Sunday, February 24, 2013

Review: Scarlet

Synopsis: 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.

My Review: I have been dying for this ever since I finished Cinder.  It was such a fresh retelling of Cinderella (and believe me I've read quite a few) and yet it is so utterly different and such a story unto itself you can't help but fall in love with it. And of course it's not just a retelling of Cinderella, it's Little Red Riding Hood as well.  I have to say I was originally kind of shocked to know that there would be more fairytales incorporated into the story as well.  I was worried that Cinder's story would get lost and we wouldn't see it as prevalently in the story anymore.  Which is always a legitimate fear when brand new characters and plots are introduced, but Miss Meyer blended the stories beautifully.

In this new installment of the Lunar Chronicles of course we have our beloved Cinder, the cyborg-mechanic-lunar princess, back in action.  She's managed to escape prison and picked up another prisoner along the way.  But her escape comes with a heavy price, mainly for Emperor Kai and the looming threats of war from the Lunar Queen.  And of course our new heroine, Scarlet has problems of her own to deal with.  The criminal cyborg lunar girl that is always on TV is hardly her concern.  Her grandmother has been missing for two weeks, and the authorities have closed the case since there were no signs of foul play.  She knows that her grandmother didn't just leave, someone took her, and the mysterious young street fighter named Wolf just may be able to help her find the culprits.

When I first started in and was introduced to Scarlet I couldn't help but wonder how the hell Meyer was going to connect these two story lines.  The common denominator between the two plots quickly emerged.  (It's been a while since I read Cinder, it took me a while to remember the connection) Meyer switches POV's from Cinder to Scarlet and even occasionally Kai and Wolf.  Switching POV's with more than two characters can sometimes get sloppy, but Meyer executes it perfectly.  There's merit to everyone's point of view and I didn't find myself wishing for the POV to switch like I normally do in some stories.

Scarlet and Cinder were so alike and yet so different all at the same time.  Both have such an unwavering loyalty to those they love.  They're willing to sacrifice themselves if that means saving someone they care about.  It's an admirable trait in both of them.  While Cinder is more cautious and analyzes every decision, weighting the pros and cons, Scarlet is all bold action.  She goes on her gut instinct and is angry and stubborn if someone doesn't go along with her plans.  Scarlet is just as fierce and fiery as her hair suggests.  And it's that fire that really captures Wolf's attention.

I really loved Wolf.  He's definitely one of those awkward character's that doesn't seem to get what's going on sometimes, and then turns deadly on the flip of a dime.  When he fights, it's all animalistic grace and deadly ability.  He is fiercely protective of Scarlet, and despite his actions in certain areas, ultimately he just wants to keep her safe.  He'd never hurt her, and sacrifices everything for her.  I usually hate those couples who fall in love in a matter of days. I didn't mind this time.  It was just too perfect for me to nit pick. And what has become of Cinder and Kai? Well obviously Cinder is still head over heels for him, and despite her big revelation Kai seems to still have feelings for her and finds himself defending her more often than not when he should be hunting her down.

The Lunars just get nastier and nastier as this story goes on.  Okay, well not the Lunars in general.  It's not their fault they have a psycho queen that controls everyone.  But the Queen should definitely be afraid of Cinder.  She may be new to her abilities, but she's already a force to be reckoned with.  And Cinder is no longer hiding.  She plans to fight back, and take down the Queen by any means necessary.

A fabulous addition to this new series.  Scarlet keeps you riveted and I'm just as eager for the third book as I was for this one.  Will there be a third fairytale added to the mix? I hope so.  I have to admit I kind of love that about this story.  Meyer astounded me with an incredible novel yet again.  Can't wait for the  next installment.


The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

What a lovely review-as I read it, I was reminded again of just how much I loved Scarlet! It was such a step up from Cinder and leaves us in an exciting position for Cress-can't wait.

Courtenay said...

I have to agree. I am not finished with Scarlet yet but I started a book club with my 6th graders and they ate up Cinder and we are reading Scarlet currently. I promised them I would not read ahead...I think this may be a promise I break! Whoops!