Scarlet - Marissa Meyer
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 Review: 5/5*
I felt quite lucky that I didn't read Cinder until after Scarlet had come out so didn't have the painstaking wait that a lot of you guys had. Saying that, I now have to wait an entire YEAR before Cress comes out. It's going to be so frustrating! As you can probably tell from just reading those few lines, I loved Scarlet just as much as Cinder. It's been a long time since I've discovered a new series which has rated continuous 5* so am hoping the rest will live up to my expectations. I am more than positive that they will.
Right, I loved this book. It was equally as brilliant as the first. I will admit however, I was a little disappointed to find out that it wasn't going to be entirely based on Cinder again. It made me a little weary as she was one of the main things which I fell in love with in the first book. Despite this, the book was absolutely brilliant. Marissa Meyer is an incredibly talented woman and I envy her world building skills. With both of these books being the first that I have read which involve androids and robots, it is safe to say that she has hooked me. With this book being based around the fairy tale of Red Riding Hood, I can't wait to find out about where she is going to go with the next book. Come on, 2014!
Onto the actual book. We are immediately thrust into the middle of the crisis Scarlet Benoit is currently struggling through. Her grandmother has been missing for a fortnight and now the police have given up on finding her, leaving Scarlet to hunt for her only remaining family member alone. Scarlet was a fascinating character. She was bold, feisty and incredibly strong. She is willing to risk everything in order to find her grandmother, and as the plot develops and she realizes exactly how dangerous her situation is, this only further solidifies her resolve towards finding her grand-mere. She is protective, loyal and intelligent. She helps run her family business (the selling of fruit/ vegetables that is grown on her grandmothers farm), doesn't put up with any of her father's mishaps and is not afraid to stick up for what she believes in.
Even though I loved Scarlet, I still found myself waiting for the Cinder sections within the book. It was interesting to read how she was now coping with her fate as Princess Selena and to see how she was adapting to her newly discovered Lunar gifts. Cinder isn't as confident as in the previous book, something which I liked, it helped me to sympathize with the difficult situation that she is currently in. She has managed to escape (with an extra person that she didn't bargain on having to drag behind her) and is now fighting to stay out of the way of the law and Queen Levana. Throughout all of this, she is contending with the loss of Peony, the loss of Prince Kai and figuring out a way to get Iko back.
One character which I did not expect to like was Thorne, the tag-along which Cinder couldn't have left behind in his cell. He was hysterically funny and completely inappropriate. The clever quips that he came out with kept me turning the pages and his irritating of Cinder was lovely to read. It felt like a calming break within the dark passage of life that Cinder is currently going through. He is a thief, an ex-military member and completely in love with himself. I am amazed his ego fit into his spaceship! He was funny, loyal to Cinder and definitely helpful in many situations. Cinder grows to like him as the story develops and I challenge any of you to dislike him by the end of the book!
The one character which I was weary of - and still am - is Wolf. He is what appears to be half-man, half-wolf, and Scarlet stumbles across him as she is dropping her goods off at a local restaurant in which he assists her in a heated debate and requests a job on her farm. She thanks him for his help but sends him on his way. He comes to play a massive part in the novel as he assists Scarlet in the attempt to find her Grandmother. There are many twists and turns which leaves us questioning his loyalty and motives, but I am most certainly not going to spoil that for you guys in this review! He is a fascinating character and it will be interesting to see how Ms. Meyer develops him in her next book.
Alongside the goodies, there are the usual baddies. Kai is still struggling to keep his grip on the current peace between the Commonwealth and Lunar, but this grip is slowly getting more lax as events progress. The gang of wolves appear to be behind many recent kidnappings and events, but it is left unclear until mid-way through the novel as to who is controlling them. The plague is still spreading throughout the Commonwealth with the death toll on a continuous rise. We have a fleeting visit from Adri and Pearl who once again irritate Kai and also drop Cinder into further trouble - I will leave you guys to learn about this as you're reading also!
I loved this book. Another case of reading a book in two days (as well as my Ma!) so this just goes to show how brilliant they are. Highly recommended and 2014 really cannot come quick enough :).