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I Belong

Early Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Title: Scarlet

Author: Marissa Meyer

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: Lunar Chronicles (Book 2)

Publication Date: February 5, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 464 Pages

ISBN-10: 0312642962 (Mac Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0312642969 (Mac Teen)

Reviewed by: Michelle


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.

Quick & Dirty: A beautifully told reinvention of Little Red Riding Hood, filled with wonderful characters and pages of action and romance.

Opening Sentence: Scarlet was descending toward the alley behind the Rieux Tavern when her portscreen chimed from the passenger seat, followed by an automated voice: “Comm received for Mademoiselle Scarlet Benoit from the Toulouse Law Enforcement Department of Missing Persons.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I was fortunate enough to get an advanced copy of Scarlet, the second book in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles. While the first book, Cinder, retells and reinvents the story of Cinderella in a fantastic futuristic way, Scarlet tells the tale of Little Red Riding Hood. And while Red isn’t so little, fortunately Wolf is as big and bad as they come.

On a farm lives Scarlet Benoit, a girl who lives with her grandmere on a farm. She has lived with her grandmere all her life and most of her pleasant memories are shared with her grandmere. But when Scarlet’s grandmere is taken, she must do everything she can to search for her. Determined, Scarlet sets out on on a mission to find her, finding out the truth along the way. Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who is filled with secrets and mysteries of his own. Together, they search for Scarlet’s grandmere and soon realize that their lives cross the same path.

I immediately fell in love with Scarlet. She is impulsive and filled with so much bravado. There isn’t a true measurement of her strength, only because there’s so much of it. Scarlet’s foundation is built around her heart and love that she has experienced most of her life, mostly from her grandmere. There was never a doubt that Scarlet would be ready to take that leap of faith and find her. Meyer rewrote a lot of rules when it came to Scarlet, one that I am grateful for. Scarlet has hope but also imagination. She listens to her instincts, but also within reason.

Wolf is a great addition to the Lunar Chronicles. He cultivates a darkness that the series didn’t have before. Wolf adds another layer of powerful emotions, due to his somber personality. I’ve learned a lot from Wolf. He has two sides about him, and as a reader, I couldn’t tell whether he was good or bad. Meyer did a great job writing and developing him into this enigma. Wolf keeps moving, making the best out of any situation. He struggles with this internal war inside of him, trying to hold on to his principles. Meyer challenges his courage again and again, making him one of my favorite characters.

While Scarlet and Wolf search for her missing Grandmere, the reader also catches glimpses of Cinder. Without giving too much away, Cinder has her own mission and seeks to carry it out. Cinder has grown so much, and still seems to grow. She creates more lasting relationships, while holding on to the ones she has. I understand all of this weight on her shoulders, but Meyers makes it seem effortless.

I was glad to explore this new French world of Scarlet and Wolf, but also excited to revisit Cinder’s. While there are other characters that come and play, I’ll hold my tongue on them. I don’t want to spoil anything, and I fear I may have already said enough. There are contrasts to the two stories, and I think it was great that Meyer did an excellent job switching to a multi-point-of-view style. It allowed for Scarlet to shine and for Cinder to tell her side. There are others who tell their side of the story, but I’ll save that as a surprise.

The pacing is as steady as ever, action filled one moment, romantic and emotional the next. Meyer has a lot of talent and I highly urge you to read Scarlet. But if you haven’t read Cinder, I urge you to do that first. You’ll have a great time reading the reinvention of a wonderful fairy tale, one that I enjoyed every word of the way.

Notable Scene:

She told herself that she would be able to find him again. When she’d had time to gather her wits. After she talked to the detectives and persuaded them to track Wolf down and arrest him and find out where he’d taken her grandmother.

Tucking her hands into her pockets, she hurried around the building, toward her ship.

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 sent a chill down her spine like that.

The Lunar Chronicles:

1. Cinder

2. Scarlet (February 5, 2013)

3. Cress (2014)

4. Winter (2015)

FTC Advisory: Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Scarlet.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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