Friday, 25 April 2014

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer

Description 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.

Another amazing book from Meyer! I loved the first book of the series, Cinder, so much and I started reading Scarlet right away I had finished the first book - and wasn't disappointed. Scarlet just like Cinder is an incredible retelling, but now the focus is on Riding Red Hood. Even though there are the same elements as in the original story (the grandmother, the red cloak, the wolf) the author is able make the story her own with a futuristic twist and with some of her own additions to this page-turner story. 

Oh boy, wasn't the book an exciting one! I think the events might have been even more thrilling than in Cinder. There just right amount of action and then some slower paced sequence of events - the pacing was perfect. While Scarlet was trying to find her grandmother, Cinder and Thorne were trying to escape from the prison, and Kai was struggling with the peace keeping with Queen Selena. I just adored the fact that even though all these people were having their own struggles in different locations, there was this thread of knowledge that interconnected them all, without them even fully knowing. It was so much fun to see this 'mystery' to unravel and I'm hoping that Meyer will include more of these surprises in the future instalments.

I first thought that the book would mostly include Scarlet and the story would focus on her, but there were almost as much Cinder included as well as few chapters from Kai's perspective. First I was just absolutely enthralled by the fact that Cinder or Kai weren't forgotten as those two are very well established characters. However, as much as I enjoyed their plot line, I couldn't help feel that something was taken away from Scarlet. I really liked her as a character - she is independent, not afraid to speak her mind, and headstrong, but I wasn't able to relate to her as much as I have with Cinder. Of course this might be just because I'm more like Cinder than Scarlet, but I think the situation would be different if the story would have solely focused on Scarlet. But then I wouldn't have met Thorne! See my dilemma?

Yes, Captain Thorne. He is absolutely fantastic! I think he is one of my favourite minor fictional characters at the moment. He is funny, charming, witty, resourceful, a bit of  daredevil, handsome, but not judgemental and is able to see through the surface to the more in-depth things. I loved the fact that he is paired with Cinder - they make one funny, but great team. While Cinder is the sensible and rational one, Captain has a bit more daydreamer quality to his personality. They balance each other very well, and I'm so just eager to read more of their adventures! Even though I'm head over heels in love with Thorne, I was rather pleased that it wasn't revealed just yet if there's going to be romance between Cinder and Thorne. They definitely have chemistry between them and I think they would be great together, but I assure you, I haven't forgotten Kai either. It's nice for a change that a girl and a boy can be just friends as well. 

Kai and Cinder's relationship was rather innocent in the first book, even though there was some electricity between their interactions. That's why I liked that Scarlet and Wolf's relationship was a bit more heated (but I still like Cinder and Kai more in general). Scarlet and Wolf are so different from each other yet they share the same feeling of abandonment and isolation which most likely contributes the most to their bond. Their relationship wasn't predictable and I really liked that there were things happening to them that I didn't see coming. I'm not sure if Little Red Riding Hood Story theme is going to continue in the next books, or if it is done for now, meaning that the author will write them their own story. I think it would be interesting if Meyer decided to continue the original Little Red Riding Hood story further as it would make pretty dramatic twists. 

I really adored Scarlet, but I have to say that I might have enjoyed Cinder a tad bit more - but not a whole lot more anyway. They are so different from each other in terms of characters, settings, and events that it's hard to compare such books even though some of same elements are still there. Nevertheless, Scarlet was incredibly enjoyable book and I can't wait to see what happens in the third book, Cress! I think I need to go and buy it in the very, VERY near future! (Actual rating 4.5)

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