Book Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Posted April 12, 2013 by Debby in Book Reviews

Book Review: Scarlet by Marissa MeyerScarlet by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 5th, 2013
Genres: Fairy Tale Retelling, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 452
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased

The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth…

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.

4 Stars

Took me long enough to get around to this sequel, right? I’m sorryyy. But I’m here now, ready to put my piece of mind out there and reaffirm that, yes, this is an awesome book and an awesome sequel for an awesome series. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite series, guys.

First off, I want to give serious praise to Marissa for her ability to create interesting, captivating characters. Introducing new (main) characters after the series has already started is quite a difficult thing. And most times, for me at least, it doesn’t work. But Scarlet is awesome. Wolf is amazing. Thorne is constantly entertaining. I really couldn’t find a negative thing to say about them. My biggest hesitance going in was that I wouldn’t like the story not being fully focused on Cinder – but that was absolutely not an issue. Switching between the different characters and storylines was seamless and truly skillfully done.

Marissa Meyer’s writing style and world building are of a level one would not normally expect in YA. Seriously flawless. Especially the world. My sci-fi loving heart was overjoyed with the detail and skillful crafting that presented itself in this novel. I want more of the world. I just want to go back to it. It’s been a while since I haven’t had questions because of lackluster world building that left big plot holes. So, seriously, two thumbs up for that.

The plot in this one was amazing. I honestly didn’t want to put the book down for most of it. I loved how creatively different this retelling of Red Riding Hood was. I swear, I was reading most of it with this huge grin on my face because the quality was just so high. The story is just action-packed, intriguing, and totally captivating. And that means all the different storylines, not just Cinder’s or Scarlet’s. And getting a glimpse of Kai and the political situation every once in a while was such a big plus and really showed how well Marissa thought the whole story through. I just loved it!

So I found Scarlet to definitely be an action-packed thrill ride, but ultimately was a bit let down by the last portion of the book. How do I describe my frustrations without spoiling things? Hmm. At a certain point, the story just gets a lot more violent and brutal, graphically so. It did not fit my expectations of the novel, and instead of really pulling me in even more (or causing me to gasp or cry or whatever the intention was), I was a bit turned off. And I couldn’t really understand why the story was going that way. It was just creepy. And my dislike for *cough* werewolf paranormal kind of stories may have had a role in this. …Cryptic enough? Anyway, this means the last part of the book was less pleasing to me and ultimately explains the rating.

Summing Up:

Marissa Meyer doesn’t disappoint with this action-packed sequel to Cinder. Scarlet is fast-moving, entertaining, and packs a punch with its awesome characters and awesome world. If you haven’t read this series yet, you need to get caught up.

In Three Words:

Recommended To:

Any YA reader with the slightest interest in the sci-fi genre. Seriously, though, everyone. Basically.

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16 responses to “Book Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

    • I know right? I’ve been let down by so many sequels, but that definitely wasn’t the case with this one. And that gives me so much more hope for the series over all 🙂

  1. I too have marveled over Marissa Meyer’s ability to create such a intricately beautiful and completely original world that still rings true with the classic elements of our beloved fairytales. Her storylines and characters and writing in general do stand out in the YA genre. She’s on a level with Melina Marchetta in my opinion (which is like my highest regard hah). But I’m sorry you were left feeling a little bit disappointed in this one.

    • Haha, I have only read one book by Melina Marchetta, so I should work on that, but yeah, Marissa Meyer is sooooo talented. The ending was my only disappointment to be honest, and it didn’t totally ruin the book for me. I can’t wait for the next one 🙂

  2. I really need to read this; I don’t think I’ve ever seen a negative review. Your cryptic explanation for the loss of a star at the end has me puzzled, but even more intrigued!

    • Hahaha, yeah, I didn’t want to spoil anything xD but let’s just say some plot elements came out of nowhere and just didn’t meet my expectations. But yes!! Read this series!

  3. I actually really liked the ending of this a lot if I am remembering correctly, and I am, for the most part, not a fan of werewolf stories. But for some reason this worked for me. I was not thrilled when I found out it was going that way, but I did really enjoy it. I thought this book was better than Cinder personally. I’m glad you read it and enjoyed it though!

    • Yeah, if I think about it, I just wish that the ending was more sci-fi/dystopia-esque and less paranormal. I dunno. I don’t like that that’s the secret of the Lunar army. The scenes in the bar in Rieux when the attack first began seriously creeped me out. But I’m sure I’ll be able to get over it eventually. 🙂

  4. Thorne needs to marry me. That is all I really have to say.


    I totally agree with the world building. I LOVE it. Almost as much as I love Thorne.


      AWESOME gif. That makes me so happy.

      I WANT MORE WORLD LIKE THIS ONE. Seriously though, it gives me a lot of confidence in Marissa Meyer’s writing, I’ll probably read anything she writes. Try it out, anyway.

    • OH OH, about Thorne:





      Basically, Jessica Day ftw.

  5. So I LOVE this book. A lot. The world building is amazing and the characters are kick-ass and wonderful and it’s just so unique and everything. But I do remember not liking the ending all that much, MAINLY because of the bestiality. How did I not mention this in my review? Oh, that’s right. I was a bit overwhelmed by all the awesome of this world. And Scarlet. And Cinder. And Thorne. And Wolf (until the moment he betrayed Scarlet). I love this book. I just wish the wolf part had been a bit more subtle, a bit less raw. WOW. That sounded ALMOST coherent. (I’M MAKING PROGRESS DEBBY! ARE YOU PROUD OF ME NOW?! Yes, I am aware that I ruined my progress by all the caps lock at the end. Sorry not sorry.)

    • Oh good, I’m glad I’m not alone then in my reservations about the ending. It was a bit creeeepy and not in the good way. But yeah, the characters are just amazinggg.

      Haha, please don’t stop with the crazy comments though, I’d miss them!!