Did you enjoy the first book in The Lunar Chronicles? Were you disappointed in the ending? Don’t worry, in Scarlet, the second book of The Lunar Chronicles, Marissa Meyer twists in the story of Little Red Riding Hood with our previous tale of Cinderella. With Scarlet’s grandmother missing, we meet Wolf, a stranger in a small town and more than somewhat suspicious. Despite the warning signs and Scarlet’s feeling of distrust, she and Wolf set out together to find and rescue her grandmother. Meanwhile Cinder has escaped from prison and is also on the search for Michelle Benoit, Scarlet’s grandmother, hoping to find out more about her past. Unfortunately her escape has angered Queen Levana who will most definitely have her revenge.
At the end of Cinder I was upset, needing to know that there was at least hope that she would be okay. In Scarlet, Cinder morphs into some kind of cyborg hero with her new arm and leg, shooting darts at enemies, opening hatches, and hot wiring space ships so she and her new companion can escape. Like any hero, she has a sidekick: pilot and criminal, Thorne who reminds me of a little bit of Wash from the show Firefly (side note—Marissa Meyer is a huge Firefly fan, so this shouldn’t be surprising). Now she has Iko, her android friend, and Thorne on her side, but it feels like Thorne is waiting to take on a little more shape. As of right now, he is mostly just there for laughs.
The Little Red Riding Hood character, Scarlet, is presented as a smart, hot headed, independent young woman, but in reality is an idiot. She falls in love with Wolf and the relationship that ensues during their 24 hour or so trip to Paris is eye rolling (some of their dialogue was just painful to read). Despite all the warning signs and her misgivings, Scarlet throws herself into Wolf’s embrace and then is angry at herself (as she should be!) when the truth is revealed.
You will be surprised by the truths that are revealed within Scarlet. The twists and turns of this fairy tale are well done and although I thought I had figured out the ending, I was only half correct. My biggest complaint is the flip flopping between so many characters’ points of view. We not only have Scarlet’s and Cinder’s perspectives, but jump to Prince Kai, Thorne, Wolf, and Queen Levana. It was somewhat jarring to be thrown into some of these points of view for just one or two chapters throughout the entire book and I question whether that was necessary.
Overall, book two in this series has made me want to immediately pick up the third book, Cress. Meyer has created some moving characters whose lives you really care about and a plot that keeps going. I am looking forward to when I get to read Cress.