Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles, #2
Format: Paperback, owned
My rating: 5 / 5
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 . . .
-- As seen on Goodreads
Oh my goodness, I loved Scarlet! When books are surrounded with so much hype, I try to keep my expectations realistic, but in Scarlet’s case, they were through the roof! I mean, I thought Cinder was amazing, and I had heard that Scarlet was even better. Talk about lots of pressure on a book to live up to this! I’m so glad I can say it more than lived up to all the hype, and every single word of praise for Scarlet is thoroughly deserved as far as I’m concerned! Take a little warning – there might be some fangirling ahead…
Anything I say about the book won’t do it justice. I thought the world building progressed so much since the first book, and I loved how two separate storylines were effortlessly and seamlessly woven together! Both Cinder and Scarlet’s stories begin separate, but over the course of the book they’re blended together perfectly. Then, add in the fact that these stories are based on two separate fairy tales and it becomes even better! The way the author tells a story is so captivating and I was glued to the pages right from the start, and this doesn’t happen as often as I’d like when I read books written in the third person. Personally, I wish all third-person POV’s were written like this - if they were I’d be one happy bookworm!
When new characters are introduced into a series, I’ve found that two things could end up happening: the original characters disappear into oblivion, and the focus shifts to the new characters, or the new characters don’t blend in with the existing story like the existing characters do, and they become a nuisance. I loved seeing the old characters from Cinder return and continue their story, but I wasn’t prepared or expecting to instantly ‘click’ with new characters: I LOVED both Scarlet and Wolf! It usually takes me a while to warm up to new characters, but I sort of felt this instant connection with them.
All the characters in the series are distinct and individual. There is a history associated with each one, and they all add so much to the overall story. I loved seeing how much Cinder’s character has grown since the first book. She’s a subtle character in a way, and I loved seeing her come out of her shell. Her interactions with both Thorne and Iko were as humours and sarcastic as always, and it’s awesome that she’s become more outspoken. As I mentioned earlier, I loved Scarlet’s character right from the start. She doesn’t sugar coat things, and will directly tackle a problem. She has an opinionated and outspoken air to her character which I love seeing, and I love her willingness to stand up for others, and her determination to get the answers to any questions she has. She fights her corner no matter who it’s against, she’ll face up to the issue. Giving Cinder credit, she does the same, but in a more subtle and I guess a more snarky way. I feel Scarlett is more direct and a little more emotionally charged. Cinder has a cooler head, but can be a little aloof at times. (Funny enough, Scarlet sort of reminded me of Penryn from Angelfall.)
And Wolf! Oh. My. Goodness… He’s adorable! His character took me completely by surprise. When the term “wolf” is used – and certainly in the context of Little Red Riding Hood – I’d be assuming we’d get the typical alpha male with the ‘macho’ attitude of I’m the big, bad wolf, hear me growl kind of way. I’m so glad this overused trope was avoided! Yes, he’s lethal and could probably kill a person a zillion different ways, but… he’s shy and a little unsure of himself. There’s a self-conscious aspect to his personality that is so rarely seen in YA in general, and to me, it adds another layer of uniqueness and believability to his character. I love that the ‘standard’ YA male characters that we see so much of aren’t being replicated here – Thorne, Prince Kai and the other male characters included.
I’m finding it so hard to find all the words to describe just how much I loved this book. The ending is absolutely cruel, especially for someone who doesn’t already own a copy of Cress – i.e. ME! I’m going to try and hold off reading Cress for a couple of months… Yeah, this is my not-so-subtle attempt to cut down on the wait time until Winter is released at the end of 2015! I can’t wait to see how both Rapunzel and Snow White will be incorporated into the Lunar Chronicles, and I can only imagine that it’ll be epic!