I’ve managed to tackle a majority of September’s TBR thanks to my local library and their audiobooks. I listened to Cinder on audiobook a few months ago and enjoyed it, so I was excited to dive back into the Lunar Chronicles world with the next book in the series, Scarlet.
While it’s safe to say I wasn’t wholly disappointed, I didn’t like this book as much as Cinder. It’s also safe to say that I will continue to listen to the rest of the series in audiobook format because the narrator continues to do a fantastic job!
Title: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwell & Friends
Release date: February 5, 2013
Length: 464 pages (hardcover), or 9 CDs in audiobook format 🙂
Genre: Young adult, sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian
Synopsis: (from 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.”
My rating: 3.5/5 stars
Here’s the thing, I really want to like this book a lot. I actually want to give it 4 stars but I can’t.
However, I will say that the narrator of the audiobook, Rebecca Soler, does a fantastic job! She did great with Cinder, and I thoroughly enjoyed her reading of this book! I’m more prone to listen to the rest on audiobook since I’m halfway done with the series (if you don’t count the novellas).
This book picks up fairly soon after Cinder. Cinder is a prisoner. Kai is emperor and Queen Levana still wants to marry Kai so she can become Empress of the Eastern Commonwealth and take over the world. Halfway across the globe, eighteen-year-old Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother, Michelle, has been missing for the past two weeks. The uthorities declare there’s nothing else to be done and dismiss the case but Scarlet isn’t convinced. She decides to find her grandmother herself. She runs in a street fighter named Wolf, a young man whom she thinks can held her find Michelle. Together, they venture to Paris but not before discovering a few surprises along the way.
Back in New Beijing, Cinder and fellow prisoner, an American “captain” named Carswell Thorne, escape from prison and are on the run. Cinder wants to meet Dr. Erland in Africa but when clues lead them to France, Cinder learns more about her past and how dangerous it would be for Levana to find her.
I’m in love with the world building, I will say. Meyer does a fantastic job. Usually with this sort of dystopian sci-fi, we get world building that can be pretty shoddy but I think it helps that we’re still familiar with many of the cities and countries mentioned. I like that we were also told through Scarlet’s eyes that some of Paris’s older buildings (like the Louvre) are still there.
In terms of characters, I struggled to find the romance between Scarlet and Wolf. They knew each other for ONLY A FEW DAYS before romance was introduced. I also struggled with finding Scarlet’s significance… I don’t even know if I can explain into words how I feel about her. I mean, I like that she’s kickass and has will do anything to find her grandmother–that’s devotion, love, and loyalty for you but other than that… Maybe it’s too early to tell. I mean, Michelle was able to resist the Lunar’s magic so I imagine Scarlet will obviously play a bigger role.
In the back of mind, I kept wanting to think of Wolf as a werewolf. XD I know, call me crazy! But their true design is pretty crazy and interesting! I like how he’s tough on the outside but he’s really just a big softie on the inside who wants to eat a lot of tomatoes with Scarlet. ❤ The last few chapters with them were just killer (and I mean that in a good way)!
And gosh, I think Thorne is my new favorite character! Yay for PLATONIC friendships! He and Cinder are hilarious together! He made me roll my eyes and laugh at the same time. I also liked Iko as well! I wish she were more than just part of the ship because I think she and Thorne would have one hell of a time together!
I didn’t mind the multiple POVs. I didn’t feel overwhelmed or confused even before Cinder’s and Scarlet’s POVs merged into one (sort of). I really loved the instant loyalty that Wolf showed Cinder in the end, too!
Sadly, I’m not getting too much of the Sailor Moon vibe from this book but I’m hoping to feel more of it as the story progresses.