Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Fondness for Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

This is the second time I have tried to read this book, and I am so unbelievably glad I tried again. I don’t know what made me put it down the first time (I must have only read the first few chapters, which are a little bit slow), but I hope to never make such a big mistake again!

13206760

Series: The Lunar Chronicles, Book 2

Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fairy Tale Retellings, Romance

Rating: 4.5 stars

Description:

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.

Review:

This is the second time I have tried to read this book, and I am so unbelievably glad I tried again. I don’t know what made me put it down the first time (I must have only read the first few chapters, which are a little bit slow), but I hope to never make such a big mistake again!

Scarlet is such an improvement on Cinder, with increased complexity with the two intertwined plots, based off the fairy tales of Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood, and wonderful new characters. Scarlet is a teenager slightly older than Cinder living in the small town of Rieux, France, with her grandmother. But the story does not progress in a normal Little Red Riding Hood-fashion from there! The plot is detailed, with many unexpected twists and turns and unbelievable connections made, and leaves you fully satisfied with a complete conclusion that was lacking in Cinder.

I loved the new characters, including the fiercely loyal and determined Scarlet Benoit, the mysterious and wild Wolf (Ze’ev Kesley), and the utterly hilarious and unexpected “Captain” Carswell Thorne. In Scarlet, the narration flips between that of Cinder, Scarlet and Kai, something I normally don’t like, but Marissa Meyer did a good job with in this case. Her writing style is very solid, but I did note that her descriptions of settings are very simple, only explaining visual features, such as the different people walking by at the moment. Although this did seem like a sort of amateur method, the things she says are unique and it did work to set and strengthen the scene.

Although the story is strong and the plot moves a long at a very steady pace, it is hard to imagine with how the story ends up at the end of the book that it will take two more full novels to wrap up the conflict. Luckily, (small spoiler:) towards the end of the book Cinder and Scarlet meet up, combining their adventure into one and making it less confusing to add a third separate storyline in with the addition of Cress in the next book. However, I can’t see how Princess Winter, the main character we have yet to meet at this point but who I assume will star in Winter (book 4), will fit in. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see!

Also, I have been listening to these books on audio, and Rebecca Soler has been doing a wonderful job. Both the variety of accents she does and the robotic android voices (excluding Iko, of course) sound quite realistic. But what I remember from the first time reading Cinder and the first half of Scarlet in actual book form is that both the covers and the font of these books are really unique and beautiful, something I always enjoy.

All in all, Scarlet is so much better than Cinder in terms of character development, romance, and intricacy of plot. I have high expectations for the rest of the series!

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2 comments on “Gwen’s Fondness for Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

  1. Girl in the Pages
    June 28, 2014

    Your thoughts on Scarlet are very similar to my own experience! I loved the characters in the novel and the plot but the first half or so was so slow for me and hard for me to get into. I think it might’ve been that I didn’t know what to expect and I was waiting for Cinder to appear, and then there was a lot of Wolf and Scarlet wandering around the forest which was a bit tedious. Once they meet up with Cinder everything ties together nicely! Great review!

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This entry was posted on June 26, 2014 by in Author: Gwen, Favorites, Review, Young Adult and tagged , , .
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