Monday, November 2

[Review] Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2) - Marissa Meyer

Author: Marissa Meyer
Original Title: Scarlet
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: February 5th, 2013
Finished Date: August 15th, 2015
Pages: 452
Read in: English

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.
Source: GoodReads

For starters, the one thing that really surprised me in this book is that we continue following Cinder's adventures, as well as Scarlet's. I thought that each book would be centred on a different character, meaning that this one would revolve around Scarlet, and that maybe we'd only hear about Cinder through other characters' POVs.
I was very glad that was not the case. Even though I felt that this book was overall weaker than the previous one - especially because of the part the romance played in it, but I'll explain that in detail in the spoilery section -, it was still a wonderful story full of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat.
I ended up liking Scarlet as a character very much - maybe even more than I like Cinder. And of course there's the awesome addition of Carswell Thorne. I mean, Captain Carswell Thorne. With many of the characters from Cinder out of the picture, I was afraid this book would end up being dry or that I just wouldn't have enough time to get attached to another set of characters. But I did.
I honestly don't really know what to expect from the next two volumes. I thought I knew where this one was going and I really had no clue, so I think I'll just wait to be blown away.
If you haven't yet read the first book in the series, Cinder, go check that out. You won't regret it.
The following extended review contains spoilers
If you have not yet read the book and/or do not wish to be spoiled, please do not read any further.

The story picks up right where Cinder ended, and we see the prison-break Cinder pulls along with an unexpected sidekick, Carswell Thorne. I didn't really like Thorne in the beginning, but he kind of grew on me. He also very quickly became the comedic relief of the book - a hilarious reimagining of Jack Sparrow as a space-pirate. 

We understood completely in Cinder, that all she ever wanted was to be free to make her own choices and decide things for herself. It was heart-wrenching when she figured out that maybe she'd never have that. She just freed herself from an evil heartless stepmother who wouldn't hesitate to have her killed - in fact, tried it already - to discover she's the lost princess that holds the hope of an entire nation in her hands, and ultimately the freedom of everyone on Earth. She'll have to sacrifice her freedom for the freedom of thousands. So, yes, I get that she didn't immediately go to Africa to find the mysterious doctor who dropped the news along with new shiny prosthetic parts on her lap and left her to fence for herself.
When she enters that place where she was held for years to recuperate from the fire, where she had all the surgeries that made her a cyborg, and ultimately saved her life, it was hard to read her reaction - to know exactly how overwhelmed she was when she saw those scans of the shell of a girl she was and what they turned her into. And Thorne just sat there completely oblivious. He might be cute, but he definitely is not the brightest bulb in the box.

Kai was another character going through a wonderfully written moral dilemma - he wants to capture Cinder, but at the same time, he can't help but feel relived when he doesn't. It must be incredibly difficult to be under such pressure and feel as helpless and powerless as he did. Levana called all the shots, and he had nothing to bargain with.
By the way, I was totally right about Kai feeling betrayed by Cinder. I realised it immediately that he would probably wonder whether or not Cinder was manipulating him with her Lunar gift the same way Levana does. But honestly, it just grew a bit tiring. Give the girl a bit of credit, will you?

I was also completely right about Iko! It definitely didn't take away from her wonderful character that she no longer had a humanoid body - she's a magnificent ship. Even though I did feel bad for her that she had to be disembodied and that it made her feel like a machine, it was hilarious that she had to hear everything going on on the ship.
That final bonding moment between her and Cinder over having too much power and responsibility was very endearing.

Finally, Scarlet and Wolf. I don't really know what to say to be honest. I loved Scarlet's character. I relate much more to her than I do to Cinder, even though I really like Cinder as well. But Scarlet, man, she's badass. She lost so much along the novel, it was incredible to me that she was even standing by the end. She lost her father, her grandmother, her sense of self, and she still didn't give up. She came to the conclusion that most of what she believed in was false, and she reacted immediately, saving emotion for another time.
She knew Michelle was most likely dead, and when Wolf gave her the option of running away, of disappearing with him, she didn't even consider it. She went to get her grandmother back.
And that final scene when she shot the thaumaturge - that was badass.
«"Madmoiselle Benoit retrieved," she said, planting her heel on the back of the dazed, blank-faced soldier and shoving him off the ramp. "And don't worry, we'll take Alpha Kesley off your hands."»

Wolf, though, I was on the fence about for the whole book, and honestly still kind of am. It just seems stupid and illogical to travel with such a volatile weapon (or at least someone that can be turned into a weapon) that can very easily turn against them. Plus, he was kind of too broody for me.

Their romance was both very quick and very dramatic. It really had a bit of a one-and-only insta-love vibe to it. First of, they knew each other for a day and they were already sure they had fallen for each other. At least Scarlet was a bit more down-to-earth and tried to think about it, but he was like the Edward Cullen of this world. I get that this is supposed to draw on how wolves mate for life and all that, but honestly? It seemed just a bit over-the-top. I don't even like the idea of mates - it is way too fatalistic for me.
«"I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you."»
«"I know you must want nothing to do with me. I don't blame you. (...) But you're the only one Scarlet. You'll always be the only one."»
Did you read this book? What did you think? Let me know! :)


  1. I absolutely agree with all your points! Scarlet went through so much, yet she continued to move forward. I really loved the conflicted feelings Kai and Cinder had. I wasn't really a fan of Thorne either, but like you said, he grows on you. I originally wrote him off as the annoying and useless dumb blonde trope character, but he turns out to be far from that. Great review, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the series!
    ~Erika @ Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between.

    1. Exactly, Thorne seemed like the useless blonde character, but he really seems like a nice person :)
      Thank you so much!