Tuesday, 2 April 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Title: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Pages: 452
Publication Date: February 2013

This is not the fairytale you remember.

But it’s one you won’t forget.

Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.

Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive – when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.

As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner . . .


 My Thoughts...
I started off Scarlet somewhat hesitantly, remembering how it had taken me some 100 pages to get into its prequel Cinder.  However, only 3 chapters into Scarlet and I was already loving it! It’s often the second book in a series which is a disappointment but with ‘The Lunar Chronicles’ that situation is completely inverted. Scarlet, without a doubt, easily surpassed Cinder and left me hooked onto this series and hoping that the next two instalments (Cress and Winter, due to be released in 2014 and 2015 respectively) will follow this trend and be even better!

Scarlet was just so much more entertaining and exciting to read than Cinder. One major reason contributing to this was the alternation of two storylines – Scarlet’s and Cinder’s. The two plotlines really complemented each other and I thought the way they fitted together was clever. I have to say, I preferred reading Scarlet’s scenes more than Cinder’s though, definitely, although both characters had their exciting moments. 

A third mini-storyline (a kind of sideline plot, which I feel was big enough to earn it the title of ‘mini-storyline’) was the one following now-Emperor Kai and his political negotiations with Queen Levana. You could really see Kai’s struggle to deal with his predicament – he was still trying to absorb Cinder’s Lunar/cyborg-ness, along with the fact that he was on the brink of war with Levana over Cinder, along with the fact that he might still have feelings for this Lunar/cyborg girl who appeared to be causing him a lot of trouble. Poor guy.

Anyway, all these alternating storylines meant there was always a lot going on, and as a result, I was never bored whilst reading Scarlet.

Another great thing about Scarlet was the new characters it introduced to us. Scarlet was a very likable protagonist, although she and Cinder did seem very similar to me – they were both fiery, feisty, sarky characters, and I just felt like they were quite obviously penned by the same author. It would have been nice to see a bit more differentiation between the two, but there’s still space for them to develop throughout the series so I’m not worried.

I loved Wolf, although he felt a little bit like a cliché – the tortured, mysterious love interest...so yeah, he was alright but nothing new. Who I did really like though was Captain Thorne! We didn’t see much of him in Scarlet (but I hope we will be throughout the rest of the series) but he’s such a charming, self-deprecating character and I found him very amusing.

Overall, Scarlet was SO MUCH BETTER than Cinder, and, having read several reviews by others, I’ve found that this opinion is shared by both those who loved Cinder and those who didn’t alike. So, if you were one of those who fell in love with ‘The Lunar Chronicles’ series immediately after reading Cinder, be excited because you’ll love Scarlet! And, if you weren’t...well don’t worry because you may be surprised by Scarlet! I was!