After reading, and really enjoying Cinder‘s story, I knew I had to get the second book soon. Actually, my sister was even more eager to get to it than I was, so you can thank her because she bought the book, haha. If I found Scarlet to be a tad under what I expected it to be, for many reasons, I can definitely say this was a solid second book, and most of it all, a chilling throw into a dark and complex world.
A world-building taken to a whole other level
“ A sickening howl stopped her, sucking the air out of her lungs.
The night’s chatter silenced, even the loitering city rats pausing to listen.
Scarlet had heard wild wolves before, prowling the countryside in search of easy prey on the farms.
But never had a wolf’s howl send a chill down her spine like that.”
Getting into that book, I was expecting the events to pick up where they left off in Cinder, yet we were right away introduced to another character, Scarlet, and other events being set miles away from New Beijing, in France. If part of me was thrilled that, finally, a book was set in France, another part of me was kind of hoping they wouldn’t get it wrong. Thankfully -or not-, there wasn’t too many details about the country, and this is not what matters here. Because what matters the MOST, what took me into the first book, and even more here in the second installment, is the fantastic world-building of this story. From New Beijing to France, you’re thrown into a whole other world, with different rules, characters, ways to live. Scarlet lives in a farm with her grandmother, and she grows tomatoes then sell them. Nothing too out of the ordinary, yet the author completely throws us away into this almost “usual” daily life, incorportating space ships, androids, and everything that fascinated me in Cinder. Moreover, she takes this to a whole other level here, and this is what I LOVED the most here. The world we’re introduced in the first book is more developed, and way more complex in Scarlet, more dark with the new characters introduced.
SCARLET VS. CINDER. Kidding, love them BOTH.
“But her grandmother had never suggested she could think the same of Scarlet. You’ll be fine, she always said, after a skinned knee, after a broken arm, after her first youthfull heartbreak. You’ll be fine, because you’re strong, like me.”
If you can guess it from the title already, Scarlet isn’t Cinder’s story anymore. Or so I thought. Divided between their two POV, we both get their adventure, what they are going through, and how their worlds are shattered and turned inside down in the matter of pages. To be honest, this is what I had the most trouble with: getting into the story. If I have no problem with multiple POV when they’re done alright -and here, they were-, I was just a bit thrown off at the beginning, and it took me time to get into the story and to adjust between what was happening to one, and to the other. It also took some time for the two stories to connect, and I am SUCH an impatient person, well… I couldn’t wait. Despite this minor issue, I found myself growing fond of Scarlet’s character: she’s strong, fierce, while I admired her courage, I also loved the fact that she felt strong, but real, with emotions that broke my heart at times. Moreover, she had such a strong relationship with her grandmother, and I could totally relate to that, and I loved it. It’s not too often that happens in books -well, if you know some books like that, LET ME KNOW, and I LOVED IT. As for Cinder, well I really enjoyed her, but I have to admit her being so indecisive at times made me a bit mad. Plus, her part of the story was kind of slow, which didn’t help.
Heart-pounding and heart-breaking, with new characters introduced
“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.”
If the beginning was slow and it took me some time to get accustomed to the characters, there’s a moment where I just realised I couldn’t stop reading. I just couldn’t. The action picked-up, the world gets darker and darker, the characters reveal themselves and your heart is pounding like crazy because EVERYTHING is happening. From heartbreak to action, from on the move to revelations (AH the PLOT TWISTS!!!) , I was turning the pages like crazy until the very end. The REAL surprise in that book, really, was how it introduced us to a whole other world indeed, as I said before, filled with complex and incredible new characters, completely taking the spotlight, if you ask me. I need to talk about Thorne for a moment here, because I kind of LOVED him, and his interactions with Cinder, and everyone, were fantastic. Everytime he opened his mouth, it got me smiling. I love characters like that, especially in a book where everything gets darker by every page. Talking about darker… Wolf is another character we are introduced to, and never have I felt so conflicted about someone before. He was definitely well-layered and interesting, but I think all of these…FACES kind of threw me off. I’m looking forward to getting to know more of him. Oh, and I can’t end this review without talking about Iko. LOVED HER.
Scarlet is definitely a strong sequel to Cinder, introducing us to a darker world with crazy purposes, new -some incredible, some others kind of shady- characters, and a story you won’t be able to put down past the first half of the book. I can’t wait to read more of these Lunar Chronicles.
Final rating: 4 drops!
Did you read Scarlet? Did you enjoy it? Do you want to read it?
What do you think of The Lunar Chronicles series? Did you / are you planning to read it?! Share your thoughts in comments!
Marissa Meyer, Scarlet, Published by Feiwel and Friends, February 5th 2013.
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