Little Red Riding Hood meets Cinderella meets badass rescue missions and high energy adventures! This book is the second in The Lunar Chronicles series, and it is so much better than Cinder. 😍 We meet fun and exciting new characters, and Marissa Meyer’s writing has drastically improved, meaning the pacing problem in Cinder is resolved in this book. 😉
Even though this book draws inspiration from the Little Red fairytale, it manages to remain unique and not entirely predictable. The book does a great job of developing Scarlet’s story while also continuing Cinder’s. Marissa Meyer maintains a nice balance between the two before merging the two storylines at the end.
Spoiler-Free Summary: Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the 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. 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, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
If Cinder was 3.5/5 stars, Scarlet is 4.5/5, maybe even a close 5/5! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ I really enjoyed learning more about the world and each character. If you haven’t yet, check out my review of Cinder here. The series is definitely improving, and I highly recommend those who have read Cinder to read this book as well.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Marissa Meyer’s writing in this book is sooo much better than in Cinder. ✏️ Even the scenes featuring Cinder and Kai were easier and more fun to read in comparison to the first book. The pacing has a more steady flow. In Cinder, we struggled with all the action being shoved into the last few chapters with a slow storyline in the middle. In this book, we have a more consistently action-packed pace which builds nicely to a finale. We also start to get a better understanding of the world. When I finished reading Cinder, I still had a lot of unanswered questions about Luna and Lunar abilities. Marissa Meyer clarifies a lot of Queen Levana’s plans and how Earthens differ from Lunars, but she still leaves the reader with a few questions for mystery which will be answered in the later two books.
Scarlet. How can I describe Scarlet? She’s beauty. She’s grace. She’ll punch you in the face. Scarlet is one of my favorite characters in this series overall, not just in this book. She has a strong personality and is determined to achieve her goals. She has the best witty comebacks and her fiery spirit that inspires so much strength. At the same time, we see other sides of her–being angry, feeling sad, and loving her grandma.
Wolf. A tough street fighter who is so freaking precious 💕 I thought it was so cute how he was so fascinated by tomatoes, and it becomes an inside joke that continues throughout the
book series. I was pretty suspicious of him because he seemed too willing to help Scarlet, so I wasn’t too surprised to find out he was a soldier for Queen Levana, a Lunar Special Operative. Still, I knew he would be good in the end! His love for Scarlet prevailed! He’s the definition of “looks like he could kill you but is actually a cinnamon roll.”
Thorne. Captain Carswell Thorne. I love his character so much!! He’s fun, suave, and very Flynn Rider. He reminds me so much of Adrian Ivashkov from the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series. Every scene with him made me smile because he’s the type of character who just brightens a room.
In comparison to the first book, Scarlet has a much clearer plotline for both female protagonists. Scarlet is on a mission to find her grandma, Michelle Benoit, while also trying to understand how her grandmother is connected with Princess Selene. I love how Scarlet’s relationship with her grandma was an integral part of this book. I was SO SAD when Michelle was killed. 😭 *grumbles under breath fucking Ran* I love my grandma so much, so this scene made me a teary-eyed mess! Cinder and Thorne’s plotline follows their escape from prison to trying to find Michelle Benoit. They search throughout Rieux, France and try to fix up their ship, the Rampion, at the same time. We’re also reunited with Iko when Cinder puts her personality chip into the ship.
I honestly feel so frustrated and upset for Prince Kai because Queen Levana is basically playing with the Earthens. She’s truly such a horrible person, and she’s basically playing chess with innocent people’s lives. 😤
I was such a sucker for Scarlet and Wolf’s romance! 💖 The tough-guy-but-actually-good-guy trope is one that I will always love, and seeing him fall for Scarlet’s fiery spirit made my heart happy. I was smirking to myself seeing him get jealous of Ran, and all the action and drama was nicely intensified with some werewolf (but not actually werewolf?) action!Even though Cinder and Kai don’t have many interactions, it was sweet to see how much faith they had in each other. Kai was happy when Cinder escaped from prison, but he was jealous that she escaped with Thorne because he’s good looking LMAO. My heart broke for Cinder when Kai announced that he was going to marry Queen Levana for an alliance, but he’s doing it to
stop delay the war against his people. 😢
Now, all we need is for Thorne to find someone. 😉And we all know that Disney fairytales have a happily ever after.
Listen to the audiobook just for Scarlet’s French accent. 😂 It’s better than any poor accent I can dream up in my head. Like I said in my Cinder review, the narrator has a voice that is very easy to listen to, painting Marissa Meyer’s descriptive scenes into a movie.
This series is getting better, and I am living for it. 🙌 I highly recommend continuing with the series 100%. More amazing characters will continue being introduced, and we’re just reaching the peak of all the action!
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Have you read Scarlet? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments! 💕