Book Review: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)

Yes! Finally! I’m finished with Scarlet. We take a break from our usual April post to bring you Scarlet‘s book review. (I wouldn’t recommend reading this book review unless you’ve read Cinder.)

It’s also worth mentioning (again) that this is my second time reading the series, as I want to refresh my memory before diving into the recently-released Winter.

Cover:

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IMAGE SOURCE: Goodreads

Synopsis:

“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.”

So, onto the story.

Oh, this book. This beautiful, beautiful book…

What I liked:

  • Thorne. Is. Hilarious. I love him. He’s got just as much character as Iko.
  • Wolf. Poor, innocent (?) Wolf. He’s never even eaten a tomato before. Scarlet, who works on a farm, was bound to fall in love with this boy. Also, worth mentioning here that both aspects of the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood are shown in one character (as in, both a good, helpful side and a malevolent, murderous side) and you’re left asking which side is really him. I love that. He’s so complex.
  • On that note, I also kind of loved Scarlet. Her character might’ve been a little one-dimensional in this book, but I think she gets better in the following books. Anyway, I loved her interactions with Wolf. So cute.
  • Also, the group that Wolf was originally with is a part of something much, much larger. I like what Marissa Meyer does with this idea. Then again, I’m a sucker for anything wolf-related. Maybe I’m just biased.
  • Cinder’s lunar abilities, and her fear of becoming Queen Levana. After all, when mind-control comes so easy, and you’re a good character like Cinder, of course you’re worried about that kind of temptation.
  • Adri resurfaces for less than one chapter, but my oh my I hate her even more than I did in the last book! Discriminatory, money-grubbing, cruel… I could go on and on. Kai was just as unimpressed with Adri as I was. In that moment, at least, I was totally on Kai’s side.
  • While discussing Kai, he’s a pretty complicated character, I’ll grant him that. I do not personally favor him. Out of all the boys introduced thus far in the series, Wolf is probably my favorite (again, might be biased). Kai is willing to do literally anything that he thinks would be the best decision for his people, even if it’s bad news for him. But I still don’t think he’s the best choice for Cinder (completely ignoring the ending of Cinderella; I’m just talking about the character in the Lunar Chronicles series). We can agree to disagree on this.

What I didn’t like:

  • Scarlet, again, didn’t feel particularly three-dimensional, in that she’s fixated on this one objective for the whole book and we have no idea who she is or how she acts in her normal, day-to-day setting.
  • There were definitely some slow points in the book, especially in the beginning, but things picked up.
  • I also didn’t really care for the ending but, alas, spoilers. In simple, non-spoilery terms, there is an instance of convenient timing that felt a little off. And while the climax was intense, the ending itself fell slightly flat.

Let’s just go ahead and give this book a 4.0 stars, for its innovative retelling of a well-known and well-loved fairy tale. I liked this book better than Cinder, but I’m giving it the same rating simply because both books have their faults and both books have their strengths. But if you like your fairy tales, and you like science-fiction, I’d recommend this series thus far.

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