So I have finally, FINALLY allowed myself to finish the second book in The Lunar Chronicles series. For those of you who don’t know, The Lunar Chronicles is a five part series written by Marissa Meyer. These books include Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter. There is also a prequel to the series, called Fairest, which tells the story of the evil Queen Levana.
Did I mention that all these books are retellings of well known fairy tales?
So Scarlet is actually the second book of the series, the first being Cinder, which I actually read a while back. Cinder is a retelling of Cinderella, and tells the story of the teenaged cyborg named Cinder. Now, because I don’t want to spoil the entirety of that book for those of you who haven’t read it yet.
What you need to know is that essentially, Cinder ends up becoming a fugitive by the end of the first book.
Now that we have that out of the way…..Can I just start off by saying, WOW!
I started off this series with intentionally low expectations. Not because I thought purposefully thought that we weren’t going to be good, but because so many people were talking about how great they were that I didn’t want to begin the series with exceedingly high expectations.
But now that I have officially completed two out of the four main books, I can definitely say that I was not disappointed in the slightest by how it turned out. In this novel, we continue along with Cinder’s journey to overthrow the evil queen (not a spoiler, come on now, that’s in the original too).
This book opens up from the perspective of Scarlet, who lives in France with her grandmother and sells produce from their farm. Can you guess with fairytale this novel is based off of yet?
Scarlet’s grandmother is missing, and it is during her search for answers that she encounters the street fighter Wolf, who has information on the location of her grandmother. While their partnership begins with an obvious amount of distrust, eventually they come to rely on each other in their search.
This is such a great follow up novel to Cinder, not only do we continue with the characters that we love, such as Cinder, Kai, and Iko, but we are also introduced to new characters that are equally as interesting and complex, like Scarlet, Wolf, and “Captain” Carswell Thorne *swoon*.
While Cinder may prove to be slightly predictable due to the popularity of Cinderella, there really isn’t any of that predictability present in Scarlet. There were so many twists and turns that took me by surprise, and really kept me guessing the entire time.
The action is just so genuinely interesting and I absolutely love how Meyer is capable of keeping the original themes of the “Little Red Riding Hood” fairytale while also keeping with the dystopian, futuristic world that she has created. She continues to develop the tension between Queen Levana (the queen of the Moon and the Lunar people who live there) and Emperor Kai (the emperor of the Commonwealth people), while still giving us enough backstory and events that show how Cinder and Scarlet are connected to each other.
Also, who really doesn’t love space?
One of the critiques that I did have with this book, however, was that for those of us who are coming from reading Cinder, it can take some time to become attached to Scarlet’s character. Not for any negative reason, but just because we are coming in to reading from her perspective completely cold, and without really any kind of introduction other than the first chapter.
Another critique is that there are definitely sections of the plot that feel like they are simply there to fill the space until Scarlet, Cinder, Wolf, and Thorne meet. While not completely detracting from the overall story, they do kind of run long in the sense that you want to skip through them to get back to the action.
Overall though, this book easily rates 4 1/2 stars for me. I genuinely loved it and Scarlet is, as of right now, one of my favorite characters in the series.
And Captain Thorne, because, I mean, come on. He’s a space pirate version of Flynn Rider.
Who wouldn’t love him?