Monday, March 25, 2013

Book Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Goodreads summary:

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.

My review:

All I can say is WOW.  This is how you write a sequel.  Scarlet is every bit as good as the first book, Cinder - maybe even better.  I love the way Marissa Meyer seamlessly ties the fairytale aspects into the plot.  And her characters?  Amazing.

When I started Scarlet, I was nervous about all the new characters being introduced and if the story would flow well with so many point of views.  Well, I needn't have worried.  I adored the three new characters, Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorne.  I like how Scarlet is no damsel in distress - she's tough, smart, and easy to admire.  I loved Wolf right from the start, and while he is the "strong and silent" type, his character never feels cliche.  And Thorne provides great comic relief without ever feeling like a mere plot device.

Then there's the plot, which is simply fantastic.  At first, it's almost like there's two separate storylines (Scarlet's, Cinder's, and actually kind of Kai's, too), but it never gets too confusing or complicated.  I loved how the different storylines and subplots were all intertwined.  This story is brilliantly plotted.  We find out lots more about Cinder, and also learn quite a bit about Scarlet's family's past.

I know some people didn't like the romance between Wolf and Scarlet, and I can see why.  It's pretty much insta-love, as they really don't know each other for a long time.  But, I felt like in the short time they spent together, they formed a strong bond.  I was pretty startled when I realized, "Hey, they've only known each other for a couple days" because it seemed like so much longer.  Meyer wrote the romance very well and managed to make it believable.

And the writing was great!  The prose isn't gorgeous or lyrical or anything, but it's full of just the right amounts of description, dialogue, etc.  It's easy and fast to read, which is unusual for me in a sci-fi book.  But the author writes about all the technology in a way that makes it easy to envision and understand.  The only thing I think could have been improved is the setting - I mean, they're in Europe.  I totally would've loved to see more description about the land.

If you haven't started this series yet, then you must give it a try.  Even if you're not a fan of fairytales or sci-fi, this is worth reading for its amazing characters and exciting plots.  I can't wait to read about Rapunzel in the third book, Cress!

My rating:  10 out of 10 (5 stars)

~ The Bookworm

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