Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publish Date: February 15th 2013 (first published January 3rd 2013)
Page Amount: 452 Pages
Price: $9.99 Paperback
ISBN: 0312642962 (ISBN13: 9780312642969)
"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." (Goodreads Description)
Just like Cinder, Scarlet is one of those books where you want to keep reading it over and over again for the first time. I have to say, this book far exceeded the expectations I held for it! I never once found a moment in this book that I did not enjoy!
I don't want to repeat myself too much, but this review will contain some similar ideas that my review of Cinder has. I view this as a good thing! A series, and an author, did something great. :)
One of the things that I appreciated most within this novel is the subtle changes in the plot, as well as the harmony between both plot and character development. The story line in Scarlet is definitely darker than the story line in Cinder. For the sake of a spoiler-free review, all I will reveal is that this deals with a missing person, and a continuation of all of the problems built in Cinder's world.
Scarlet also has a lot of plot development and story development that I really enjoyed, and that made this book very easy to read. Scarlet is Cinder's story, and plus some. Cinder's story takes a different angle in this book. While her story is still the "center" of the Lunar Chronicles, other characters have a "chance" to shine as well.
Another item that I appreciated within this story is the time period in which it takes place, and how everything from Cinder is brought back together in Scarlet. I have to say, I was not expecting Cinder to appear again in the story. Just from the cover art and the title, I assumed that this book would only focus on Red Riding Hood. If Cinder was to make an appearance, I assumed that she would just make a small "cameo" in the story. I have to say, I am extremely happy that this did not happen. The different plot lines and view points from each character really helped to add to the story. In terms of the time period in which this takes place, the hype from the Cinder story line is still occurring. I was extremely worried that this book would skip forward in time, and the "hype" from Cinder's (for lack of a better word) incident would have died down. Scarlet deals with not only Cinder's story, but other characters as well, in such a pleasant way. The balance between the different stories is perfection - as a reader, I received everything that I wanted to hear in this story, and then some!
I also really enjoyed the setting change that deals with the separate stories. Cinder takes place in Asia, but certain parts of Scarlet occur in Paris. As someone who has traveled to Paris before, it was very nice to see the cameos of certain locations within the novel. But, even if a reader has not traveled to Paris or Europe before, the setting change is important. The setting change, in my opinion, helps to develop the differences between the several characters in the novel and their upbringings. Scarlet has a completely different upbringing than Cinder, and it is very easy to tell the vast differences in the settings that they grew up in. In the story, in France, there is little mention of castles and markets. However, there are mentions of run-down and older cottages, small shops but also older city streets. The description of these different places truly make the reader feel like they are in the story at all times.
Overall, I really, really appreciated this story. The characters are set up and developed with precision throughout the story, and the backstories that are revealed only make these characters more relatable to the reader. The blend of several different characters and "stories" throughout this novel made Scarlet very unique. Marissa Meyer clearly loves her characters and takes great care into guiding them and molding them into who they will become. As I already finished Cress, I cannot wait for the net installment of the series, Fairest! Ms. Meyer - as always - has done a wonderful job!
This book is....
(Sticker/Image designed by Victoria S. for Ms. Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles Sticker Contest)
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars (although, I feel like saying Moons is better for this book! :D)