She did not know that the wolf was a wicked sort of animal, and she was not afraid of him.scarlet by Marissa Meyer
⚠️This review contains spoilers for the first book of the Lunar Chronicles series⚠️
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. The adventure continues in this fresh fairytale retelling that combines elements of Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood.
She’s done it again. It really shouldn’t come as a surprise for me that I would binge read this book after completely devouring Cinder and yet here we are 😂 Finished this baby boy in two days and now I’m already experiencing withdrawal and my fingers are itching to just pick up Cress and spend another entire day reading it!
After reading Cinder of course my head was filled with theories on how the series would continue from there on, and while some of my theories have already come true it still happened in such a gripping and addictive way that had me sprinting through the pages of Scarlet. I was a bit scared starting the book because I was already so involved in Cinder’s story, and the first book left us in a bit of a cliff-hanger, so I was actually a bit scared that it would take too long for the second book to mention Cinder and the events that follow up the first book, and instead focus on the new characters for a larger part of the story. But my anxiety was absolutely unnecessary (as it usually is 😅).
First of all Meyer manages to balance all the parallel events flawlessly. It was a swift change from perspectives that kept me at the edge of my seat for the entire time I was reading it. The book actually stars with Scarlet’s side of the story and what is going on in her life. Her grandmother has been missing for to weeks and Scarlet is of course extremely concerned since police isn’t doing much about it. She meets Wolf, a street fighter who may have some information that can help her find her grandmother. All of this is happening while Cinder is planning her escape from the New Beijing prison. That already had me so excited because I love to see their stories slowly connecting and this universe expanding.
From there the story unravels, with a lot of action of course, and we get to follow along these two parallel stories until the moment they clash together. It is so amazing to see this plot points interconnecting and to dive deeper into this world Marissa has created. I especially loved how she managed to get the elements from The Little Red Riding Hood, such as the wolf, and masterful use them to create the connection with the Lunars and make these two stories blend into one. This really made me look at this series as a completely new story mixing all these elements from fairy tales we already know but bringing a completely new tale to life instead just sticking to the known plots.
One of the things I love the most about these stories is the strong female characters. They’re not damsels in distress and they’ve been through quite a lot of tragedy in their lives, and know how to fend for themselves. They’re fighters and thinkers and they aren’t here to stand beside their male counterparts as someone who just serves as their companions. They are their own person and they fight for what they believe in and make their own decisions. It makes you feel alive, seen and truly empowered. Also all these characters have faults and they all have strengths and it makes them all feel real in this made-up world. Makes it so that I was that much more immersed in it.
Speaking of characters, we got introduced to some amazing new ones in this book. First off Scarlet. She is really fierce and she always speaks her mind – which sometimes gets her in a lot of trouble – but personally that’s one of the traits I love the most about her. She is determined to find her grandmother back so we see how much resolve and loyalty she has and that is truly inspiring. I can’t wait to get to know more about her through the rest of the series. Then there is Wolf…I love Wolf so much! I truly don’t want to give any spoilers, but he struggles so much and I’m so sad to see the position he is in. He does show how loyal he can be and he is such a cupcake 🥺 seriously, I just want to hug him. His and Scarlet’s relationship is absolutely amazing, in my opinion. I can’t compare because each relationship is so absolutely unique so I can only say that I love their relationship as much as I love Kai and Cinder’s. And then there is the man, the myth, the legend that is Carswell Thorne 😍 why is it that anytime a character is as sassy and as confident as Thorne is, I fall in love?! 😩 But seriously, he is amazing! and I live for every interaction between him and Cinder 😂 (also he gave me such strong Flynn Rider vibes and I looooooove it so so much)
This was a truly fantastic sequel that has me already anticipating the rest of it. Again we are left with quite the cliffhanger, so I really can’t wait to start the next instalment. This world has pulled me in and has my entire attention! The story’s development in this book was absolutely amazing and taken to another level, really opening the doors for some amazing new twists and even bigger events. It is a great example of how to grow a universe and explore beyond the expected. I can’t recommend this series enough!