So this is another review heh, I think these are the ones I least like writing actually, I prefer the other ones but yea yea. The reviews were actually the reason I started this… blog – to let some steam off. After finishing A Dance with Dragons I’ve gotten pretty good at reading one book per week so I am quite proud of myself about that so now I can have some regularity in my life for once. But let’s move on to what’s on today’s agenda – Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, the second book in her Lunar Chronicles.
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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. 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
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When I read Cinder, the first book I wasn’t super hooked. I am not much for re-tellings, I don’t like it when you decide to retell an entire “story” or character or whatever it is. I know I said in my earlier review of Endgame (James Frey) that I liked the tiny re-telling of the religion part in the book and I think that re-tellings of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast and so on can be a fun thing, especially if they turn out good but I just can’t seem to enjoy so many. However, I didn’t know Cinder was a re-telling until after I finished it. I just thought it was veeeery similar to Cinderella. Now, I know all these four books are re-tellings and I am honestly very sceptical. I don’t think this book was a super well-done re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood.
Since the “main” dude in the book was Wolf (and Thorne I know but yada yada) I naturally thought of him to be the big bad wolf in the original story. However, the further the story went the more I didn’t think like that. In Little Red Riding Hood a Hunter rescues the grandmother and the girl, then they fill the wolf’s stomach with stones and he dies shortly after. And sure, Wolf kinda does fit to be the big bad wolf because he comes in contact with Scarlet and is kind to her and follows her around and stuff. But by the end, I realised, perhaps not Wolf is the wolf? What if it’s Wolf’s boss is the big bad wolf? And by the end, my opinions had entirely changed about how it came to a re-telling. Of course, I know this is a retelling with a twist, I mean, the romance first of all and then the grandmother and how Cinder and Thorne fit in all of this. But I just thought that Cinder was more like Cinderella than Scarlet being like Little Red Riding Hood.
The characters then, let’s begin with Scarlet. I can’t say she’s my favourite character, not at all, Cinder and Wolf was a lot better. What I really disliked about Scarlet was that she never thought of herself, I know she would do anything for her grandmother and I do really like that but sometimes characters can’t rush into things without thinking it through and I just don’t like how she was so impulsive. However, she wasn’t as impulsive as I thought. But I also didn’t like her because she could barely do anything, she can’t fight, she wasn’t super clever and honestly relied mostly on Wolf and I like my characters having a mind of their own.
As with Scarlet, I thought Cinder was kinda hopeless as well in the first book, and she was a bit boring, she was so uptight like she was stuck in a corset or something. But it aaall changed in Scarlet. She used her head so much more, and she was more clever (outside of her mechanical knowledge) than first. And oh dear, her sarcasm was the best! She was so sarcastic towards Thorne and almost everything it was gold.
“But maybe I’m a wanted fugitive, like Cinder.” Thorne continued. “They do realise I’m missing, don’t they?”
“Maybe they’re grateful,” Cinder muttered
I mean, the sarcasm is good it’s adorable haha. However, looking through my own eyes and not follow through Cinder’s I found her – at times – to be bitter and mean towards Thorne and things. I mean, come on, he’s a social guy, yes he talks a lot and could probably be quite once in a while but at least he’s not grumpy like Cinder seemed to be a lot of times.
Then we also have Wolf, I don’t know if I am that much of a fan of him, he is a nice guy and a badass but I hope he’ll grow on me. What I liked a lot was his development in his character, the depth was so much more than with Scarlet I just liked it a lot more. I can’t say it was huge but the way he changed his opinions and things. He never really stood up for himself until he met Scarlet and I just really liked that he changed for her – he kinda did it all for her in my eyes. Other than that I found him to be way too serious all the time, he’s kinda the opposite of Thorne really, but his protectiveness was really adorable and cute.
The romance in this book was a bit interesting actually. I did like the romance actually, mostly because it felt a bit grown-up, sometimes it just feels so awkward and stuff and I just want to roll my eyes or cringe but here I did neither. But at the same time, they had known each other for a day. A day. It did not feel like a day, it was so weird and it made everything feel wrong. It would have been so much better (for me) if they hadn’t mentioned that they had known each other for a day. I ain’t going kissing boys like I can’t breathe after knowing him for a day. Then, at one point I actually shipped Cinder with Thorne, I still kinda do. It’s just that Cinder is constantly sarcastic and Thorne just acts like a laid back peacemaker and I find it funny, and it reminds me of an old couple’s batter.
It was over a year ago since I read Cinder so it’s hard for me to compare the world-building from then but I thought the world was very detailed. How the political bond between Earth and Luna was strained and how all the cities are connected and how they all are bothered by Luna itself. What I was bored of was Kai’s perspective because it didn’t feel like much was happening but I realised halfway through the book that without Kai’s perspective I wouldn’t know a single thing about how the politics were going or which cities were under attack or anything like that. In my opinion, the world-building through Scarlet’s, Wolf’s, Cinder’s and Thorne’s perspective wasn’t much, nothing was really changing, sure the attacks made difference but I didn’t get to know what Luna’s Queen was up to or how she was going to take the crown.
My own conclusions are that I liked the book and am going to read the third book Cress, and hopefully, I am going to enjoy it. In my opinion, I can’t say if Cinder was better than Scarlet or the other way around because both had good points and bad ones. Cinder had a poor main protagonist in my opinion but an interesting story because I have never read anything like that but in Scarlet, the main character was going to save someone – in this case – her grandmother. And that is just a very mainstream thing in my ears, it happens a lot. But Scarlet had better characters. So I hope Cress will provide what these lacked – having more depth in characters and interesting – continued – world-building. Nevertheless, what I loved most about this book was the “introductions” or what to call them to the “books”, like at the first book it said;
She did not know that the wolf was a wicked sort of animal and she was not afraid of him.
I just found those to fit each “book” so well.
Well, have a lovely Sunday folks.