This is my review of the second book in young adult fairytale retelling series, The Lunar Chronicles: Scarlet. As always, unless otherwise stated, book reviews at Novellique are spoiler free. Check out other reviews at Novellique here!
Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
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.
As always, the title of a Lunar Chronicle book is that of the main character – in this case, it’s Scarlet. I like this format because it makes it clear who the new character is, while also keeping it in the theme of retelling traditional fairytales within the same, continuing universe. The same locations, the same characters from the previous book – while introducing something new to keep it fresh. I like that about The Lunar Chronicles and that’s why I think this series has been so successful.
In general I love the covers of The Lunar Chronicles – while Cinder was my absolute favourite, I think Scarlet is also pretty aesthetic and conveys the main fairytale being retold: little red riding hood.
I liked how Cinder was portrayed – and despite Scarlet being introduced, Cinder is very much still present and used as the driving force for the overall plot of the Lunar Chronicles. There was an interesting discussion of morality and using power to do the right thing, even if in the process you have to do something morally questionable.
I feel like while it was a little slow to start, the twists were well done with enough hints being dropped throughout for it to make sense – but at the same time, all the twists were also explained in greater detail to make sure everyone picked up on what was happening. There wasn’t anything I found super shocking but too often young adult fantasy relies on sudden, jolting changes in order to drive the plot – and most of the time, these just aren’t neccessary.
I liked Scarlet a lot more than I was expecting, and while I wasn’t immediately drawn into the book as fast as I was with Cinder, I’m still rating it 4* for a very good, enjoyable adventure once again with the Lunar Chronicles.
Have you guys read The Lunar Chronicles? Have you finished the series, or are you considering starting it? Let me know in the comments!
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