Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
With two sequels done so far this year, I decided it was time to look at the next installment of The Lunar Chronicles. After being pleasantly surprised by the first book Cinder, I went into this one with optimism. Will we have another successful installment or our first big sequel bomb? Let's dive right in.
Scarlet Benoit's life seems to be falling apart. Her beloved grandmother is missing, her drunk of a father crawls back into her life bringing Lunar soldiers with him, and she finds herself on the run with a mysterious street fighter named Wolf. As they search for the missing woman, Scarlet learns that her grandmother may be part of a dark secret concerning the long lost Lunar princess, whom many believe dead. Meanwhile, cyborg Cinder must escape the clutches of the Lunar court with a stolen ship and another prisoner and save Prince Kai from the clutches of Queen Levana.
First off, it was really easy to get back into this book, even after I took a long break between reading the first installment and then this one. It gets you caught up without going through a long information dump on anything you could have possibly missed in the previous book. The recap is done smoothly while integrating the new characters in a smooth transaction that doesn't feel forced. When meet up with Cinder again, not only is she as good as I remember, but she's better than before. That constant worry of what others will think of her is out the window and replaced by an even better character than before.
What's not so successful? Well, Scarlet. I just couldn't get into this character. While Cinder only occasionally had these boy-centric thoughts, Scarlet has them all the time. Every bit of downtime is shared with her and Wolf and their instalove that I find boring. When the action picks up, it's good, but the "romance" takes center stage. It also makes the plot a lot more predictable. I mean, a lot. With Cinder's story in the last book, and even her exploits here, I couldn't tell what would happen and actually enjoyed taking the journey with her. With Scarlet? Not so much. With her it's always two things, "I miss my grandma." "Do you think Wolf likes me?" "But I have to find Grandma." "Gosh, Wolf is so hot." You get it. She's annoying.
Also, there just wasn't enough suspense in this book then there was in the last one. The last book was gritty and dark and this one, with the exception of the Cinder parts, is just a romance road trip. And as I mentioned earlier nothing came as a surprise. Nothing. Almost at once, from the very start, I could predict exactly what was going to happen in this book. It's like Meyer used up all the suspense in the first book and lost her touch in the second. They try to do this big plot twist that anyone could see coming and it just left me counting pages until we cut back to Cinder. The problem is that this is supposed to be Scarlet's book, yet Cinder takes the stage. I care about Cinder way more than I do Scarlet and that's a major problem.
While the writing is still good, this sequel suffers from a less interesting lead and a much less interesting plot than the first book. It has its high points, but also it's very low ones that make this our first big step down. If you want to continue the journey with this book then I suggest you check it out at your local library.
Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts.
Next Time: (singing) We three Queens of Fennbirn....