Scarlet by Marissa Meyer is the second in The Lunar Chronicles series and is loosely based on the fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood. The narrative is split between continuing the story of Cinder from the first book and following Scarlet as she attempts to find and rescue her kidnapped grandmother.
What I liked
Strong, intelligent protagonist. Scarlet, like the fairytale Little Red Riding Hood, is a spirited, feisty young heroine and a lot of fun to read. I enjoyed her story and watching her learn about her grandmother’s secrets. I was amused that at the end both of the male protagonists were out of commission and it was up to the ladies to save the day.
Intriguing love interest. The character of Wolf was very well written. Meyer deliberately keeps the character’s motivations unclear right until the very end and the way Meyer fulfilled the fairytale’s wolf role was masterfully done.
There are probably fewer iconic moments to bring over from Little Red Riding Hood – the red cape of course, “what big eyes you have, grandma” and both of those do make an appearance. I loved the way Meyer brought those and the wolves into her narrative – it was very imaginatively done – and well woven into the broader story arc of Cinder and the Lunar Queen.
The pacing. Having the dual points of view kept the pacing moving along very quickly. it also allowed for mini cliffhangers as Meyer would switch PoV just at a crucial point.
The narration. Once again, Rebecca Soler took on narration duties and I loved her interpretation. She gave unique voices to the characters and enacted the directions “she said, snippily” excellently. Here’s a sample.
What I didn’t like
Again there was nothing I disliked about Scarlet. Meyer’s world and characters are just so beautifully written.
I gave Scarlet five stars out of five.
From Netgalley and Amazon I picked up the first few chapters in the sequel, Cress, which is due out in early February 2014. This continues the story of Cinder and Scarlet and throws the spotlight on Cress, a character we met briefly in Cinder. Cress is loosely based on the fairytale of Rapunzel, and even in the first few chapters I loved the character. I really look forward to seeing more of the interaction between “Big Sister” and “Little Cress.” It’s already clear from the excerpt how Meyer is weaving the fairytale into this story and the wider narrative.
I really look forward to reading Cress, and it’s on my pre-order lists at both Audible and Amazon.