23 November 2015

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Hey everyone,

As you know, if you’ve been following this blog and my reading antics I’ve started to explore the world of YA fiction… Mainly the romantic YA fiction but what else would you expect?! In that vein I recently rented Cinder by Marissa Meyer from the library and loved it so much I quickly brought Scarlet & Cress from Waterstones. I finally got around to reading Scarlet this weekend, despite it regularly appearing in my Instagram feed for weeks!

The book:

This is not the fairytale you remember.

But it’s one you won’t forget.

Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.

Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive – when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.

As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner . . .

My thoughts:

For those unfamiliar with Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series Scarlet is book two and is a loose re-telling of Red Riding Hood. It is also finishes exactly where Cinder left off. Yup this is one of those series that has massive cliff-hangers at the end of each book. Making it one of the few series I’m forcing myself to read in order! Whereas Cinder focused on the Cinder Lihn and Emperor Kai, whose plot-lines where by no means resolved, Scarlet focuses on Scarlet Benoit and a mysterious stranger called Wolf. Although Scarlet and Cinder have never met, and in fact live in different continents, they are inexplicably linked in the fight for Earth’s survival against Queen Levena.

Amusement touched the corner of his lips. ‘Animals love me.’
‘Oh, I'm sure they do,’ Scarlet said, beaming with fake encouragement. She shut the door before muttering, ‘What farm animals don't love a wolf?’

Scarlet doesn’t care about saving Earth, all she cares about is rescuing her Grandmother. The women who raised her, the one person she can trust not to keep secrets from her. So when her grandmother Michelle goes missing and the police refuse to investigate Scarlet decides to take matter into her own hands. Even if that means tracking down and trusting Wolf, a handsome stranger infamous within the underground fighting rings. From the beginning it is clear that Wolf is hiding something. He doesn’t know what a tomato is, he clearly knows something about her grandmother’s disappearance, he has an unusual tattoo and sharpened teeth. Scarlet has a right to be mistrustful.

‘I knew they would kill me when they found out, but…’ He struggled for words, releasing a sharp breath. ‘I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.’

Yet at the same time Wolf is caring and protective. I almost instantly warmed to him because of his vulnerability. He seems unsure of his place in the world. Both terrified by Scarlet’s determination and in awe of it. Despite not understanding his motivates it was clear that he had genuine feelings for Scarlet. This is all set against a backdrop of political intrigue and worsening relations between Luna and Earth. All of Marissa Meyer’s novel contain brilliant world building, and in Scarlet the POV often switched between Scarlet, Cinder, Kai and occasionally Wolf. Although the journey between Scarlet and Wolf is the focus off the book I wouldn’t consider this a YA romance. Scarlet and Wolf’s relationship is part of much richer story-line and I personally loved the inclusion of Cinder, Iko and Thorne as they escaped and hid from both the Earthen and Luna militaries.

Thorne blinked at her, then down at the sewage he could barely make out in the darkness. ‘Don't you have some tool in that fancy hand of yours that can get us across?’
Cinder glared, light-headed from her body's instinctively short breaths. ‘Oh, wow, how could I have forgotten about my grappling hook?’

Although I really enjoyed reading Scarlet it just didn’t have the same magic as Cinder. Also although I felt the connection between Scarlet and Wolf and loved the scenes when they were together overall this book was less focused on the romance. I think this happened because so many key events and moments had to occur in this book to keep the over-arching plot of the Lunar Chronicles moving. I will definitely be continuing this series as it is quickly becoming one of my favourites but this wasn’t the best so far for me.

My rating:
Happy reading and see you next time!

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