Series: Lunar Chronicles #2
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 5, 2013
Genres: science fiction
Source: Publisher, Purchased
Amazon • Indiebound • Barnes & Noble • Goodreads
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. 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, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
I’m pleased to tell you, my friends, Scarlet is that missing piece . With its higher stakes, intense action, and one hell of a big, (so hot it might be) bad (for your heart) Wolf, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.
The sequel picks up right where Cinder left off, but from Scarlet’s point of view. She, as you might have imagined, is a red-headed, red-hoodie-wearing French girl, who is desperately searching for her Grand-mére, Michelle Benoit, who disappeared without a trace two weeks before. She meets Wolf, a curiously shy street fighter, and finds he may know what happened to her grandmother. Though she suspects him, she has no other leads, and no choice but to agree to his offer of help.
Meanwhile, Cinder is breaking her way out of prison in New Beijing, with a new companion in tow–the cocky “Captain” Thorne, who has a stolen ship hidden on the outskirts of the city. Narrowly escaping capture, they fly to France in search of Michelle Benoit, and the answers Cinder hopes she will be able to provide about her past.
What follows is a fast-paced, gritty, and surprisingly violent climax that doesn’t let up until the very last page. I felt almost out of breath while reading, cringing and tensing as though I was experiencing every scene right along with the characters.
The dynamics between the characters are great. Cinder and Thorne’s snarky back and forth was hilarious, but the real star for me was the slow, simmering build between Scarlet and Wolf. Marissa Meyer knows how to write some swoony UST (unresolved sexual tension), and I was all a-flutter over Wolf from the very first page. He’s quiet and sweet, but with an edge of just barely restrained violence that I have to say, really worked for me. (And it didn’t hurt that this is what I pictured while reading.)
Like Cinder, the main flaw I found in Scarlet was a level of predictability, but in this the pacing was so well done I found it didn’t matter if I knew what was coming, the way in which I arrived was exciting enough to keep me on the edge of my seat.
It ends with no real cliffhanger (just a seriously swoony scene), but with a sense of urgency that will keep me counting the days until Cress, the third book in the series, is out in 2014.
This review also appears on GoodReads. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.
Win a Scarlet ARC!
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer won’t be out until February 5th, 2013, but thanks to Feiwel & Friends, you can enter to win an advance copy! Fill in your contact info in the form below and leave a comment on this post.
This contest is open internationally to readers aged 18 and older (or 13 and older with parental permission); please see complete rules in the entry form.