Monday, May 20, 2013

Scarlet - a review, or Little Red Riding in the Hood

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Book #2)
Marissa Meyer
464 pages

(This review is spoiler free, which, you know, is hard to do).

I fell down a hill yesterday because a girl smiled at me. I mean, like, smiled smiled at me. I scraped up the whole right side of my arm and bruised my butt. The aftermath of the fall resulted in cursing and hissing and the girl quickly walking away from me. I was also on the phone with my sister.

She heard everything. I apparently said "Fucking boat shoes." Then I thought about
. Cinder who--in the last book--snapped her foot off, which leads to her incarceration in prison, and the new Emperor Kai keeping the cyborg girl's foot in his desk (clearly something is afoot with his feelings).*

Smile Girl and Cinder have two things in common: both of them walked away quickly from an out-of-control situation, and both of them made a guy swoon. Like, a hard swoon. Scarlet does not have these attributes. Scarlet would have stopped and helped me (alright, she would've laughed at me, or would have pushed me back down). She is, after all, on a quest to find her grandmother.

There's also a guy named Wolf who may or may not be a bad guy, and Cinder, and Iko, and the newly crowned Prince Kai; everyone is back. Even the evil step mother, the evil Moon Queen, the evil robots...

Scarlet is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, Cinder a retelling of Cinderella; except these two heroines don't lose shoes or get trailed by wolves; they lose feet and team up with wolves.

I'm starting to think Marissa Meyer got too tipsy on wine one weekend and had a Sailor Moon marathon followed by a watching of The Tenth Kingdom.** There are so many different elements at play, so many things I could reference, so many good science fiction-y moments, that I had trouble keeping up. (There's even a few Heart of Gold moments a la The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy).

What Scarlet is is a much more put together story--a more broader look at the world of Cinder--than the first book of the Lunar Chronicles.

Every once in a while I give a series a second chance, a pardon. Looking back Cinder wasn't a terrible novel; it just didn't jive with me. Looking at Cinder after reading Scarlet? I'm prepared to give a HOGIB pardon to Marissa Meyer. She actually pulled off a rebound.

Well done.

Four Out of Five Fucks Given

(full disclosure: I bought--and read this--on my Kindle).

*This is a pun.
**Go suck an elf if you haven't seen this one.
Edit: Yes, I really fell down.


  1. I'm happy you liked this one. I love the way Marissa doesn't just have massively clever ideas, but also pays so much attention to the craft of writing. Plus, as you may have noticed in Cincinnati, she's one of the nicest authors out there on the circuit right now.

    1. She was very nice to meet. Kind of the nerdy nervous-shy type, which is appreciated.

      I think the reason I blew through this book so quickly is because of her writing. It isn't muddled.

  2. I'm so glad you gave this series another chance and ended up liking this one. Also, check out that awesome font on that cover. CHECK IT OUT.

    1. I am too. The font would be a good tattoo font.

  3. You really fell? Even if this is just a bit of creative was a perfect tie in. If it is true, I'm sorry I laughed and she should have helped you. It was OBVIOUSLY her fault :)

    1. I really fell. I thought about posting a picture of the damage, but nobody needs to see blood.

      Completely her fault.

    2. Personally I would have preferred Adam snap a shot of the girl from his view on the ground. You know to verify his story. ;)

    3. For the curious.

  4. Dang Adam. You need to lose those shoes and stay away from pretty girls and hills.

  5. I'm still considering these books. They keep getting bumped down my TBR List but at least they are still on the list. that a snowflake on your arm?

    1. Yes it is. I have a snow flake/winter tattoo.

  6. How did I miss this review? How did I miss the fact that you FELL DOWN when a girl smiled at you. You must be deprived of good smiles, my friend!

    I liked this book a lot, I loved Scarlet and Wolf and felt like the things I didn't like in/about Cinder were remedied in Scarlet!

    Finally, The Tenth Kingdom is amazing. That is all.

  7. I enjoyed "Cinder" and I enjoyed this follow-up. Both books are well-plotted, fast-paced stories with interesting characters and situations. My complaint is that this appears to be a series, but it's not. It's a serial. The books aren't stories that follow each other, they are portions of one story... and when I finished "Scarlet" I had the same feeling I had when I finished "Cinder": "Are you kidding me?" The books just stop. If you haven't started the series, I recommend just waiting until it's complete and then reading them all, because you're really just getting a section of a larger book with each.

  8. I would hope Meyer will eventually write some books for adults. Her style is superior and savvy and should be SHARED with all of us--though this book definitely entertained this adult.

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