Title: Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Narrator: Rebecca Soler
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan Publishers); Macmillan Audio (Audiobook)
Released: February 5, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult, Romance, Dystopian, Sci-Fi
Listen time: 11hr 20min
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second installment of the 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. It turns out that there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter that may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loathe 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 Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.
My First Thoughts:
The synopsis doesn’t leave a lot of room for the imagination does it? Well, I’m hoping that this novel will be better than Cinder. People still think highly of this series and of this book, so why not?
Let me answer my first question from the previous section. Yes, the synopsis didn’t leave much to the imagination and gave away some of the stuff to the next book too! What do I mean? Spoiler! The last two sentences literally reveal the end of the book, the big bloody reveal, the plot twist, the major conflict, whatever you want to call it. Just like Cinder there were no surprises. None of the twists shocked me because I saw them a mile away. And my disappointment doesn’t stop there, no this entire book frustrated me.
Scarlet has to be one of the most infuriating characters that I have had the displeasure of reading about in a long time. She was a raging little girl parading around as an adult with terrible reasoning skills and thoughts that gave me whiplash! She hates him. She tolerates him. She hates him. She likes him and feels sorry for him. She hates him. She wants to kiss his face off. She loathes him. She trusts him. She hates him. She loves him, trusts him, and defends him. All of this happens within a few days, yes a few days. The romance in this book was laughable, no real reason behind it, and takes the cake from Disney about being the fastest most illogical romance ever! And for being raised on a farm around weapons like shotguns and pistols, and having a gun license, she has no concept of how to use them properly, but is treated like she does. Scarlet was an annoying and frustrating character with no depth, no development, and no real reason to be in the book because the only point in her story was to find Cinder, which happened by complete accident.
Wolf, Scarlet’s counterpart, was less frustrating and more likable. His role in the story was predictable, his actions towards the end weren’t surprising at all, but his presence made Scarlet’s parts in the story more durable. He’s also the only male, other than Dr. Erland, that was tolerable and barely stereotypical YA male.
The other characters introduced were either annoying or infuriating or both, except for Scarlet’s only friend. I wished Emily had more in the story. Even some of the characters from the previous novels infuriated me. For instance, Kia not only pissed me off but disappointed me, he had potential. Instead, you briefly see him struggle, you see his accusations and thoughts toward Cinder, but no real reason to the changes to his thinking in the beginning or the end. Basically, Kia went from could be a round character to flat as a board. In fact, most of these characters were flatter than boards. Some of them were understandable, they were minor characters or had brief roles. The main characters, they had no excuse and Cinder was the only one with any sort of roundness to her and that was just barely visible. The character with the greatest development was bloody Iko, who is still my favorite character in the series! And any man that was presented, briefly or otherwise, was a complete pig or a loser of a human being. The only exception was Wolf, and maybe Kai (he wasn’t a pig, but maybe a bit of a loser). Every other man was demeaning toward women, disgusting, or too cocky to even try liking, sometimes a combination of the three.
After the characters themselves, it was their actions and the author’s loose grasp of reality that frustrated me to no end. That sounds a bit harsh, but it’s true. The author, therefore her characters, didn’t seem to understand a lot of basic things when it comes to weapons, wounds, or the human body. I gritted my teeth as not one, but two characters who should have both been trained in shooting, aimed a shotgun both close and long range at a person’s head! Close range, maybe you won’t miss the person’s head if the kickback doesn’t knock your aim. Long range why bother using a shot gun at all? And a shotgun, or any gun other than one with excellent aim, should never be aimed at the head when there are larger parts of the body that could still be fatal if wounded! Hell, shooting a person in the thigh may be more affective and easier to hit than their head. Then there were all the times that the characters should have suffered from serious diseases or infections because of the filth and ill-treatment of their wounds. But nothing happened when characters trekked through sewage or wrapped an untreated, not cleaned wound. The Lunars might have had an excuse, but the humans, no way. And I won’t even start on how unrealistic the wounds in this story were treated or acted or the human body, that’s a whole other rant and a half. All in all, this really bothered the scientist in me and made the story highly unenjoyable, along with all the other blunders this story had to offer.
If you really enjoyed Cinder then you may enjoy the sequel as well. However, if you enjoy just a bit more than a dusting of science fiction or dystopian themes in your stories, then don’t read this novel. Or, if you’re disappointed when a plot becomes easy to guess then I suggest finding another book to read and save your disappointment.
I do have to say that this will be the last of the Lunar Chronicles that I will read in a very long time. If I ever see the end to my reading list, then I might consider adding the others to the list. However, I feel that I shouldn’t waste my time reading the rest of the series when I have other authors asking me to read theirs and other more enjoyable series to read.
The story was barely enjoyable. The only parts that I liked where the parts that focused on Cinder. Scarlet was a complete disaster as a character. She was flat, annoying, and gave me whiplash. The romance in this story would give Disney a run for its money as being the shortest build-up and was laughable. But what hurt the story the most wasn’t the lackluster characters, the terrible romance, or the author’s loose grip on reality, but how predictable it was. Nothing surprised me, none of the reveals or plot twists, nothing. So everything else that I listed just put me in a fowler, less enjoyable frame of mind making it impossible for me to truly like this story.
The narration to this story wasn’t terrible, I believe Soler really tried in this installment of the series. My only complaints are that I still don’t care for the accent she’s given to Americans, and her male voices need work. Some are rather good, though with more and more male characters they either sound a like or like frogs. But, I did notice that when the scenes were full of action she read them just a little faster, to give the illusion of an adrenaline rush.