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Book Review: Scarlet by @Marissa_Meyer

Scarlet is the second in The Lunar Chronicles. The first, Cinder, is a spin on the Cinderella fairytale. The third, Cress, is a twist on Rapunzel and will be released next February.


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.

Don’t worry if you can’t remember everything from Cinder. Scarlet doesn’t begin with an info dump, but weaves in nuggets of information in strategic places so you can dive into the story without falling behind.

The plot begins with Scarlet, a feisty redhead determined to figure out what happened to her MIA grandmother.

One blogger sums up Scarlet’s character nicely: “Cinder is like her fairy tale counterpart—intrinsically good and perpetually misunderstood and victimized…But Scarlet demands to be noticed—her personality jumps off the page.

Scarlet reminds me of Captian Mal Reynolds. She carries a gun, isn’t afraid of danger, and will never ever leave behind those she calls family.

Wolf and Scarlet team up in a tumultuous relationship—complete with high sexual tension—to rescue her grandmother. At one point Scarlet reflects with surprise how long she had Wolf have known each other. One day.

Because of how much they go through, I was also surprised to find how little time had passed. I generally dislike insta-love. However, their relationship did not feel as shallow as other insta-love connections.

I picture Wolf to be Wolverine-ish, with a dark quiet mystique. Minus the claws.

Meanwhile, Cinder wrestles with her newfound royalty and the Lunar gift, which turns out to be very difficult to control. When is it ok to manipulate people? For the greater good? Or to save her life? Or not at all, because it separates her from Queen Levana?

We are also introduced to the Captain—er, cadet—Thorne, who provides comic relief along with a beloved past character. Their one-liners will make you grin.

I loved the spin on Red Riding Hood and how it fits together with Cinder’s tale to build upon the Lunar world. I can’t wait to see how Cress will build upon the world and advance the story.

You might not like this book if you prefer men with more than a “I need to protect you” drive or hate figure out the plot twist beforehand (As with Cinder, I think this is due to familiarity with the Red Riding Hood fairy tale). But if you are a fan of Once Upon a Time and enjoy seeing creative fairy tale twists, then this book (and the entire Lunar series!) is for you.

Check out Meyer’s blog here.
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