Synopsis: A different take on the beloved children’s fairy tale, The Little Red Riding Hood.
On her journey to find her missing grandmother, Scarlet stumble on a street fighter who is willing to help her. Unknown to her, this mystery helper has an agenda of his own. On the other side of the world, Cinder is still trying to get accustomed to her new parts and trying to wrap her mind with the problem she is facing.
Review: When I read Cinder, I listened to it on audio. I admit it wasn’t my favorite book of the year, in fact I wasn’t that impressed. I read it a second time, but actually reading it from a physical book. Now I don’t really know if it was just the audiobook that I disliked or maybe I was in a reading slump on my first try, because second time around I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. With Scarlet I didn’t have a problem liking it. True, I read it and not listened to it, but I feel that I love this story a lot more than its predecessor. There are legitimate reasons as to why I enjoyed this book a lot more. One, the book was a lot more fast-paced. Two, the relationship between Scalet and Wolf was very interesting. Finally, I really enjoyed the way Marissa Meyer integrated the Little Red Riding Hood story in Scarlet. Usually I don’t try to compare two books in the same series, but sometimes you just can’t help it. Hopefully, I won’t be so biased and make it seem like I’m trashing Cinder.
To get it out of the way, there are a few reasons why I found Scarlet a lot more fascinating than Cinder besides for the reasons stated above. For me, Cinder is just like every other first novel. It’s the one that establish the setting and the overall mood of the entire series. There really isn’t much that I found interesting in the book and from what I remember, the characters are enjoyable enough that I finished it. I can’t deny the importance of this book, since it did get me to understand more of the situation of the present world. Both books are equally beautifully written and both need to co-exist for you to fully appreciate the story.
Now on to Scarlet.
I highly enjoyed its fast-paced story and didn’t find any dull moments. Both the POV of Scarlet and Cinder was equally filled with action from beginning to end. There were so many information for me to process, but at the same time it wasn’t overwhelming. I really enjoyed reading the mystery of grand-mere Benoit. To be honest, I don’t remember her or Dr. Tanner being introduced in Cinder, so when the whole “looking for grandmother” phase came into the picture, I didn’t really connect the two until later on in the book. Fortunately for me, since it did give a sense of mysterious quality to it. I love the turn of events with the LSOP, but it wasn’t a major surprise, you eventually realize that it was heading that way. The author did a good job on explaining the pack thoroughly.
I’m not really the type of reader to root for a certain couple, fearing that it may end badly. Usually I’m very hesitant to get attached to a couple from the beginning, but with Scarlet, I fell in love with the coupling instantaneously. I think it’s the fiery temper of Scarlet and the timidity of Wolf that drew me in. I admit, there was a point in the book that made me hold my breath, hoping that all goes well. Then there is another point, later on in the book, that made me laugh on its cheesiness. Really, Ms. Meyer “Alpha-female”?!?!?! Even with that gagging moment, for me, I still found their relationship endearing.
I enjoy any version of The Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale, original or re-make. So I think that’s another reason why I favored Scarlet compared to Cinder. I love how Meyer integrated important parts of the original story in her version. There was a scene with Scarlet and Ran that made me literally aware of where Meyer’s Scarlet originated:
“Scarlet staggered out of her seat and backed against the rail, staring at her grandmother. The familiar unkempt hair in its always crooked braid. The familiar eyes growing colder as they peered up at her. Growing wider.
She blinked rapidly against the hallucination and her grandmother’s hand grew larger.”
This, in my opinion, is what sold me. For some weird reason, I loved this book more because of this one scene. I can’t help but associate this line with “grandmother, what big hands you have!” It’s all very nostalgic.
In terms of books, Scarlet is hands down my favorite book between the two. Scarlet as a heroine was also pretty fantastic. She’s kick-ass, fiery and I feel, a total bad ass. I admit I wasn’t impressed with Cinder in her own book, but eventually she started growing on me more in this. I was really hesitant to keep reading this series, since the beginning did leave me with a bad taste. I’m so glad that I continued on and listened to all the peer-pressure. Now, I can’t wait to read Cress so I can be ready on November for the release of Winter. This second installment of the Lunar Chronicles was my saving grace, for this series!
If you do not want the ending to be revealed, please do not read any further.
Ending: There are only a couple of spoilers that I want to reveal since this is the second book of the series and I want everyone to at least be surprised in the end.
The one major spoiler is Prince Kai agrees to marry Queen Levana.
Here is why…
Wolf tells Scarlet that he is part of the group that kidnapped her grandmother. BUT he informed her that he is trying to move away from the group of vigilantes. In all actuality they are special forces of the Lunar Queen. When Prince Kai was unable to hand over Cinder, who escaped from prison, Queen Levana unleashed her “minions” to attack earth. These special forces act similar to real wolves with their hierarchy of Alphas and Omegas. The Thaumaturge who works for the Queen, work with these group at a young age to be able to control the alpha and most of the omegas.
The queen is unable to control them and even the Thaumaturge can only control a handful with intensive training. Cinder was able to control one of the “special operatives”.