Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Published: February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends
Source: local library (audiobook)
Synopsis (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.
I really enjoyed Cinder. It was a fresh take on a fairy tale retelling and I thought it was quirky and engaging. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as taken with the sequel.
In part, this could have been a result of listening on audio rather than reading. It took me over a week to listen to it on my commute, and the story seemed to drag a little. Because of the dual storylines, I felt like both Cinder’s and Scarlet’s storylines were underdeveloped and well…short. It just didn’t feel like a lot actually happened.
I do adore Marissa Meyer’s characters, particularly the supporting cast members who function as comic relief. Iko and Captain Thorne are funny, endearing, and fulfill their basic role in the plot well. Scarlet and Cinder had distinct voices and attitudes, and Wolf and Kai are fine, if not terribly memorable.
Meyer’s writing on a sentence level is fluid and descriptive and easy to read. It sounds great in audio format. The dialogue is believable and easy to follow. There is a nice balance of action and reflection, and each scene advances the plot but also includes characterization. The writing is technically solid.
For me, it just sort of lacked that “wow” factor. I do appreciate that this skews young, and but I tend to like more edgy YA fiction. This is a series I’ll likely continue, but it doesn’t rank high on my priority list. I do think it has lots of appeal for readers who enjoy futuristic retellings and a lighter romance.
Heidi @ Bunbury in the Stacks: “In fact, I have to say that The Lunar Chronicles has something for everyone. Like bad boys? There’s Wolf. Like good guys? There’s Prince Kai. Like the class clown? There’s Thorne. Like smart resourceful chicks? There’s Cinder. Like headstrong scrappy girls? There’s Scarlet. Like a villain that makes you so mad you shake with rage? There’s Queen Lavana. Sure, there’s elements not every reader will love, but I can’t help but pushing everyone to give Cinder and Scarlet a chance–you can take it up with me if you regret it.”
Publisher’s Weekly: “Meyer portrays each scene with precision and rising tension, leaving readers with another mesmerizing journey.”