet was the protagonist of this book, but still. I like Cinder better. I can’t pinpoint what it was about Scarlet that I disliked, though. She was smart and kind and not afraid to fight. Maybe there wasn’t anything bad about her. Maybe it’s just that this series is bursting with wonderfully-written characters so while Scarlet may be awesome, someone else is even better.
Or maybe it’s Wolf. He became Scarlet’s boyfriend and while their growing relationship was sweet, it just didn’t stand out to me. I think I know why – Wolf perfectly fit the “bad boy” trope (just like Draco Malfoy, Loki, et cetera also do).
Which has never interested me. I mean, even if we’re talking about a gender that I am attracted to, well, I don’t get the “bad girl” thing either. I won’t say that I’ll never ever fall in love with a moody, rebellious loner but it wouldn’t be the deciding factor in my attraction to them, if that makes any sense. So I couldn’t relate at all when Scarlet thought about how dangerous or distant or whatever Wolf was. And she seemed to think about that a lot.
Also, I think I was getting a little bored at that point because it took those two forever to get to Paris.
Anyway. Let’s see, what else did I like?
Oh, right. The pacing. It was both slow and fast – slow because these books are lengthy and fast because the events described within take place over just a few weeks. I loved that too.
In conclusion, although I did not like Scarlet as much as Cinder (or Cress for that matter), it is nonetheless a fantastic book and I wish I’d read it earlier. I had never even heard of it until a few months ago and that’s a shame. Read it. I command you, by use of my thaumaturgical powers!