Book Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Title: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles Book 2) (Goodreads)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Page Count: 452
Genre: YA Science Fiction
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.
I actually ended up pre-ordering this book — something I’ve only done once before in my life — and then I put off reading this for a while because I was afraid that it wouldn’t live up to my expectations from the first book. Now that I’ve finished the book, I realize I had nothing to worry about.
This book is amazing.
I love these characters. I loved Cinder and Kai from the start. I was worried that the additions of Thorne and Scarlet would be hard to get used to, but it wasn’t. Thorne might actually be my new favorite character. He’s so full of himself but in a charming way. I loved watching him and Cinder get to know each other in a non-romantic way. Thorne was a great addition to the cast. I was also super happy to see the return of another beloved character from the first book, but I won’t mention that character by name just in case someone’s worried about spoilers.
I didn’t like the character of Scarlet as much as I loved Cinder, but I definitely enjoyed reading about her. It was fun to see how someone else reacted to the events of the first book. Not that this book goes back in time a lot. That’s actually something I think Meyer did really well – she summarized most of the information in such a way that it seemed more like the characters were reflecting on the past and less like she was summarizing the information for our sake.
Wolf was an odd character. I was never really sure what to make of him. I can’t really talk about his character without getting into spoilers, but I will say that he was part of what knocked this book down a star.
The other reason this book doesn’t have 10 stars is because I was able to put it down for a couple of months. At first, I stopped reading this book because a library book came in, and I wanted to read that one before I read the book that I owned. However, the mere fact that I was willing to stop reading this book and then didn’t go back to it right away says something about the beginning of this book. This is actually something that was true with CINDER, as well. It’s not that the beginning was boring (because it’s not at all), but it didn’t make me feel compelled to read. It’s sort of like an average slice of pizza – I’ll keep eating because it’s delicious and I love pizza, but it won’t win any awards for being the best pizza ever.
Okay, that’s a weird analogy, but whatever. That’s how I would describe the beginning of this book. I stopped around page 150 the first time. Once I picked it up again, though, I couldn’t put it down. Maybe I stopped reading at exactly the wrong moment. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right headspace the first time. I don’t know. All I know is that by the time I got to page 200, I didn’t want to stop reading. I had to keep reading to figure out how the two stories would intertwine, and then I had to read to see how they were going to get out of their respective problems.
Overall: Marissa Meyer is one of my favorite novelists that I discovered last year. She writes great characters, and she takes fairy tale retellings to a whole new level. There are two more books in the series, and I can’t wait to read them both. This is definitely one author that will be on my pre-order list for the rest of time. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that she started as a NaNoWriMo Overachiever (even if I’m not sure if she embraced that title or not). 🙂