|Author: Marissa Meyer|
|Genre: Sci Fi/Fantasy|
|Publisher: Feiwel & Friends|
|Elements: Fairytale retellings|
|Series: Book 2 of the Lunar Chronicles series|
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.
Scarlet is the highly anticipated follow up to the much lauded Cinder. In such cases, it’s probable that the reality would not match the anticipation. However, even I failed to calculate how much of a let down Scarlet was.
It starts and ends with the construction and overall tone of the story. While it wasn’t consistent with Cinder’s pacing and world-building, and I didn’t expect it to be consistent, Scarlet lacked any sort of tension build up or flow leading up to the climax, which itself was ultimately lackluster and ineffectual.
Add in a heroine who I found had to empathize with, along a love interest whose chemistry with the main character felt like it should bounce off the charts, but fell apart at the slightest signs of analysis. I knew that I was supposed to root for them, but their relationship needed much more work, and it lacked conviction–definitely not enough for me to believe that the events in the last third of the book happened organically.
In a series with many leads, one is bound to rise above others to become a reader’s favourite.
For me, that lead happens to be Cinder, the eponymous heroine of the novel before Scarlet. The scenes with the original crew was the highlight of the book, and the pace of the events clashed with the stifling stillness of Scarlet’s scenes.
While I did enjoy Scarlet’s story, there’s a more gothic slant to the writing that lent itself more towards the romance rather than furthering the events continuing from the end of Cinder. And having been itching to find out more about the events that developed after that ending (that ending!), I was itching for things to move faster.
At the end, I’m left rooting for Cinder, distrustful of Wolf and indifferent towards Scarlet. That’s not a place I expected to be at all. Let’s hope Cress, the book and the character itself, more than makes up for Scarlet’s many disappointments.