Scarlet – Marissa Meyer
*Warning – may contain spoilers*
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Puffin Books
First published: 2013
Blurb: Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.
Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive – when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.
As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner…
History of my copy: So this was the third book I got from Waterstones just after Christmas. (You can find reviews for the other two books, Reasons to Stay Alive and The Selection here.) Having read and loved Cinder, I knew I just had to get my hands on the next book in the series, and I am so glad I did.
I absolutely loved this book! I will admit that I found the beginning a bit slow and confusing as we were suddenly faced with the new character Scarlet, when all I cared about was Cinder escaping! But after a few chapters, I really did start to get into it and I ended up adoring this one more than Cinder. Now I just have to wait a long time to get my hands on Cress…
Plot: Probably my only major problem with Cinder was just how predictable it was. (I know, it’s based on Cinderella, but it still felt just a bit too obvious). So, of course, when I started Scarlet I was expecting Wolf to have killed Grandma and be horrible to Scarlet. Wrong! This book was hardly like the fairy-tale at all! Whilst it of course kept key parts (I especially loved Scarlet’s red hoodie, bringing a modern feel to the traditional red cloak), this book was nothing like what I expected. And the way it weaved into the story from Cinder was exquisitely done! I would have preferred a little more development on Wolf’s, Scarlet’s and Thorne’s character, but I’m hoping there will be a lot of that to come in the next books.
Setting: I am still so in love with the way Meyer has set these fairy tales to be in the future after the Fourth World War. It adds such an interesting spin to it all! And perhaps to give us hope that, even in a world of destruction, lunar wars and a horrendous plague, fairy tales really do still exist. As a fugitive, Cinder obviously cannot remain in New Beijing, and thus most of this book takes place in France, mainly Paris, which gives us a chance to see how other countries are faring in this modern world. Meyer is a brilliant writer at settings, and just truly makes you feel that you really are there alongside them.
Characters: Cinder still remains one of my favourite characters of course, and this book does well with showing how she is coping with her new found identity. If you read my review of the previous book, you will know that I wasn’t a huge fan of Prince Kai. However, throughout Scarlet, I have learned to like him a little more now that we get to see the side of him that’s running a country, not the side that’s of course, flirting with and falling in love with the main character.
Captain Thorne and Scarlet are both new characters in this book, and two that I would like to know more about. At first, Thorne annoyed me, but he has grown on me, just as he has on Cinder. Scarlet, however, is much more likable, and I particularly like how well she and Wolf complement each other.
Which, of course, brings me to Wolf! He’s probably one of the most interesting characters I’ve discovered in a while. Is he good, or bad? Do I love him or hate him? Can I even trust him? Who knows! I need more of him in my life, and I really hope Meyer delves into his back story some more at some point so we can see just why he is the way he is.
Iko! How could I discuss the characters without mentioning my beloved Iko! She is still hilarious and just so Iko-like, despite now being in a much, much larger body. I’m so glad Iko came back, and we don’t have to lose her for a long time again any time in the future.
To read or not to read: Read. Read! Read! Read! Honestly, stop reading reviews and go buy the book right now. Even if you weren’t a huge fan of Cinder, go read Scarlet because, in my opinion, The Lunar Chronicles have just got even better!