Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Book Review 12. Scarlet

Book: Scarlet
Series: The Lunar Chronicles (#2)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Science Fiction/ Romance/ Dystopian
Pages: 454
Published: February 5th, 2013

Summary: 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.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

“I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.”

I just couldn't stay away from these books! After reading "Cinder", I was so nervous that "Scarlet" would disappoint me. Thank god it didn't. I can honestly say that I enjoyed this book just as much as I enjoyed the first. So why the four stars, you ask? Well, although I thoroughly liked this book, I simply liked the storyline of "Cinder" a little bit better. I missed those cute moments between Kai and Cinder, Iko flirting in front of the prince, all the little things. I was just feeling a bit of nostalgia...

It was also the matter that I read this book very sporadically. It took me three days to read "Cinder", it took me a week and half to finish this book. Partly because I was very busy, partly because the book wasn't calling to me like crazy. But nevertheless, I really did enjoy the plot to this book and I think it is a strong sequel to an already stellar book series.

Let's talk about the characters. Scarlet. She's the titular character, the girl that the book revolves around. Now, if you didn't already didn't know, Scarlet is based off of Little Red Riding Hood. I personally liked her very much. I thought she was strong, independent, but at the same time very human. She felt real pain for someone. At the beginning of the book she is questioning where her grandmother would be or why she was abandoned. I think the appearance of Wolf built her character even more, since you got to see a more vulnerable side of her. She wasn't my absolute favorite character, I think she was a bit too much like Cinder for my taste, but I do appreciate her.

“We met less than a week ago and in that time I've done nothing but lie and cheat and betray you. I know. But if you give me a chance...all I want is to protect you. To be near you. For as long as I'm able.” 

There are two typical ways nowadays to retell the relationship between Red Riding Hood and the wolf. Either, Red is the wolf, or she falls in love with the wolf. When I found out it was the latter I was part disappointed at Marissa Meyer for being generic, but a part of me was excited to see what kind of relationship Scarlet and Wolf had. I was surprised at how much I loved it! I thought the whole thing was great and epic and totally unpredictable, which I love. I really enjoyed how Meyer wrote the whole story of Wolf and how his character development directly correlated to the original story of "Red Riding Hood". So after every part I would be like, "OH MY GOD! THAT MAKES TOTAL SENSE!" or, "THAT CAME FROM THE ORIGINAL STORY!"

“Besides, if you are who you claim to be, that makes you my true queen. Therefore, you have my loyalty.” 

 Now, onto Cinder's story. Cinder is not the main focus point in this story, therefore she doesn't do that much. Oh, well except escape prison (SPOILER!), but you knew that was coming. Of course, she doesn't do it alone. With the help of Captain Thorne, who is quite possibly my dream best friend, and a special appearance from Iko, she manages to hook a ride outta there! Her mission: Find Michelle Benoit. Who coincidentally happens to be Scarlet's grandmother who just recently went missing. Right about the same time that the Lunar Queen, Lebitch... I mean, Levana, was looking for Cinder. What a crazy random happenstance! Now for all of you who have read the first book, you should know why Cinder is such a powerful chess piece. But nevertheless, I won't give anything away...

Before I wrap this up, I will say Kai did make an appearance in this book. He had a few chapters dedicated to him, which I enjoyed reading. At times, it felt like a filler from all the action going on with Scarlet and Cinder, but it was necessary to continue his story. He continues the search for Cinder, even though he secretly hopes that they will never find her. After everything that happened, he still cares about her enough to hope she makes it out alive. He even defends her in a press conference.

“Did you know that she was cyborg?” asked a woman in an unhidden tone of disgust.
Kai stared at her, appearing confused, then let his gaze dance over the crowd. He shuffled his feetcloser to the podium, a wrinkle forming on the bridge of his nose. Cinder bit the inside of her cheek and braced herself for adamant disgust. Who would ever invite acyborg to the ball? 
But instead, Kai said simply, “I don’t see that her being cyborg is relevant. Next question?” Cinder’s metal fingers jolted.” 

Towards the end, Kai makes a big decision that definitely questions what his fate will be in the next book. It certainly affects the city of New Beijing and his relationship with Cinder and Queen Levana. I'm sure everyone who has read this book will all have different predictions to what happens to the fair Prince Kai.

All I'll say is that I really did enjoy this book and it's certainly one of my favorite book series I have ever read. I'm super stoked to read the third book and I can't imagine what will happen next.

I prescribe one dose of "Scarlet" by Marissa Meyer to any fan of "Cinder", "The Lunar Chronicles", or any retelling of new fairytales.

Read it. Love it. Live it.

- stELla

(p.s. Marissa Meyer created a short story entitled "The Little Android". It's a darker, sadder version of "The Little Mermaid". But nevertheless it's good, and I will post a link to her Wattpad page where you can read it.

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