BOOK REVIEW: Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2)
by Marissa Meyer
Publication date: 7 February 2013
Publisher: Puffin Books
Goodreads:This is not the fairytale you remember.
But it’s one you won’t forget.
Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.
Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive – when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.
As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner . . .
Unfortunately, Scarlet didn’t meet the high expectations that Cinder had set for me. It felt like a nice sequel to follow the end of Cinder and set up for the next book. I liked the book enough but it didn’t WOW me the way that Cinder did. I like the direction that the story is going in, with Scarlet adding on to the plot as well as filling in some of the history and backstory prior to the start of the series.
A big contributing factor for why I didn’t love Scarlet is because of how many perspectives the story was being told from. I’ve said before that I love multiple POV’s but there is such a thing as too much. Just as I got used to one character speaking, the perspective would change. Also, because of how often the perspectives changed, it means that there’s a limit for character development and things move a little slow.
We meet Scarlet, our new red headed, badass heroine and Wolf, our second new lead character who is a street fighter. I just was not interested in their stories at all. I groaned a little every time I got to a chapter from either of their perspectives because I just did not care. Sure, I wanted to know what happened with Scarlet’s grandmother but I couldn’t care less about Scarlet herself. But in saying that, she’s an amazing strong female character and we can never have too many of them.
Scarlet and Wolf’s relationship bothered me a little. I might go so far as to say that their relationship was creepy. How can she be so trusting of someone she just met (who is very obviously dangerous!!!), let alone be willing to go on an adventure with him?! It felt a lot like insta-love and even a little forced. It felt like Scarlet was about 17, while Wolf seemed to be in about his early to mid 20’s. Relationships where one person is under age is not something that I am okay with at all so that was another reason why I don’t like them together.
In addition to our two new leads, we have another new perspective, Captain Carswell Thorne. He was funny and enjoyable, a real life saver to the whole book. I loved his interactions with Cinder and Iko (yep, she’s back too!). There’s nothing like a comedic character to really pull together a book. And speaking of Iko, it was so great to see our favourite android return. She and Thorne make for a dynamic duo that I won’t ever get enough of. You know it’s bad if the highlight of a novel is only one of the new lead characters and an android sidekick.
I found myself looking forward to getting to read Cinder’s perspective whenever I was on someone else’s (especially to read more about her interactions with Thorne). But she didn’t feel like the Cinder that we met in the first book. She spent a lot of the time almost feeling sorry for herself and refusing to accept that she is the lost Princess Selene. I spent a lot of time saying to myself “Come on Cinder, get it together, you have people to save!”. We also had Kai’s perspective, and similarly, it felt like he wasn’t really getting much done either.
Maybe I’m being harsh because I adored Cinder but Scarlet is in no way a terrible book. I just found that I didn’t connect with Scarlet.