The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…
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.
First sentence: “Scarlet was descending toward the alley behind the Rieux Tavern when her postscreen chimed from the passenger seat, followed by an automated voice: ‘Comm recieved for Mademoiselle Scarlet Benoit from the Toulous Law Enforcement Department of Missing Persons.'”
Scarlet made me fall in love with this series. Absolutely head over heels. Sure, Cinder initiated my fascination with this series and its world, but Scarlet cemented my love for it.
This book follows Scarlet as she searches for her missing grandmother with the help of Wolf, and Cinder and Captain Thorne as they try to avoid being caught (‘cause y’know, they’re fugitives) and to find someday who can help them out on their journey. I’m sure you can guess that the new characters — Scarlet and Wolf — are based off of Little Red Riding Hood. I really love this adaptation of the story because gahhhh, Scarlet. Wolf. *dreamy sighs*
- Scarlet Benoit
Scarlet is fashioned after Red Riding Hood. She wears a red hoodie (not a red cape which would’ve been awesome), and lives with her grandmère on a farm in Rieux, France. I love her devotion to her grandmère. She will not stop until she finds her grandmère even when the police have given up and when she’s in danger. Family is everything to her. You gotta love her for that. Also, unlike most people, she can think for herself. Even though she doesn’t personally know Cinder or Cinder’s situation, she defends her. She keeps an open-mind, which is so interesting when you think about the people who fear Lunars or are influenced by glamour (a Lunar power) or Wolf (who’s essentially controlled by his thaumaturge). She will fight for her love ones no matter what. No wonder Wolf likes you. ;D
Who would’ve thought I would be sooo into a street fighter? Not I! I love him. Like a lot. Every guy in this series pales in comparison to him. He passes himself off as someone who recently left his gang also known as [spoiler]Loyal Soldier to the Order of the Pack, which is really the Lunar Special Operative aka the Queen’s army[/spoiler]. He can fight. He’s always questioned [spoiler]his purpose and loyalty to the Queen and to his pack[/spoiler]. He is frickin’ adorable for someone who’s entire living is to fight. I find his social awkwardness and his “child-like fascination” endearing. And when someone does something, he gets all bashful. I melt every time this happens.
He’s had a tough life. LSOP is his life, but he wants freedom. I think that’s interesting in comparison to Cinder, who yearns for the same thing. I just love him, especially when he’s with Scarlet. He’s willing to sacrifice himself to help Scarlet or doing anything for her. Like dudeeeeeee! <3 Lots of squealing in joy on my end. ;D
- Cinder + Thorne bickering friendship
Their friendship is quite cute. I love when they bicker. Cinder is totally unfazed by Thorne’s flirting and doesn’t fawn all over him (probably because she likes Kai). He continues to try to impress her and fails, but he isn’t discouraged by it. It’s all in good fun. I like that they balance each other well. He’s the comic relief to Cinder’s seriousness. You need that when you’re in a high-stress situation.
- Michelle Benoit’s history
I love the bits when we are told what role Scarlet’s grandmère, Michelle Benoit, played in the military and in Princess Selene because she’s a link that connects Scarlet and Cinder. It isn’t just Michelle Benoit and Logan Tanner (a Lunar doctor) who knew what happened to Princess Selene; [spoiler]Scarlet knew a bit when she eavesdropped on her grandmère and Linh Garan (Cinder’s stepfather) when she was thirteen. Yeah, she thought they were talking about sending her away (which they were not doing),[/spoiler] but that’s an important bit of information. Everybody’s connected!
- To like Prince Kai
Yes, I still don’t really like him. In my review of Cinder, I wrote that “Kai hasn’t done anything that warrants my devotion and my ~feels” and I continue to feel this way. He doesn’t strike at my heart strings. I honestly do not care what happens to him. I really don’t see what Cinder sees in him since he’s pretty bland in comparison to Wolf (who’s tough and endearing) and Thorne (who’s funny and charming). What does Kai have going for him? Nothing I can see! I feel no spark and that saddens me.
- Iko to be less annoying
She is funny only 7% during her appearance in Scarlet, and irritating in the other 93%. I know she’s sort of like another comic relief, but my god, her whine and dialogue grates at my soul. I just want her to stop.
- Characters to stop being so naive and foolish
Here’s the thing, certain things happen in the book that could be avoided if the characters weren’t so naive. I understand the purpose of it, which is to create obstacles. However, that doesn’t make me less annoyed. For extremely smart characters, I feel like they would know better. I do have to factor in that they wouldn’t think about the consequences when they’re in an intense quick-thinking type situation when time is of the essence. For instance —[spoiler]1. Cinder keeping her sister’s ID chip. Y’know, somebody will end up using it to trace you. All your Lunar powers won’t stop that. I know she keeps it because it’s sentimental; it’s a last reminder of her little sister. (Hell, I would do this too, not realizing at that moment that somebody is tracking me through it.)
2. Scarlet thinking LSOP will let her grandmère go. Ummm, they won’t. I know this. Scarlet should know this too. Scarlet’s grandmère has a lot of important information that Scarlet does not have. That tiny memory of Linh Garan won’t be enough to save her. I get frustrated when she doesn’t an alternate plan in case LSOP won’t let her grandmère go or Wolf betrays her. I want to shake her and scream, “THINK.” I find Scarlet extremely naive going into the wolves’ den without backup plans. She should expect that this deal she’s offering to LSOP won’t work.
3. Scarlet’s grandmère not teaching Scarlet to protect her mind. Yes, Scarlet’s grandmère’s ability to not be influenced by glamour or Lunar comes from a bioelectricity security block. However, she should’ve had a plan for Scarlet in the event that somebody kidnaps and tortures her (Michelle Benoit) for information about Princess Selene. If I knew something really important and life-threatening, I would think that my entire family will be in danger and that whoever wants the information will stop at nothing to get it (like torturing and asking those family members if they know about what I know). I just feel like it’s uncharacteristic of Michelle Benoit not to worry about what would happen to Scarlet. [/spoiler]
I just couldn’t help rolling my eyes during those scenes, though I can’t say I don’t understand why these characters did what they did.
Scarlet is a frickin’ awesome sequel to Cinder, mainly because it introduces Scarlet and Wolf, who I absolutely adore. (I’m sure you can tell from this review. :D) They give me the intense ~feels. All I can think about is how they need to be okay in Cress. They have to be, or my poor heart!
You must read Scarlet (once you finish Cinder). Who can say no to a Little Red Riding Hood retelling + wolf culture? Friendly warning: be prepared for all the awesomeness and for Wolf, a tough, yet adorable street fighter who will absolutely win your heart.