Thursday, January 17, 2013

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

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Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #2
Publication date: February 5th 2013
 by Feiwel and Friends

Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-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 and 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 has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

*A copy was provided by Raincoast Books for review purposes*
*Spoiler free for the series!*

Not everyone can pull off retellings, or even stories inspired by classic fairy tales. They more often than not have a certain missing element that stops them for shining. Rarely do they stand out among the masses like Cinder does. Marissa Meyer is one of those authors who can take an overly used concept and turn it into something completely unique, while leaving in the charm and delight of our beloved classic. Cinderella meets Red Riding Hood in this second installment of the Lunar Chronicles. This time, Scarlet’s grandmother was taken, and there is, ladies and gentleman, a very sexy, extremely charming, wolf.

Between Cinder and Scarlet, we have plenty to keep us rolling in this fairly long novel. Told in dual POV–with the occasional 3rd–we continue where we left off in Cinder, while we simultaneously get introduced to Scarlet–an equally strong deadly and feisty heroine. They both offer a lot of charisma; they’re intelligent, determined characters, and alongside each walks supporting roles who add plenty of emotion to the book, some from humor, others from frustration. And, of course, we get our old favorites. Iko, for one, in a much larger form this time, which garners its fair share of amusement. We also meet Thorne who accounts for more than a few chuckles throughout the story due to his obliviousness or dumb remarks. As promised, we also have the big bad Wolf! A very complex character, Wolf is an excellent addition to this series. His bad-boy persona is one I could swoon over for once, not being tarnished by a controlling or creepy side that, unfortunately, often goes hand in hand with this type. He had charm, tact, and motive; his development bloomed to perfection throughout the novel, Marissa has created a positively satisfying character and love interest… however… with this said, I have to admit that I did not feel a huge connection between him and Scarlet. Yes his personality makes for a great romantic hero but I didn’t feel this was used to its full potential, or maybe there was simply too much going on in this book to concentrate on sparks. There are cute moments and definitely potential, but that’s as far as it reached for me.

Like Cinder, the plot in Scarlet is not one that is filled with shock and unpredictability. It’s easy to foresee what’s going to happen, at least to some extent. However, also like Cinder, it feels like this is intentional. As if we’re meant to know before the characters, so we can resent our helplessness to warn them of the oncoming collision. Either way, the action packed pages make up for any disappointment you may carry for its predictable outcome. Plus, the ending still induces *Le gasp!* Or, more accurately, *Le headdesk*.

Still as fresh and unique as Cinder, Scarlet combines two classic fairy tales into one brilliantly structured plot. And soon, there will be three! Rapunzel will join us in the third book, Cress, and being a huge fan of this lady of thee fabulous hair, I will not rest until it is in my greedy, greedy hands!

4 Hot Espressos
Lunar Chronicles:

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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30 Responses to “Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer”

  1. Sam

    The predictability in Cinder didn’t work for me, so I’m not sure it will be easy to accept in Scarlet either. Still, I’m really looking forward to giving this a shot soon. Despite the romance not completely reaching you, I’m glad you enjoyed this. 🙂 Great review, Giselle!

  2. Amy

    Love your review chick!! I can’t wait to read this one!! I pre-ordered it from amazon, but it won’t bet here until March!! *gasp* That’s what I get for being cheap and wanting to use free shipping, so it won’t ship until Clockwork Princess does. I keep telling myself it’s fine because I won’t have time to read it until then anyways. I love that Cinder is still a big part of the story. I am also super excited that Rapunzel will be in the third book!! Yay!!

  3. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    I was so swooning over Wolf, wasn’t he amazing? I definitely connected to the romance a bit stronger than you did but so happy to see that you still loved it so much too. I can’t wait for Cress and I may have to do unspeakable things to get my hands on an ARC!

  4. Millie

    Bahaha! Le gasping and le headdesking is involved, huh? I can’t wait to read this one! I immensely enjoyed Cinder, so this one is a top wanted read for me. I can’t wait to get acquainted with this Wolf character! Fantastic review!

  5. Renu

    Ooh, I can’t wait to meet Wolf! 😉 Glad to know that Scarlet is just as awesome as Cinder. ^^ The predictability in Cinder didn’t really bother me so I think I’ll be okay with it in Scarlet.

    Great review!

  6. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    Werewolf books are not my favorite. I think the only one I’ve really liked is Hemlock. Something about them turning into animals complete with animal private parts kind of creeps me out. Then I start wondering if they ever do it when they are werewolves and the thoughts just get weirder. I STILL haven’t read Cinder and I know both of these books are ones people rave about so I need to fix that. Love the review 🙂

  7. Camille Picott

    I just read Glitch, the prequel to this series, and I didn’t really care for it. But your enthusiam for these books makes me think I need to give Cinder a go. 🙂 Great review!

  8. Kaina

    Yay! So glad you liked it. I checked out Cinder from the library a couple of days ago and I cant wait to start it! Great review 🙂

  9. Mel@Thedailyprophecy

    The little predictability of Cinder never bothered me, so I don’t think that will be a problem with this book. I SO can’t wait to get this one in my hands. I’m impatience to get it, since I love my fairytales. I’m happy to hear that Scarlet is such a great character. This book definitely doesn’t suffer from the second-book-syndrome. I think I’m going to count Marissa Meyer as a new favorite author 🙂 I want to meet Wolf!

    Great review Giselle.

  10. Nick

    I’m so excited for this book, Giselle! It’s a pleasure to hear that this is as good as Cinder. I agree that the ending in Cinder was foreseeable, but it was still a very enjoyable read. I didn’t know about this having a different cast of characters but they all sound fabulous! And Wolf sounds very enticing! 😉
    Awesome review as always, Giselle! 🙂

  11. Annabelle Marie Veronica

    I am also really excited to meet Rapunzel in the third book. Cinder was fabulous and I’ve already preordered this on, so I can’t wait until it gets here. I’m so happy you loved it! Fantastic review.

    Also, clearly I need to visit you here more often. I swear that every time I do your blog is prettier.

  12. Christina

    To do the romance justice, the book would have needed to be even longer, which, honestly, I would have been okay with.

    Also, this: “Plus, the ending still induces *Le gasp!* Or, more accurately, *Le headdesk*.” <– I agree.

  13. Renae

    I really need to meet Wolf. He really seems to be unanimously liked, and though I know we aren’t supposed to pick up a book just for the love interest…oh heck, who am I kidding? 😉

    Anyway, I’m really excited to get my hands on Scarlet—it looks just as good as Cinder!

  14. YA Anonymous

    I agree with you, Giselle. I know one of the big complaints against Cinder is that it’s predictable but it’s a retelling of a fairy tale. Of course it’s predictable! That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Marissa Mayer’s take on it, which I found so fresh and unique. I really liked Scarlet too. I loved the take on Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. Can’t wait to get my greedy hands on Cress either!