What’s it all about?:
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.
What did I think?:
This is the second novel in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, which I was very excited to get to as my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads has been quite enthusiastic in her praise for it. And yes in my opinion it’s even better than the first, Cinder, with another kick-ass heroine to get excited about. And this is a feisty, fierce and incredibly likeable character called Scarlet who has swapped her little red cape for a little red hoodie and her wicker basket for a handgun – just for protection, and only to be used in dire circumstances, you understand! When we first meet Scarlet, she is devastated as her beloved grandmother who has raised her from a child has gone missing, later we find out she was abducted so Scarlet immediately goes on a mission to find her, damning any consequences. On her journey, Scarlet meets the enigmatic Wolf, a lone fighter who makes money at brawls which he rarely loses, but his back story will prove vitally important for Scarlet so he may be a handy man to have around.
Meanwhile, our heroine from the previous novel, the cyborg mechanic Cinder is languishing in prison. Not for long. With (not much help really) from fellow convict and first-class flirt Captain Thorne, Cinder manages to escape from prison and the two hop aboard Thorne’s ship and now must fight to escape detection from the authorities as a certain someone, Queen Levana, our villain of the piece is not a happy bunny and is looking for Cinder’s head on a plate. Cinder’s history is also a little complicated, and it turns out she’s actually someone quite important, the fact of which could also see her dead, if uncovered by the wrong people. Fortunately, she has lots of lovely new Lunar powers to keep her occupied before Scarlet and Cinder meet for the first time and the connection between them is fully explored. Meanwhile poor Prince Kai, the ruler of New Beijing, has a terrible decision to make. Will he think of himself or of his people?
Comparing both novels in The Lunar Chronicles so far, Scarlet has the edge for me. Not that I didn’t enjoy Cinder, as I have most fond memories of it and would probably re-read it, but I just loved Scarlet as a character. Marissa Meyer has written such a spirited, independent and strong female that also has a soft and vulnerable side, so that she does not come across as too hard. This came across very vividly in the way she cares about her family, her relationship with Wolf, and what she is prepared to sacrifice for someone she loves. It’s great to see the return of old characters like Cinder, Prince Kai and even baddie Queen Levana, who were welcomed into my imagination like old friends/enemies you love to hate. As a bit of a fairy-tale junkie, I have a bit of an obsession for fairy-tale re-tellings at the moment, and the author does a mighty fine job of digging up those classic childhood stories and blending them with a mixture of science fiction and adventure. It seems to be the perfect recipe for success at the moment in my opinion. If you don’t believe me, just ask her legion of fans.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):