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Friday, May 2, 2014

Guest Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, from Violet!

Violet, the blogger behind Paper Worlds and Swirls of Ink, joins us today to tell us her thoughts on Scarlet, the second book in the (excellent) Lunar Chronicles series. You may recall that Cress, the third book in the series, was the first book I reviewed for this year's FTF, and I could barely contain my love for it. But if you still haven't, for some unfathomable reason, picked up this series yet, maybe between my thoughts on Cress and Violet's thoughts on Scarlet will convince you to — that is, if she agrees with me on the strengths of this series...
Does she? Click through to find out!
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer 
Get It | Add It
Fairy Tale Retelling/Sci-fi, 464 pages
Expected publication: February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends
Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-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 and 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 has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Violet here, with a review about one of the most popular YA fairy tale retelling series currently coming out, The Lunar Chronicles! There has been a lot of Lunar Chronicles buzz going on lately, in anticipation of the next book Cress, which released February 4. So, this past January I participated in two different readalongs for the book. One was with Never Ending Stories, and the link is in the sidebar. That was how I discovered her blog, and I've loved following along and reading what else she's been posting! Another was with with the publisher, Macmillan, and both were ones that I followed along with on Twitter. So, I finished Scarlet at the end of January and I decided to share my thoughts. This is the sequel to Cinder by Marissa Meyer, so there will be spoilers in the synopsis and review for Cinder.

Scarlet was a really great book. I read Cinder when it first came out and a friend loaned it to me, and I adored the book. However, I never read Scarlet after that until I picked it up a few months back. Finally, those two readalongs gave me the opprotunity to put other books aside and just enjoy this book. I'm really glad I did! I ended up rating this four out of five stars, and I think this was a fantastic sequel. Fairy tale retellings are probably in my top three genres to read. So, the continuation of Cinder's story, and the introduction of Scarlet's was something I loved because it was written so well.
The characters were overall really good in this book. The main characters were really great, and I liked the different points of view and felt that they were really well written. There were some new supporting characters introduced here, too, and honestly I liked them more than the characters from the last book, aside from Cinder. Kai is still a character I'm not a fan of. I started disliking him around the end of Cinder, and I dislike his character still. Before I continue on with the other characters, I would like to say what really annoyed me in the book- Queen Levana taking over and doing whatever she'd like. She was acting crazy, violent, threatening, and there is no way that she should've been allowed to continue on. I was annoyed that no one did anything or stopped her. To me, it was ridiculous how Levana would do whatever she wanted, even more so as the book progresses, and Kai and the others would sit there and cower. I wanted them all to fight, and try and stop her. It felt ridiculous, and I wasn't a fan of how that aspect of the story developed at all. I honestly think that was why the book lost a star for me.
However, let's talk about the other characters. Cinder was back in this book, and her story line continued on. I liked how Cinder's story went- the reader learns more about her, and by the end she's undergone some really great character development. It feels like Cinder's finally starting to know who she is, and I can't wait to see where she goes in Cress. For Cinder and her supporting characters, I liked the newer ones introduced more than the others. The new character Thorne was one I found hilarious. I really enjoyed reading about him, and I hope he'll be featured more in the upcoming book. He was a great addition because his sarcasm and wit really brought a good balance to the darkness and upheaval going on in Cinder's life. I will say that I prefered Scarlet's story to Cinder's, and Cinder's story is slower in developing. However, this is a great continuation of her story, and after finishing this I am excited to see how Cinder's adventure continues, and how Thorne develops as a character.
Scarlet's story line was really interesting, and it got even more engrossing as the story went on. I loved Wolf's character from the start, and Scarlet's a great protagonist as well. There were moments when Scarlet made some bad choices, but I think she's a character that's only going to get stronger as the series goes on. Wolf was a really unique character, and I loved how his background came into the story. I think that the connection between this story and Cinder's was fantastically written. The actual moment when everything came together seemed a little abrupt, but the build up and interweaving of the stories was really well done.
This is a great sequel to Cinder. There's action and intrigue as the stories grow and develop, and I was really impressed with how everything came together. Some really wonderful characters were introduced here, and I think they are a wonderful addition. The character interaction is great, an amazing story is developing, and there's a lot to look forward to for Cress. However, I will say the antagonist is acting ridiculous and so are the major political leads in the story, and that aspect lacked some strength and good character development for me. So, I gave this book four stars, and I'm really happy to have continued on with the series.

~ Violet

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