Friday, 8 March 2013

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
Published January 17, 2013 by Penguin Aus
Source: the publisher
Rating: 4 paws

From the blurb: Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive – when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner . .

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer is the sequel to the very popular Cinder. I was hesitant to read Cinder , in fact I’d decided I wasn't going to bother but when the book was lent to me, I gave in and was really surprised by my enjoyment of it. Since then I have been keen to read Scarlet and it did not disappoint!

Scarlet Benoit is eighteen years old and lives in Rieux, France. She works on her grandmother’s farm and they grow the region’s best vegetables which they supply to local businesses. But things are not so good for Scarlet, her beloved grandmother has been missing for two weeks and the police have given up on finding her. Scarlet knows her grandmother did not leave, and she won’t give up her search. Enter Wolf, a street fighter new to town, after a chance meeting with him, Scarlet realises he might be her only hope. Back in Beijing, Cinder is plotting her escape from prison and this time has a sidekick in the form of Captain Carswell Thorne.

When I finished Cinder I was a bit sad because I wanted her story to continue so I was pleased to find out that she would be featured in Scarlet. I also didn't need to worry because I enjoyed reading about Scarlet just as much. She’s a feisty young woman and I admired her plucky attitude and determination. Wolf was a bit swoon-inducing and I was happy when they teamed up, even if I had a niggling feeling that he was hiding something.

Not only was I happy to read about Cinder again, but I was ecstatic when Iko, an android and Cinder’s friend, returned and added her humorous personality to the story. I also found Carswell to be quite funny, he made me laugh out loud, especially once he and Cinder had gotten to know each other.

It took me a few goes to start this book, I’d pick it up, read a few pages, put it down and then return to it only to re-read the first few pages. But once I pushed on, I really got caught up in the mystery behind Michelle Benoit's disappearance and how the paths of Cinder and Scarlet would cross. I have to say I couldn't have guessed how it would all work out and I am always impressed when an author can bring together so many elements.

So, now I am hoping that book three, Cress, will feature not only Cinder and Scarlet but also Iko, Wolf, and Carswell. The Lunar Chronicles could be like a fun road trip where you stop off at different locations to pick up new characters while travelling along with the ones you already love.

Scarlet is a fantastic follow up to Cinder, definitely no second-book-syndrome to be found here! I recommend this to all YA fans, whether you think you like sci-fi or not.

Thank you to the wonderful people at Penguin for my review copy.


Karen said...

I'm kind of hesitant to read this. I wasn't sure she could pull off adding more characters without resolving Cinder's story first but most people seem to be enjoying it as much as Cinder or even more.

Livvy said...

I'm glad you finally got into this one and enjoyed it. I keep hearing about Wolf and he certainly sounds swoon worthy.

I like it when you have characters from a first book reappear in a second so there is more progression seen even though they aren't the main focus. I think if an author pulls it off, it works really well.

Glad you enjoyed this one! I really need to get my hands on Cinder soon! :)

Lee @ Rally the Readers said...

When I first found out that the second Lunar Chronicles book was going to focus on an entirely new character, I was a bit surprised and wondered what was going to happen to Cinder. I'm glad to hear that Cinder is still very much a part of this novel (and Iko, too- love her!). I need to put this on hold at the library ASAP!

Keertana said...

Yay, I'm so glad you enjoyed this! I thought it was even better than Cinder and I simply LOVED Scarlet and Wolf! I can't wait for Cress now and I'm so glad that this novel made me a fan of the series!(:

Kristin said...

I'm in the same boat you were in. I decided to give Cinder a reluctant shot when I saw it at my library. Really enjoyed the story and then when Scarlet came out realized it was someone totally new. :( I'm glad to hear that Cinder make an appearance in this story but I'm still not thrilled that the story doesn't pick up right where it left off.

Emma said...

Yet another book that I need to get my hands on! Great review, I'm so excited to read it! :D

Alison Can Read said...

I was really happy that Iko was in the book too. I love how she was the whole ship. And her comments about feeling so big. It's funny what a person she was.

Sharon ObsessionwithBooks said...

I have been a bit hesitant about starting this book, I was a big Cinder/Kai fan so I was hoping it would be a continuation of their story. I'm pleased to see you enjoyed this though!

A great review! :)

Steph Su said...

Ahh, y'all are killing me with all the Scarlet reviews I've been seeing. My parents would probably disapprove, but the first places I'm visiting upon going back to the States in May for a visit are the library and the local bookstore.

Carly said...

Aw, I need to read Cinder already!! Like a road trip that picks up totally awesome secondary characters - I really love this! So glad you enjoyed it when you pushed on - fab review! :)

Christa @ More Than Just Magic said...

I love the way Marissa Meyer blends the stories of all her different characters. It would be difficult to keep everything straight but she does a fantastic job of it!

Nikki said...

What I think is so cool about this series is that each book (to date) has mainly featured a different fairy tale character, however, Meyer still manages to successfully include beloved characters from the other book. That's the sign of a champ, right there! So excited to start the series!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

oooh, so glad it's good!! i still need to read cinder!

Brandi Kosiner said...

Glad you enjoyed both Cinder and the follow up. I couldn't get into Cinder, but I know that so many have loved it, and Scarlett even more.

Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

Heidi said...

Yes, I love the dynamic between Cinder and Thorne! (He's probably my favorite of all the new characters.) I'm glad you enjoyed this one as much as the first, even if you had trouble getting into it at first. I too was worried that there just wouldn't be any of Cinder's perspective in Scarlet, but I was so happy to find out I was wrong (even though I loved Scarlet and Wolf).

YA Anonymous said...

Carswell was such a hilarious airhead. I really liked this book BUT I wish I hadn't stopped mid-book to mainline the Alpha & Omega series because Wolf lost a lot by comparison. However, once I got back into the book, it didn't take me long to get into the story. I loved the take on "Grandma, what big teeth you have." So fun and brilliant. I'm definitely excited for Cress.

Bookworm1858 said...

Love the comparison to a road trip-I am hoping that book three continues the delicate balance of showing us old and new characters and having us love them all.

Grad Student said...

I am happy you pushed through and got involved with this book. I got a huge kick out of it, and particularly liked Carswell- laughing out loud actually happened!

Lauren @ Love is not a triangle said...

I agree, this book was even better than the first, partly because there are several story lines and the world gets more complex. As you said, I love how the author handled the intersection of Cinder and Scarlet (I was worried we wouldn't get more of Cinder too!). I fell for Wolf immediately, but Thorne was pretty awesome too. I think we'll be seeing all of these characters again. I hope the series continues to get even more awesome! Great review.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

I'll admit I wasn't too happy with Cinder, but everyone assures me that Scarlet is much better. It's good to know that Cinder's story continues as well, obviously I wasn't happy with where we left her.
I have this one on audio. I just hope I'll like it more than I liked book 1.
Great review.

Kara_Malinczak said...

I love the characters in this series so much. I am a huge fan of Iko, but I love the new characters they introduced as well. I especially love Scarlet, and think she is a bad-ass. I think I might like her even better than Cinder. I am glad you enjoyed it, Mandee. This is one of my favorite books so far this year.

booktasty said...

Oh I hope the whole series is like a fun roadtrip too! What a great description! :) I can't wait to read this one :)

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