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.
There are many reasons to love this great sequel. First off, it has all the action, excitement and story twists that fans are expecting after blowing through Cinder. Secondly, it has a whole new set of fantastic characters to fall in love with, but thirdly- continues to tell the story of the beloved characters from Cinder. The most compelling reason I can give you though, is that it's every bit as well written and enjoyable as Cinder, but in it's own right, while still being its very own portion of the story.
Once again Meyer sets a new spin on a beloved classic fairy tale, in such a way to make it very much it's own story but while still keeping all the expected plot points and details that make it Red Riding hood. I particularly loved how her cape became her beloved hooded sweatshirt from her grand-mère. Its funny how these small touches make the story stronger somehow, anchoring sci-fi elements and a crazy world with something as familiar as a well known fairy tale.
The new characters in Scarlet, Wolf (who readers will quickly recognize from the short story The Queens Army), Scarlet, and Captain Thorne, quickly won me over, and I found I was every bit as attached to their portion of the story as Cinders, which surprised me. I thought I would spend the non-Cinder portions of the story, counting down the pages to the next Cinder appearance. But right away Meyer had me attached to these intriguing new people, and how she tied their stories to Cinder's was inspired.
I was lucky enough to meet Meyer at a signing a few weeks ago, and she was every bit as funny and geeky as I had heard, so it's hardly surprising she's carried off this strange, sci-fi, interwoven retelling so well. A long time Trekkie (it's a family thing, her uncle has rebuilt his attic into the bridge of the Enterprise), and fan-girl of Sailor Moon, she brings that fan girl mix of geekery and shipping to her original writing, which I think is one of the many reasons it's so accessible and enjoyable. She's also lovely and down to earth, so if you have a chance to meet her on her current tour, make sure you do so! I'll spare you my picture from the event as my pregnant butt managed to somehow take up two thirds of the photo, and it is quite alarming. Oh that daughter of mine, she's full of practical jokes.
A not to be missed second part in this planned four part series, if you haven't jumped on the Lunar Chronicles bandwagon then I suggest you get on that.
Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel and Friends, February 5th, 2013