Oh boy. Marissa Meyer has done it again.
She’s given us an absolutely fantastic book by taking elements from two of our favorite fairytales — Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood — and turning it into a whimsical sci-fi novel full of steamy romance and thrilling action. Scarlet, the second to the Lunar Chronicles series was simply superb, right down to the loveable characters, dialogue and wonderful world building.
If you’re looking for an “out-of-this-world” series that’s lighthearted, quirky and brilliant, the Lunar Chronicles is the way to go. Meyer will pull you into her world in a matter of seconds and you’ll come to love and cherish each and every one of her characters and their storylines – I know I did!
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.
For a book that takes place in a very short period of time, Marissa Meyer does an amazing job showing the growth in her story and her characters. And I think that’s what wins it for this series. The characters. I had actually been worried about the introduction of new protagonists to steal the spotlight from our original crew. I had loved Cinder’s storyline (I still do) and didn’t want to divert away from her, Kai and Queen Levana. However, Meyer was able to seamlessly weave Scarlet’s story into the series so marvelously that it actually made Cinder’s story better than I could have ever imagined!
Scarlet (or Little Red Riding Hood) is introduced as our feisty heroine on a mission to find her missing grandmother. She partners with a rugged and absolutely charming street fighter named Wolf who is also an ex-member of the mysterious gang behind her grandmother’s disappearance. While it took me a while to warm up to Scarlet, I took a liking to Wolf immediately and found his innocence very endearing. He wasn’t the big cocky guy that I had first expected. Instead, Wolf was very sweet and naive despite his background. He complemented Scarlet very well, who I considered vicious and conniving in her own way. The romance between the two was believable in that…though sudden, their conversations and interactions were very meaningful. The little things that Scarlet notices about Wolf make it all the better and it gets even more heated during their journey to Paris. I was reeling when Wolf’s secrets and purpose came to fruition. Their relationship is definitely more mature than what our shy little Cinder had with the handsome Prince Kai.
Which brings us to the other amazing half of the book…Cinder. In Scarlet, our favorite cyborg-gal is also struggling to survive the obstacles thrown her way after discovering that she’s the long-lost Lunar Princess Selene. Cinder unexpectedly finds herself paired with Captain Carswell Thorne, who is quite hilarious and probably my favorite character next to Prince (or Emperor) Kai. Thorne really adds an anime/manga-like element to this series, providing readers with some comedic relief that had me laughing the entire time. The two along with Iko make surprisingly a great team and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them. They experience their own heart-stopping adventure that eventually collides with our other two characters, Scarlet and Wolf.
The overall plot of this series is simply fantastic. Though I did wish that there was more Kai to keep my heart “aflutter,” I found this book particularly faster paced than the first and perfectly orchestrated by Meyer. I’m telling you, there was never a dull moment in Scarlet and the sci-fi elements really added the right touch to it all. I’m eager to see what’s next for our growing troupe. I’m excited to see Cinder fight for her throne and to see Prince Kai’s reaction when he finally meets her again. Did anyone swoon every time he thought of Cinder? While I loved Scarlet and Wolf together, they didn’t quite have that magic that I felt between Kai and Cinder in book one, which ultimately makes me believe that they are the main couple of the story.
Meyer leaves us off at the perfect place with a few revelations and epiphanies to set the stage for the third book of the series. I seriously can’t believe I have to wait an entire year for Cress to come out! The theme music I chose for this book is Forbidden Friendship by John Powell. I think it captures everything from Cinder and Thorne’s humorous run-ins with the law, Scarlet and Wolf’s journey and growing romance, and of course…Cinder’s final decision to take control of her own life once and for all. It’s a lighthearted feel to lighthearted book. Definitely one of my favorite series yet and a great start for new books of 2013!
Photo Credit: Photo as seen on VisualizeUs
Click here to read my review for Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer.