Expected publication: February 5, 2013 by Feiwel and Friends
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Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-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 and 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 has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.
As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.
I enjoyed Scarlet a bit more than I did Cinder, and I think this is due to the fact that I very much prefer Little Red Riding Hood over Cinderella. If I were to be forced to choose, Cinderella may very well be my least favorite fairy tale, and I think that hindered my enjoyment of Cinder a bit. I didn’t have that problem with Scarlet. I like Little Red Riding Hood, and I liked the new characters Meyer introduced in Scarlet.
One thing I have to give Meyer props for is her ability to intertwine sci-fi with our beloved fairy tales so seamlessly that they feel completely original. If I didn’t know better, I’d probably never in a million years guess that Cinder or Scarlet are loosely based on anything. They feel completely unique and not at all like cardboard cutouts (which was something I feared going into this series), and I loved that.
My issues with Scarlet are likely to be issues that I will have with this entire series. One of the things that kept me from loving Cinder was the lack of a conclusion, and while we see both Kai and Cinder frequently in Scarlet, there still isn’t really any progress made between the two. It feels like Cinder’s story is being drawn out unnecessarily, and Scarlet suffered because of it. I would have enjoyed Scarlet, loved it even, had it not been chopped up by Cinder’s story. I’m not sure if I have the patience to go through this yet again, a third and fourth time, with entirely new sets of characters.
Was is a satisfying sequel? No. Was it a satisfying story? Absolutely.