Author: Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles
Rating: 4 / 5 stars
Scarlet may not be quite as good as Cinder was, but Meyer certainly does not suffer from a sophomore slump. In Scarlet, we are introduced to a bunch of new characters, and our face time with Cinder is severely decreased. Her "scenes" so to say with Kai are also now non-existent, which is perhaps one of the most disappointing aspects of the novel. To be fair though, after the way Cinder ended, I did not hold out much hope for a Cinder/Kai reunion anytime soon, though you have to hope that Cinderella will eventually end up with her prince.
While Cinder is a reference to Cinderella, Scarlet continues the fractured fairy tale base theme with the introduction of Red Riding Hood. And who would Red Riding Hood be without her grandmother or the wolf? Meyer elegantly introduces the new characters in a way that becomes obvious down the road in order to blend with the current ongoing plot lines seamlessly. And just as you hope Cinder ends up with the prince, you find yourself hoping that perhaps - somehow, someway - that Scarlet ends up with the Wolf. An odd change of events, but what is the point of a fractured fairy tale if you can't help but for a simple twist of fate. The way Meyer toys with our emotions as we try to figure out the Wolf's motives is beautifully written, and while you know the wolf in Red Riding Hood is the villian, the elements of Red Riding Hood are weaved into Scarlet in such a way that you cannot help but wonder if Wolf is truly the same bad wolf (Bad Wolf, bwhahaha) from the fairy tale.
I also enjoyed the addition of "Captain" Thorne as a new character. While we wouldn't want for him to replace Kai in Cinder's heart as a love interest, he is a great companion and friend to Cinder. In addition, their often witty dialogue and their actions around each other in general serve as great comic relief in the stressful and serious situations that face Cinder throughout the novel. While Cinder takes a back seat in this novel to Scarlet, she still plays the most fundamental role to the series possible, and while I missed seeing her in the limelight (which is why I did not enjoy Scarlet as much as I did Cinder) for the majority of the novel, we do see her relationship with Thorne subtly evolve throughout the novel.
While Kai's screen time is also downgraded in Scarlet, he still serves a purpose to the underlaying plots, and I love to watch the internal struggle regarding his feelings towards Cinder and the hurt he feels about her deception, all while he is trying to transform from the young prince to the newly appointed Emperor. I do hope he regains more of an important role again in Cress.
The one character I surprisingly missed in Scarlet was the Doctor. While Cinder has thoughts of heading to Africa to join the doctor, she gets sidetracked with other plans. I can only hope that the Doctor resurfaces with at least a minor role later on in the series, as he serves as a wonderful substitute father figure to Cinder. She certainly wouldn't be where she is now without his help.