Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Review: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
Publisher: February 5, 2013 Feiwel and Friends
Genre: Science Fiction, YA
Format: Kindle
Source: Purchased

*Please note that it is very hard to review books past the first one in the series without having any spoilers at all. I will try to keep it as spoiler free as I can, but if you haven't read the first book in this series, you may just want to read that review instead of continuing with this one.
Goodreads Summary
The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

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.

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

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. 


What Big Teeth You Have


Cinder was a tale about a cyborg with an awful stepmother, two stepsisters, and a dead father making her story on the bare surface similar to that of Cinderella. Other than that, Cinder is her own person entirely with a completely different man to woo and thankfully more concerns than just him.

Scarlet allows us to meet some new characters that I'm sure you can guess are drawn from the story of Red Riding Hood. Scarlet is a regular teenage girl with crimson hair, a red hoodie, and a gun. Her grand-mere is missing and she receives help from a character named Wolf to search for her. That's where the similarities end for that retelling. 


The Good


In this installment, we go deeper into Cinder's past and really begin to unravel why she is the way she is and who had some parts to play in this. She also begins to unlock some memories of her own on this journey. It was great fun for me to watch the dots connect together and to have Cinder become more of a completed character. I know we will continue to learn more throughout the series because I don't think Meyer is done with revelations, but for where we are now it feels right.

Next, I have to talk about how much I love her characters. When you have a lot of strong female characters, you have to be careful to make them unique. Right now, there are two strong main female characters with more to come. Scarlet and Cinder are both strong, independent female characters and thankfully unique enough to tell them apart. In my opinion, Cinder has more snark and insecurity and Scarlet is rash yet confident and bold. I am shown Scarlet acting first and asking questions later on occasion. After a while, she mentions that this is a trait she should curb. Cinder is strong in a lot of areas. I guess really I would call her resilient, but she is still scared. She is also brave due to all she does even though she is afraid.

Two more male characters in this story are Wolf and Captain Thorne. Where Cinder and Scarlet are similar with small but important characteristics that make them different, all the men so far are vastly their own.  Wolf is an enigma. Even by the end with all that happens in the story, I feel like I don't know all that's going on with him. He's very difficult to read whether he's good or bad throughout the story and Scarlet moves from distrust to a resigned collaboration, to trust, and back often due to all that unfolds. I really like his character a lot. He's very good-looking, strong, and incredibly mysterious.

Then, there is Captain Thorne who can be quite frustrating. He's self-assured, a known criminal, girl crazy, and provides good entertainment. He also drives Cinder crazy and there is not much nice said between the two.

The world of Luna is still a mystery, but I learned a lot more about the people from there and also about Queen Levana who is a baddie made of pure evil sauce. I don't see a good side or any pity for this character and I like how horrible she is and the rampant chaos she causes.

The world they are on now is shown through negotiation talks with Emperor Kai and other world leaders. When he finds out Lunars have been moving in and hiding among them, he definitely is not happy, so he seeks to ramp up security. The story is well-told. The way it switched between character's POV was spaced well and kept it entertaining. I am incredibly interested in where it's all going because of how this one ended.


The Bad


Emperor Kai for now was predictable, but there were enough surprises in other areas that it didn't matter.

The Romance


Cinder and Emperor Kai's budding romance was left in tatters at the end of the last book. In this story, Scarlet and Wolf have a pull towards each other and it's definitely fun to watch the chemistry battle the walls that are up between the pair.

Conclusion


I know  Cinder was hit-or-miss with some due to world-building, explaining technology better, or missing back-story, but honestly this is a series that I adore and has been added to my list of favorites. I was given more information about Cinder's past, and more insight to what should happen in the future. The characters are easy to become attached to and root for and the relation to the fairy-tales I love is just the icing on the cake. A series that shouldn't be missed if you like YA Science Fiction.

Excerpts


“A relieved grin filled up Thorne’s face. “We’re having another moment, aren’t we?”
    “If by a moment, you mean me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, then I guess we are.” 


“She sighed, annoyed at her restlessness. “So,” she said, disrupting Wolf in another backward glance.
“Who would win in a fight—you or a pack of wolves?”
He frowned at her, all seriousness. “Depends,” he said, slowly, like he was trying to figure out her motive for asking. “How big is the pack?”
“I don’t know, what’s normal? Six?”
“I could win against six,” he said. “Any more than that and it could be a close call.”
Scarlet smirked. “You’re not in danger of low self-esteem, at least.”
“What do you mean?”
“Nothing at all.” She kicked a stone from their path. “How about you and … a lion?”
“A cat? Don’t insult me.”
She laughed, the sound sharp and surprising. “How about a bear?”
“Why, do you see one out there?”
“Not yet, but I want to be prepared in case I have to rescue you.”
The smile she’d been waiting for warmed his face, a glint of white teeth flashing. “I’m not sure. I’ve never had to fight a bear before.” 



13 comments:

  1. I don't know why I haven't gotten to this story yet. I loved Cinder and know this one will be wonderful! I actually liked that there wasn't a whole lot explained in Cinder, it just seemed to fit well with the story that was being told. But I won't complain about more details into things in this installment. Great review! :)

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  2. I am very happy you liked it. Even though Cinder wasn't my fav I still want to read Scarlet. I have heard people fawning over Wolf. :) So I am interested to meet him. And I am happy more things are explained. Great review.

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  3. I think this is one of the series I'm holding off until I can make a marathon of it. I like that Meyer has these awesome female characters. Even though I had to skim your review, you really made me want to read Scarlet!

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  4. Bookworm BrandeeMay 22, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    I have to admit that I steered clear of Cinder for a long time. I don't know why exactly...the cover maybe?!? But Scarlet, this one I'm gonna have to read! Thanks for sharing your glowing review, Jaclyn!

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  5. It's not really the sequel? Or how do you get two different characters? I just haven't felt attracted to this series for some reason. Maybe, I'll give them a try some time

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  6. Oh yes, this one is the sequel. Cinder is the name of the first in this series. Maybe this one isn't for you. If it looks good, I know I for sure love it. Thank you so much for stopping by :D

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  7. The cover was awesome to me, but I haven't seen you read many of the science fiction types. However, I can definitely see why Scarlet would start making you interested because the character of Wolf seems pretty up your alley. Thank you very much for stopping by :D

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  8. I've been meaning to get to this; I'm quite curious to see how Cinder's story continues while Scarlet's character is introduced. I'm happy to hear that there's more of Cinder's back story here because it was a quibble that I had with the first book. I'm glad to see that you loved this! :)

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  9. I understand that! The next one is called Cress and comes out in February of 2014 with the new character being a Rapunzel type :D

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  10. Very glad to hear that :D I like not being alone LOL

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  11. Wolf is such a great character. You should enjoy him. I'm glad you are continuing with the story even if it's not your favorite. Thank you so much for stopping by :D

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  12. I agree. I like the progression of how things are reveled so far. I hope you enjoy it when you do get to it :D Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  13. I knew a lot of people had trouble with back-story and technology/world details and such. You will be happy with more information provided in this one. I really like how Scarlet was incorporated into Cinder's story. I hope all the future characters have a smooth entrance as well. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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