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Friday, February 01, 2013

"Rebooted" Fairy Tale Series Just Keeps Getting Better

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

(Note:  Although this review will not contain spoilers for Scarlet, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from its predecessor, Cinder.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.)

Scarlet Benoit has always loved her grandmother's farm near Toulouse, France.  From the earliest years of her life, it's been the 18-year-old's home, her sanctuary, her paradise.  The quiet, country life suits Scarlet, just as it does her grandma.  Which makes the elderly woman's disappearance even stranger—Michelle Benoit never would have left her farm, or her granddaughter, voluntarily.  The police may not agree, but Scarlet knows this to be true.  Something sinister has happened to her guardian.  And Scarlet intends to find out what.  She won't rest until her grandmother, the only real parent she's ever had, is back at the farm, safe and sound.

When Scarlet meets Wolf, a mysterious street fighter, she's intrigued—and not just because she thinks he might know about her grandmother's disappearance.  Something about the dangerous stranger makes her heart beat a little faster.  She doesn't want to, but trusting Wolf may be her only chance to rescue her beloved guardian from the clutches of a bloodthirsty gang.  Can Scarlet make it in time to save her?  And what do these people want with gentle Michelle Benoit?  Wolf says the old woman is keeping secrets, but that can't be.  Can it?  

Meanwhile, miles and miles away, Linh Cinder—the world's would-be savior—has been imprisoned by the ruthless Lunar queen.  To stop the evil woman from brainwashing the entire populace into submission, Cinder must find a way to fight.  With the help of charming "Captain" Carswell Thorne, a 20-year-old airman on the run, she'll give it her best shot.  But will that be enough to save Earth from a power-hungry queen with limitless power?  Will it be enough to rescue the man she loves from the woman who would make him her slave?  

As the fates of Scarlet and Cinder intertwine, the tug-of-war between the Lunars and Earth's population continues—with control of the planet as the ultimate prize.  Cinder holds the key to victory, if only she can figure out how to use it.  In the meantime, there's a grandmother to locate, a prince to rescue, and a deadly plague to stop.  It's a race against time, which is quickly running out ...

You may remember back in December when I gushed about Cinder, the first book in the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer.  Well, guess what?  Scarlet (available February 5, 2013), the second novel, is just as good.  How often does that happen?  Not often at all.  It starts with a new character, sure, but that doesn't matter as Scarlet's plight soon becomes just as compelling as Cinder's.  Plus, the viewpoint alternates between Scarlet and Cinder, guaranteeing the reader will never get bored with either story line.  With intriguing characters, plenty of action, and some fun plot twists, Scarlet keeps up the intensity that makes the Lunar Chronicles such a delightful series.  The only downside?  I have to wait another year to read more.  Boo.    

(Readalikes:  Cinder by Marissa Meyer)

Grade:  A

If this were a movie, it would be rated:  PG for mild language, violence and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of Scarlet from the generous folks at Feiwel and Friends (an imprint of Macmillan).  Thank you! 


  1. I agree. This one was just as good as the first. Loved how the two stories wrapped together. Loved how the ending set up the next book...Love, love, love! Great review!

  2. Can't wait to come back and read this review- AFTER I read Cinder! Just got a copy in the post this week and I plan to read it soon.


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