Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Book 2) (The Lunar Chronicles)

Marissa Meyer
Cinder is back and trying to break out of prison--even though she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive if she does--in this second installment from Marissa Meyer.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.An NPR Best Book of 2013


Reviewed: 2017-06-22
I read "Little Red Riding Hood" prior to reading this book. I wasn't very fond of the story because it creeped me out — the grandma and Little Red get cut out of the wolf's stomach after they've been eaten— so I didn't expect to like "Scarlet". This book stayed true to the original's gruesome tone. The descriptive fight scenes actually made me shiver! I didn't care about Scarlet's grandmother's disappearance until I saw how both Scarlet and Michelle tied into the larger plot. By then I was already invested and scared for their lives. There was so much suspense, mystery, and action. I was scared in the best possible way. In the beginning, I dreaded reading the chapters about Scarlet and Wolf; in fact, I had mixed feelings about Wolf. I didn't trust him knowing the character he was based off of, but then I got used to him after he and Scarlet kissed on the train — so much tension in that scene! Once I started to actually like him, he set off a bomb and I saw his true colors. I knew I shouldn't have trusted him, and yet I still sympathized with him after the betrayal. My mind went back and forth on deciding whether or not I liked him, but in the end I concluded that I did at least a little. He's a good guy and a nicely complex character. Even though her stubbornness is a bit annoying, I still liked Scarlet. She knows how to put up a good fight and is willing to do anything for her loved ones. I'm also happy she wasn't invincible when fighting the Lunar soldiers. Just because she's a strong, kick-butt character doesn't mean she can stand up against every trial that faces her. I was glad to find out that this book didn't just revolve around Scarlet. I missed Cinder and I was wondering how she'd escape from prison. I liked how she slowly began to learn how to use her Lunar powers and questioned the morality of using them on others for her gain. Her self-discovery was also interesting to read about in her inner monologue and thoughts. Reading from Kai's point of view saddened me. I could see that his mind was jumbled in the aftermath of previous events. He was torn between his loyalty to his country and his attraction to Cinder. I don't blame him for his choices. I'm just sad about the way things ended. Thorne reminded me a lot of Flynn Rider, in fact I noticed a lot of "Rapunzel" parallels. Thorne not only represents the man who visits Rapunzel, but his name comes from when the man fell out the window when the witch tries to kill him and he was blinded by rose thorns. His ship, Rampion, is named after the cabbage Rapunzel's mother stole from the witch. I love the foreshadowing he provided. It makes me excited about reading "Cress".
Reviewed: 2016-09-23
Just as good as the first book in the series, Cinder. Hard to put down. Interesting twist on Little Red Riding Hood. The introduction of new characters is seamless, and when the plot lines intersect and characters meet it feels organic. Particularly love the interpretation of the wolf.
Reviewed: 2016-02-19

Book 2 of the Lunar Chronicles is the New Age retelling of the classic Little Red Riding Hood story. Marissa Meyer's blends Little Red Riding Hood into the character of Scarlet Benoit, and then seamlessly blends it with the characters from her earlier book, Cinder. I won't spoil the connection here but loved the suspense that built up throughout the book as you struggle to try and guess which character is going to play which role as the story goes forward.

Scarlet starts off the story looking for her lost grandmother, much as in the original telling, but then replace the path through the woods with a high speed train, some forgotten memories of her Grandmere from her youth, everyone wondering who Princess Selene is, and a questionable relationship with a boy that you just met, and you got most of her wonderful character development in the book.  

You also get introduced to the Wolf early in the story. While you can see him easily as the reformed villain from the original tales, I found myself blending a bit of the Beast from Beauty and the Beast into the character as well, but that probably wasn't the intent of the author. 

The plotting of the story is told at a break neck pace and picks up right from the last lines of the previous books. The world building was already somewhat in place from the previous book, and your conceptions of the original tales carry over to the way I picture the settings in these. The author manages to keep the romance levels blended with the suspense and action to keep all readers involved no matter what type of book you are looking for. 

Recommended reading for all Once Upon a Time fans, children that aren't afraid to get lost in the woods, and anyone that starts to experience unexpected hair growth and the desire to howl at the moon. 


Reviewed: 2015-02-26

I liked CINDER better, despite Red Riding Hood being my favorite fairytale ever. This is darker than the first installment, and less funny, but still quite good. Despite a zillion dropped clues I did not figure out that Wolf was lunar until the reveal, so that one actually surprised me. (I blame Baby Brain, which is a real thing and something I plan to trot out for the rest of my life, now). Looking forward to the next. 

Reviewed: 2015-02-10

Scarlet is much darker than Cinder, and subsequently, a teensy bit less enjoyable for me. Where Cinder was a Cinderella retelling, Scarlet is a Little Red Riding Hood retelling, with a lot of the attendant creepy dark undertones of the original fairy tale seeping through.

Still, I think Meyer does an excellent job creating distinct heroines and I liked that Scarlet has a temper. I also appreciate that Meyer didn't abandon Cinder/The Lost Lunar Heir storyline in this book either. There's a lot of skill at work here: different POVs, different characters, different setting, different character dynamics, etc. and it all feeds into a greater storyline about Princess Selene. 

Plus, we get introduced to Captain Thorne. HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, HAN SOLO. <3

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