Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Book Review: Scarlet

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Summary (Courtesy of Goodreads): 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.

This is the second book in a series. Not that I have a long tradition on this blog (I only started last May), but I usually review series as a whole, or skip the second book entirely. I only did a partial review of Cinder here, so the fact that I'm doing a full solo review of the sequel is something to note. It's just, I couldn't not. Because this book was so much fun. In fact, I think I liked it even more than Cinder, and I liked that one quite a bit.

What I liked: Frankly, Meyer just knows how to do a good fairy-tale adaptation. She knows what elements to keep, how to adapt them to her setting and world, and how to make it just different enough that it's not predictable. Cinder  was an adaptation of Cinderella (obviously), but this one was Little Red Riding Hood. And she did it brilliantly. Honestly, the way this story unfolded was just perfect. I liked the character of Scarlet, and how she made a strong foil for Cinder's character (Cinder was trying to run away, Scarlet was running toward the action). I wasn't sure how I felt about Wolf for most of the book, but by the very end I liked him quite a bit, even if he was more violent than I preferred (at least that wasn't his choice).

Also, I loved how Cinder's story was intertwined. I know a lot of people were worried about this sequel being about completely different characters, but the narration skips back and forth between Scarlet and Cinder, and the story really picks up where the first book left off. Eventually both characters end up meeting and their stories mesh, and I don't know how many times I can say "brilliant" but really, Meyer just did a brilliant job of crafting her plots and getting everything to fit right.

What I didn't like: Hm, I'm not sure if there was anything I didn't like about this book. I felt like Cinder had a few issues or areas that could've been developed better, but I didn't feel that way about this book at all. Maybe the thing I hate is that I'm going to have to wait till next year for the next book in this series to come out. I'm definitely excited for it.

So, if you like fairy-tale retellings, good YA fiction, or just a fun story, I totally recommend this series. It just gets better.

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