Friday, December 28, 2012

SCARLET by Marissa Meyer

Title: SCARLET (Lunar Chronicles #2, sequel to CINDER)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (a Macmillan imprint)
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Number of Pages: 464
Source of Book: Signed ARC from publisher at ALA
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.
I think I enjoyed SCARLET even more than CINDER. Much of that has to do with the way Marissa Meyer wrote the characters of Scarlet and Wolf and how much I enjoyed reading their parts of the story. I do love a story told in multiple voices, and the way in which the stories of Scarlet and Cinder started off on opposite sides of the wold and slowly worked their way together was well done. However, I was enjoying Scarlet and Wolf so much early on that I rushed through the Cinder chapters a little bit to get back to the ones I was enjoying more. As it went on though, I remembered why I liked Cinder, especially with her new sidekick (who is quite entertaining), and as I saw how it was all coming together, it was hard to stop reading.

The way Marissa Meyer has created this world in which her characters live, and how their stories are all coming together (and will continue to do so in the final two books of the series) is intriguing to me as a reader. It is a complicated, well-drawn world, but it has characters that I really start to care about quite a bit. These characters are flawed and scared and insecure, but they are girls who become strong in their struggles. Both Scarlet and Cinder are having to become stronger than they every imagined they would have to as they find out more and more about what's going on in their larger world. They also sometimes have to rely on and sometimes have to save those who are traveling this journey with them.

One of the most interesting things about this story is the way that Meyer weaves in elements of the original fairy tale, but in a totally modern twisty way. If you read CINDER, I absolutely recommend that you read SCARLET. I enjoyed seeing where Cinder's story is headed with the new information she learned at the end of the first book, and I was drawn even more into the story by the introduction of Scarlet and Wolf and the discoveries that are made with the two of them and everything they have to go through in this story. I can't wait to see where they all end up in the next book, CRESS, based on Rapunzel, coming in 2014, and then WINTER, based on Snow White , in 2015. It'll be a long wait, but if this book is any indication, it will be worth it.

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