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.
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)
WARNING: Scarlet is the sequel to Cinder, so if you haven’t read Cinder this review may contain spoilers.
I won’t lie and say that I absolutely loved Scarlet, because to be honest the parts of Scarlet I liked best were the chapters where we followed Cinder after her escape from the prison. Which surprised even me because if you recall my review of Cinder I stated that as a character Cinder fell quite flat for me and I was expecting to like Scarlet so much more. But I will get back to Cinder’s part in this whole thing later.
Getting back to Scarlet. I wasn’t sure how I felt about her as a character at first, but as the story progressed I found there was something about her I didn’t quite like.. I just can’t pinpoint what exactly it is that rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it was how willing she was to trust Wolf despite his sudden interest in her after simply one meeting? Or maybe she was just annoying in some way that I can’t figure out without re-reading the book someday in the future. I can say with complete honesty though that if Cinder is any indication my liking of Scarlet may improve when I eventually get to Cress. Wolf on the other hand was a definite improvement on the leading male compared to Kai. I was instantly intrigued with his character because of that slight air of mystery surrounding him. I found it simply adorable when he had no idea what a tomato was, I mean how cute is that?
Then there is Carswell Thorne. Sorry Captain; Captain Carswell Thorne, aka my new fictional boyfriend. Instant attachment to this charismatic, sarcastically quick-witted character. Probably another, if not the reason why I liked the parts following Cinder the best. I cannot even begin to list the number of times Thorne put a smile on my face, or made me laugh out loud. I need more Thorne in my life ASAP.
Rating Scarlet was probably the most difficult rating I’ve ever had to make, and yet that 3.5 rating was the only possibility. I couldn’t bring myself to rate it higher and I think I know exactly why. While I love the idea of having one over arcing plot and each book focusing on a new set of characters, while keeping the previous set it through me for a loop. I didn’t have enough time to get to know Scarlet and Wolf as solid characters because from the get go they felt like side characters despite being the leads of this particular book. Or maybe this series has fallen into the “over-hyped books” category and I’m suffering from the after effects of all that hype.
My unexplained dislike of Scarlet aside I did enjoy my time spent reading this book, and maybe in time a re-read scheduled in my future may raise the rating a bit higher. Until then I honestly feel that I fell victim to all the hype surrounding this series and I was simply expecting too much.