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.
Title: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwell and Friends (Macmillan Kids)
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
The Cover Contessa's Review:
The Lunar Chronicles is quickly climbing it's way to one of my most favorite series of all times. When I first started reading this series, I wasn't sure I would like it. I was skeptical about sci-fi and was sure that I might be bored if the book ran away from me with technical mumbo jumbo. I could not have been more wrong. While Meyer does use technical terms in the books, they are easy to understand and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this!
I have to say that the cover of this book is very plain. Not so plain that it's not beautiful, but it doesn't give any of the story away at all. Still, the red color is so eye catching to me, I find myself mesmerized by it. And since Little Red Riding Hood retellings are some of my favorite retellings, there was no way I wasn't going to jump right into this and see where it went!
This book picks up pretty much where Cinder ended. So, if you did not read the first book of this series, close this review right now because there might be a few spoilers that would totally ruin it for you! When I first started it, I kind of liked that it did not completely focus on Cinder. And I thought to myself that you could possibly read this without having to read the first book, as it introduces a bunch of new characters to the world Meyer built in Cinder. Characters with their own unique story. However, as you read on, you will find that it is very closely tied to Cinder, so you really need that background before you read this.
One of my favorites things about this book is Meyer's uncanny ability to write in third person and yet keep us totally connected to each character. I often find third person hard to get into. But Meyer really does it right. And I think it's totally necessary so we can truly see the characters from an omniscient perspective. She is able to keep her character's voices so distinct, which is truly a feat with this voice!
Scarlet is an awesome character. She is super strong, sassy, snarky and just all around a great girl to read about. She can be a bit impulsive at times, but I think this is one of the things that makes her very endearing to the reader. We can all have a bit of impulsivity when it comes to protecting the ones we love. She's a bit older than Cinder, in her later teens, so she has a bit more of an adult air about her. But that doesn't stop her from being a bit soft around some of her edges as her story slowly unfolds. We learn about her connection to Cinder, or at least her grandmother's connection. And we also learn some news about who Scarlet is and how she is connected to the Lunar Queen. She's a great contrast to Cinder's younger character for sure.
Wolf, well, he's just a sexy beast. He's predatory and unpredictable at times, but also can be gentle and caring. He's very different from Kai's character. Wolf is calculating and efficient. Everything is done with his predatory nature in mind. On top of it all, he's more complicated than anyone could imagine. He quickly becomes fiercely loyal and protective of Scarlet, though I thought perhaps their connection moved just a little too fast for my taste.
Finally, my new favorite character in this series, Thorne. This guy is super duper snarky and sarcastic. He's also got a head so big I would think you might bump into it easily if you were standing next to him. And, no matter the obstacle thrown at him, he feels he can take on any challenge and win. He's not afraid to throw himself in the thick of things, as long as it benefits him. At least that's what he tells everyone. But his thick headedness and constant conceit make him so much more endearing than I ever thought he could be. And I love his relationship with Cinder. They are like brother and sister with their banter and quarrels. It's just great to watch their relationship unfurl.
Of course we get to see characters we met in the previous book: Cinder, Iko (yay for her being back) and Kai, plus the Lunar Queen and her disgusting clan of lackeys who do her dirty work.
As for plot, this one is non-stop action and adventure. Meyer layers it so well, building on what we know from Cinder and added things slowly to help focus the reader in the direction she wants to take the book. There are twists and turns around every bend. Things you will not see coming at all and others you hoped would happen. When the characters are not fighting some kind of battle, they are racing towards something to find the clues they need to figure out how to outsmart the Lunar Queen. And when Cinder and Scarlet's worlds collide, it's so great! I love how all of a sudden they are just together and it's like nothing when they begin to help each other out! Meyer easily fuses the two stories with a build up that brings them together in a huge crash. It's amazing to watch the tale unfold. You know these characters are going to cross paths, but you're not sure how it's going to happen or when. So great.
Mostly I loved how Meyer took me from laughing to crying to cringing with such an easy flow I surprised myself. There was not a moment I wanted to put this book down (though life did get in my way and I had to attend to those things, silly life!). It really was a non-stop ride from beginning to end. Meyer takes a complicated story and makes it make sense, throwing in tension and other elements that keep the reader on their toes. I do believe that this is certainly one of my top reads for 2014. Now on to Cress!One of my first spoken words was “story” (right along with “bath” and “cookie”), my favorite toy as an infant was a soft, squishable book, and I’ve wanted to be a writer since I first realized such a job existed.
When I was fourteen my best friend introduced me to anime and fanfiction—over the years I would complete over forty Sailor Moon fanfics under the penname Alicia Blade. Those so inclined can still find my first stories at fanfiction.net. Writing fanfic turned out to be awesome fun and brought me in contact with an amazing group of fanfiction readers and writers. As Alicia Blade, I also had a novelette, “The Phantom of Linkshire Manor,” published in the gothic romance anthology Bound in Skin (CatsCurious Press, 2007).
When I was sixteen I worked at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Tacoma, Washington, affectionately termed “The Spag.” (Random factoid: This is also the restaurant where my parents met some 25 years before.) I attended Pacific Lutheran University where I sorted mail that came to the dorm, carted tables and chairs around campus, and took writing classes, eventually earning a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Children’s Literature. Knowing I wanted a career in books, I would also go on to receive a Master’s degree in Publishing from Pace University (which you can learn more about here). After graduation, I worked as an editor in Seattle for a while before becoming a freelance typesetter and proofreader.
Then, day of days, someone thought it would be a good idea to give me a book deal, so I became a full-time writer. CINDER is my first novel, though I have an adorable collection of unfinished ones lying around too.
I now live with my husband and our three cats (Calexandria Josephine, Stormus Enormous, and Blackland Rockwell III), who go in and out, in and out, about eight hundred times a day. My favorite non-bookish things include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, re-watching episodes of Firefly, and playing all manners of dress-up.