Well, it’s about time I got to the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer, huh? As good as Cinder (the first book) was, is Scarlet better? I’m pondering that question in my head right now. Back and forth it bounces in my near empty skull.
It’s not that Scarlet is entirely a better story than Cinder. It’s that Scarlet is a different story. It’s almost as if Ms. Meyer became a better writer or something. Did her style change? Is it the fact that she didn’t leave me dangling off the cliff’s edge like last time? I have no idea!!!!!
I do know that Scarlet‘s characters captured me and held me through the mystery of what the heck happened to Grandma, interlaced with Cinder’s escapades as she makes her way out of prison and across the world.
Story / Tempo / World Building
Scarlet is actually two stories meshed into one book. It’s partly the continuation of Cinder’s story from book one. Mostly though, it’s Scarlet’s tale. Scarlet lives in the French countryside with her grandma tending a small farm. Her grandma has recently gone missing and she’s struggling to get the authorities to keep the case open. Being the granddaughter of an independent and strong-willed ex-military female pilot (that’s her grandma), Scarlet has her mind set to follow some clues to her grandma’s whereabouts that ultimately take her to Paris. Where did she find these clues? From the big bad wolf, of course! Now you’re interested, huh?
Because Ms. Meyer flips between two very action packed plots (and does it at the most harrowing of times), the entire story flies along quickly. True, most young adult books will do that. But it actually has more to do with the juxtaposition of plots and the fact that the two stories are on a collision course into each other, the reader knows it, and you can’t wait to see how and when it happens. Ms. Meyer pulls off this writing trick well – at least I enjoyed the heck out of it :D
I regret not reading this book sooner because I forgot how much I loved Cinder and her brilliant, snarky mind. This girl is awesome: selfless, fearless, and I think the most human out of all the humans in the story. Even though she’s not quite human. Kai drove me absolutely bonkers this time around but I kept reminding myself that the poor boy has too much responsibility for someone so young. I’m soooo hoping he doesn’t let me down when this is all over.
Now, the new characters (*rubs hands together maniacally*)… I completely and utterly identify with Scarlet. She’s a tomboy and she just won’t accept that there’s nothing she can’t do. LOVE!!! Opinionated? Oh yeah! Got mad skills? Oh yeah! I just really enjoyed this girl and her banter with our leading man….
Wolf. Okay, so our big bad wolf is actually a very secretive, sweet lug of a guy. But he’s got a wicked darkside – his profession is street fighting. Scarlet learns he might know a little about what happened to Grandma. For some reason, he wants to help Scarlet so he tags along on her trip to Paris. And boy does he help! I can’t say anything more but the dialogue between Scarlet and Wolf… Wolf’s transformation (or perhaps a better word is “growth”) into the man he ends up at the end of the book… all of these had me flipping quickly through this book.
I think what made this book so different from Cinder is that where Cinder had the novelty of the new world and the new story line, Scarlet has the strength in characters. Coupled with the literary device of flipping back and forth between the old and new plots that both have you on the edge of your comfy reading chair, Scarlet stands alone as a great second and follow up book in a series. I have no clue how Ms. Meyer is going to top Scarlet with Cress…
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