My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
This is the fantastic sequel to Cinder, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles. Marissa Meyer does a brilliant job of introducing us to a new duo that will be featured in the book, while intricately weaving their story in with the characters that we already know and love. In case you weren’t aware Scarlet is a retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood fairytale. As this is the second book in the series, there will be plot points referenced from the first book and may spoil you. I suggest you read Cinder before you read this review.
Scarlet is incredibly different from Cinder, our main character from the first book. With fiery hair and a temper to match, Scarlet is an accomplished pilot and a force to be reckoned with. When her grandmother goes missing, she will stop at nothing to get her back – even if that means teaming up with a street fighter who has never had tomatoes before… named Wolf.
There is a dichotomy in the portrayal of Wolf as he is seen as violent and angry during a fight, but so innocently curious and nervous with Scarlet. She introduces him to the wonders of fresh produce and his reaction is so precious, he just reminds me of a puppy in those moments. I can’t say that I like him more than Kai, but he definitely grows on you over the course of the book.
It was nice to see Kai in his role as the Emporer of the Eastern Commonwealth. In the first book, he was only just coming to terms with the drastic change in his circumstances and now he must be the leader his people need. You watch as he struggles to reconcile the needs of his people with the desires of his heart. Completely untested as a ruler, he does what he can to protect his people from Queen Levana but worries that it will not be enough. It was heartbreaking to see the turmoil and know that he will only face more difficult decisions in the future.
Cinder’s world was completely turned upside down at the end of the first novel. As a result, she is on the run and teams up with Captain Carswell Thorne. His utter enamorment with himself is hilarious and plays really well off of Cinder’s more serious, yet still sarcastic personality.
I really enjoyed seeing the world expand a bit more as we learned about other locations in the Earthen Union and spent time in France. We were given more of Cinder’s history and the groundwork was laid for plot points and characters in the future books. This was a great story, but I can’t say much else without spoilers – so just go read the series, you won’t regret it.