Scarlet is the second book in Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles series and a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Fair warning that this will have spoilers if you haven’t read the first book Cinder, which you can read my review for here.
Cinder is attempting to break out of prison, while halfway around the world Scarlet Benoit is searching for her missing grandmother. When she encounters Wolf—a mysterious street fighter who may have information about her grandmother—she’s wary to trust him. As the two journey through France, Scarlet realizes there are many things she doesn’t know about her grandmother or the danger she has lived in her whole life.
I started this book as soon as I finished Cinder. I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy the Little Red Riding Hood storyline, but Scarlet did a really good job reimaging the characters and plot.
In order to introduce the new character of Scarlet and keep up with our old favorites there are a lot of point of view switches. They’re not marked by a new chapter or some type of break, instead they kind of just happen with the start of a paragraph. Usuallly I’m not a big fan of random point of view changes, but I never really found myself confused and I loved that I got to see all of the different characters because I love them all so much. Plus, all of the characters and storylines end up tying together. I also liked that Scarlet moved a bit faster than the first book, or maybe it didn’t and I was just already so into the story that I didn’t notice.
Instead of the Eastern Commonwealth, this book is set in France. Like in the first book, the setting wasn’t fully fleshed out or explored. But again, it didn’t really matter as the setting didn’t mean much plot-wise.
Scarlet is obviously supposed to be Little Red Riding Hood, with a red hoodie and matching hair. She really loves her grandmother and is beyond determined to get her back. This being said, she often acts rashly and with no concern for her perseonal safety. It kind of bothered me because I just kept thinking how her grandmother would’ve wanted her safe and how she was just going to end up getting kidnapped along with her grandmother. I mean Scarlet is a total badass—which I love—but even she can’t take on a whole gang.
Something else I liked about Scarlet was how she was very open minded and didn’t pass judgement. This is partially because of her grandmother and how other people label her crazy, which bothers Scarlet. We see this very early at the tavern where she defends Cinder, who she hasn’t even met.
Wolf was super interesting and unlike any other character in this series. Obviously I was wary of him because the wolf is the villain in Little Red Riding Hood, but throughout the story it’s really hard to tell what his intentions are. I mean he’s this crazy good fighter and ex-gang member with a tattoo and strange wolf-like abilities. Then there’s more weird things like having never eaten a tomato. But it seems like he’s being upfront with Scarlet and wants to help her—like he literally stands there and lets her aim a gun at him. I’ve heard that a lot of people don’t like Wolf, and while he isn’t my favorite I think his personality is really different from anyone else in the series and it really adds some diversity.
One of the issues I had with Scarlet and Wolf’s relationship is how quickly it moved. Not to spoil it, but if you didn’t figure it out Wold is Scarlet’s love interest. I mean Scarlet I feel like has some trust issues because of her father, and then the thing between her and Wolf just sort of happens out of no where. I at least wish I got to see her thinking about it and analyzing it more.
“She did not know that the wolf was a wicked sort of animal, and she was not afraid of him.”
Now onto my favorite cyborg and lost princess. Cinder’s storyline picks up right where it left off with her in a prison cell. Obviously she gets out or like there’d be no more books. During her escape she teams up with another prisoner, Captain Carswell Throne. She doesn’t tell him her identity of Princess Selene a secret for a while. The Cinder parts were always my favorite. She’s still an amazing mechanic, with a great sense of humor, the only difference being now she has this kick-ass cyborg arm with like a flashlight and darts and stuff. This book is really just about her trying to figure out her past and what to do next.
I really loved Captain Thorne. He’s a pilot, American, super flirty, and a little egotistical. He has this really fun sense of humor, and there’s a lot of back and forth between him and Cinder. Throne actually reminds me a bit of Captain Jack or Han Solo. I was worried when he was introduced in the last book that there was going to be a love triangle, but no worries that’s not what happens. Throne and Cinder just become really close friends, and Cinder definitely still has a thing for Kai.
Kai does show up a couple times in this book. He’s still in the Eastern Commonwealth and has commissioned a manhunt for Cinder at Levana’s request. War with Lunar is a big possibility at this point and all the leaders of Earth are super tense. This only increases the pressure Kai is feeling to marry Levana—who’s as evil as ever. He struggles a lot with how he feels about Cinder versus duty. Through it all, Kai keeps hoping that Princess Selene is a possible way out. I was like come on man make the connection. Like in the first book, I wanted more of him and him and Cinder together, but like obviously she’s a fugitive so.
And I’m not going to forget Iko. In the last book her body was dismantled, so Cinder installs her chip into the mainframe of Thorne’s ship. It’s not a form Iko likes, but allows her to become a more integral character. She gets a bit more responsibility in this book, but still maintains her hilarious personality.
A total five out of five, Scarlet was absolutely fantastic. You can find it on Amazon and the author Marissa Meyer at marissameyer.com. Give it a read and let me know what you think in the comments. Plus leave recommendations for my next book!