Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Scarlet - Marissa Meyer

Title: Scarlet (sequel to Cinder)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends, 2013 (Hardcover)
Length: 452 pages
Genre: Young Adult; Dystopian Fiction, Science Fiction
Started: February 23, 2013
Finished: February 27, 2013

From the inside cover:

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

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 she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information about 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 handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

After reading Cinder back in November, I knew this was one series I'd be keeping my eye on. I loved the concept, the fractured fairy tale twists, and the cyborgs, you can never have enough cyborgs. Thankfully the second installment, called Scarlet after the inclusion of a Little Red Riding Hood-type arc, is as exciting as the first book and just as satisfying.

The book opens in a small town in France with Scarlet making deliveries from her family farm when she receives word that the police have called off the search for her grandmother, Michelle Benoit. Shortly after, she meets Wolf, and after piecing together information from her father, figures out that Wolf knows something about her grandmother and why she disappeared. At the same time, Cinder is trying to break out of prison in the Commonwealth, and picks up a fellow prisoner named Thorne on her way out. After reinstalling Iko as their ship's computer, they discover a lead from Cinder's past that involves Michelle Benoit. And when both parties meet, everything starts to come together...

Although the inclusion of a new story line and characters did seem slow at first, once I became invested in Scarlet's story I was hooked. I love how the author once again incorporates the fairy tale elements, but they're so subtle you almost don't realize it's a retelling. There are a couple mentions of Scarlet's favourite red hoodie, the weird sexual undertones from the original fairy tale are present here (not anything overly graphic or inappropriate, just hints at the wolfish blood lust and how they're drawn together, it's fairly PG-13), and the fact that Scarlet delivers food from the farm. I liked how I kept guessing about Wolf and his motivations, and Thorne was entertaining in a charming play-boy sort of way. It wasn't hard to figure out how Scarlet and Cinder were connected, but I still enjoyed the ride.

If you liked Cinder, you'll have already picked up Scarlet by now. If you haven't read either one yet, read them! The third book, Cress, comes out next year, and I'll be waiting ever so impatiently for it.

Thoughts on the cover:
Not as impressive as Cinder's cover, but I like the swooshing effect of Scarlet's hoodie, even though it's portrayed as more of a cape than an actual hoodie (but drawing it as a hoodie wouldn't give the dramatic swoosh).

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