Release Date ~ February 5, 2013
Feiwel & Friends ~ Macmillan
ARC received from Raincoast Books
The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...
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.
I loved Cinder, and I have no idea why I put off reading this one for so long. Admittedly I was anxious about a few things - whether Scarlet would be a lackluster sequel in comparison to Cinder, whether I'd adapt to the change in characters, and whether I had suffered from too a futuristic, sci-fi YA overload.
Thankfully, none of these potential problems came up for me! In fact, I'd even say that I loved Scarlet more than Cinder - the character change ended up being ideal for me, and there was just enough Cinder to keep me happy and focused on the overarching plot of the series.
- A fresh cast of characters while keeping familiar favourites:
The main reason I loved this sequel to Cinder so much? Scarlet. I related so well to her, in ways I'll never relate to Cinder. As much as I liked reading about Cinder, Scarlet reminded me so much of myself (and it helps that she's a little bit older than Cinder, too). I loved her commitment to her grandmother, and her willingness to stand apart from the crowd. And Wolf was ESPECIALLY surprising and intriguing. But I was equally grateful that Cinder played a prominent role in the story, along with Kai (and others)! Plus, we get Thorne on top of all of this. He's the cherry on the Scarlet sundae. :)
- Superb world-building:
Marissa Meyer's world in the Lunar Chronicles is one of my favourites to date from a YA book. You can tell by reading her books how much thought and preparation has gone into creating the setting, which only makes it feel more real and very present while you're reading it. Some big Lunar secrets are revealed, and Scarlet gives us a much better idea of exactly what's going on with Queen Levana's plans.
- Strong relationships:
Relationships are one of the main focuses of Scarlet. And while there's a lot of swooning and romance, I especially appreciate the emphasis on strong friendships and familial relationships. It's so nice to see a wide variety of relationships being appreciated in a YA book, and I'm a big fan of the friendships we witness in Scarlet. Friendships are so important in life, and they get the credit they deserve here!
The hardest part about this book? I'm so attached to all the characters, and I wanted more time with each and every one of them. As a result, there were a few that didn't get the time I felt they deserved or needed for their story to develop as much as it could have - Kai, for example. And Wolf and Thorne as well, to a certain extent. They have fascinating stories all on their own and I know there just aren't enough pages for them... but I still feel like they could have used a bit more face time, although this is a fairly minor complaint.
I love that these books are ones I can recommend to so many readers, though! There seems to be a bit of something for every taste, and I expect that to continue with the next books as well. :) The Lunar Chronicles will be a new favourite and a new classic for YA fans.