Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the best-selling 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 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 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.
©2013 Marissa Meyer (P)2013 Macmillan Audio
I was enchanted by the first in this series. Loved the plays on classic fairy tale tropes, but this installment left me irritated. Not sure if the fault lies in Scarlet's character and the weaker story or in the performance. The accent used for the character slips in and out and is incredibly shrill when she yells. The listener is left feeling as if they are in the presence of a banshee. This may seem a bit harsh and it may be second story in a trilogy syndrome but I wish that the charm of the first book had migrated to the second. I will listen to it again to better determine the fault. Despite these criticisms, I am still invested in Cinder's tale and eagerly anticipate the next installment.
a dedicated dilettante
Marissa Meyer takes her Lunar Chronicles to the next level in Scarlet with a riff on another fairy tale, Litte Red Riding Hood, added to the series. In this sequel to Cinder, Ms. Meyer has two storylines to manage, each with their own set of characters and geography. (The Cinder storyline takes place in New Beijing and Scarlet takes place in the French countryside near Toulouse and Paris.) Along with the new storyline, she has the challenge of increasing the stakes for Kai, the Eastern Commonwealth and the whole Earthen Union. Ms. Meyer handles all this with aplomb making it seem natural and effortless, which, of course, is indicative of lots of effort.
What are some of the things I love about Scarlet?
- The characters: Iko shines in her new role, Wolf is cool, although some seem annoyed with Cinder, I like her and Scarlet as well.
- The storylines and how they come together. Each storyline is good in itself but the two together are marvelous.
- The broad use of the world; I like that we now have Europe involved as well as Asia and that American, Chinese and French are all in it. It adds local interest and overarching sweep.
What do I not love?
- The Lunars seem almost too powerful. I guess this will play nicely towards the end, assuming Queen Levant can be defeated. It's looking pretty hopeless right now. Maybe that's the point.
- Yes, Kai is just a little too perfect.
As is my practice, I went back and forth between the Kindle and Audible versions (using the magic of Whispersync for Voice to keep moving), although I leaned toward listening due to Rebecca Soler's fabulous narration. I continue to love her emotional Iko; ships with personality are always interesting (just ask Dave). Her own subtle lilting accent plays very nicely in the internationally flavored SciFi/Fantasy. Her pacing continues to be be spot on providing a sense of the urgency and excitement of the story while being readily able to follow her. I'm look forward to her narration of Cress.
For full review: wp.me/p2XCwQ-TP
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
Story - As Cinder (Book 1 in this series) is a clever futuristic twist of the classic fairy tale Cinderella, Scarlet (Book 2) is the same of Little Red Riding Hood. I enjoyed Scarlet but don't think it is anywhere near as good as Cinder. I am not a young adult, but I tend to enjoy certain books in this genre because I find the stories sweet and the romances touching and innocent. I absolutely loved the romance aspect in Cinder, but IMHO the one in Scarlet is kinda blah. Nevertheless, there is lots of stuff happening that make this book a good listen.
There are two story lines which alternate. One picks up where Cinder left off, and the second goes in a completely different direction and introduces totally new characters. The two become entwined in the end and hopefully set the stage for an awesome conclusion in Book 3 (which isn't out yet). I'm really ready for Prince Kye to find out who Cinder really is and for there to be a happy ending.
You should hear this series in order, and they are not standalone stories. In fact, the endings of both books will leave you hanging till the next one. They are relatively light, "easy listens" that also have mystery and quite a bit of save-the-world type action.
Narrator - Good job but nothing spectacular.
Story - Recommended for female listeners of all ages who can occasionally be young at heart, but you will need to hear the whole series to reach a conclusion.
Nothing I love more than a well-rounded character and intense plot.
Not as cyberpunky and fantastical as the first book. I enjoyed Scarlet as a character and the culture and part of the world she lived in, in conjunction with Cinder's world. But I would have loved to see a similar, fast-paced tone in Scarlet... it's solid, but not up to the first one's standards.
My biggest issue is that we get to clearly see how Asia has changed in Cinder, and I would've loved to see the same world-building in Scarlet. Rural France seems to perpetually be rural France, despite spaceships and the changes in transport and all of that. It didn't feel believable.
I miss Cinder. I enjoyed Scarlet and Wolf, but I wanted more Cinder and Kai. I feel like these should have been sister series like Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega. My fear is that book 3, and 4 will add even more characters and I will see Cinder even less.
Ok now that I have whinned about that let me actually review the book. It continues right from where the other one ends. We get to meet new characters and learn more about the consiracey, and about how Cinder got to where she is. The new characters are good, and are based off another fairly tail Little Red Ridding Hood. I actually liked Wolf a lot. He is an interesting spin on the warewolf without all of the shape changing and how much it hurts.
I already was checking to see when the next book would be released. I just hope we don't get another fairy tail and have to keep up with 3 female leads. If that happens I want a bigger book.
I loved Cinder (the first book) and I adored this second book in the Lunar Chronicle series. The plot thickened considerably where now we have two important characters we get to follow and we get to know. Cinder's dilema continues as she is a fugitive of both the earthen people and the Lunar Queen. A new and enchanting character we get to meet is Scarlett who is on a quest to find her kidnapped grandmother. Along the way she meet a boy by the name of Wolf who is both mysetrious and dangerous. I loved this story and it's many twists and turns and look forward to the next book in the series.
Recall: Cinder, the Lunar cyborg mechanic, was invited to the Royal Ball by the young and handsome Prince Kai. When Cinder finally arrives, (late, rain soaked, and dirty), she has an urgent message for Prince Kai: the evil Lunar Queen Levana wants to force him into a marriage alliance and then kill him. Queen Levana spotted Cinder at the ball, and demanded that she be arrested as a Lunar fugitive and returned to Luna.
At the beginning of this story, we are following two different characters; Scarlet and Cinder. Scarlet is in France and trying to track down her grandmother, who she believes has been kidnapped and gets some unexpected help from a street fighter named Wolf. On the other side of the world, Cinder is in the midst of breaking out of prison and pairs up with another fugitive, Captain Thorne, on the way. Their paths will cross when Cinder searches for the truth about where she came from and as Scarlet searches for her grandmother, who might hold the answers. The story has a "Little Red Riding Hood" meets "Cinderella" twist to it,while the wicked which releases chaos all over the world.
The story overall was cute, but not as good as book 1. The character Scarlet didn't particularly appeal to me, I would have preferred to hear more about what Cinder and Captain Thorne were doing, rather than listen to anything that Scarlet had to say. I'm still planning on reading the next book, even if it is for no other reason than I love Iko.
I am a 27 year old nurse pursuing a nurse practitioner degree. My favorite book genres are: fantasy, science fiction, medicine and sociology
This book surprised me, as it took things up to the next level. Scarlet is a character that is very loosely based on Little Red Riding Hood. My biggest concern with Cinder was that it would try to mirror the Cinderella tale too closely, and now I realize my worries were unfounded. The Cinderella story has gone away, merely a stepping stone toward the larger, more awesome plot that has been unveiled.
I found all the new characters in this book very enjoyable. There was action, romance, drama... It reminds me of the television series "Once Upon A Time", but even better as it is set in an exciting science fiction setting.
I was not able to put this audiobook aside, so I listened to it all within a 48 hour period!
In book 1 Marissa Meyer took one of our beloved fairy tales and turned it into an intriguing sci-fi set into a future with cyborgs and Lunar inhabitants. The story was fast paced and kept the reader wanting more. That said, I was anticipating book 2 with eagerness to find out what happens to our heroine. What I got was an okay story, when even less okay characters.
Meyer introduces a new character, Scarlet. Much of the book focuses on Scarlet's missing grandmother and her quest to find out the mystery behind her disappearance. Every time the book cut away from a scene with Cinder to a scene with Scarlet, I found my finger itching to fast forward and my annoyance on the rise. As the story progresses, Scarlet becomes nearly unbearable. She is stupid. I am referring to both the character in general and also her intellectual level. And she is constantly saying the same things over and over. "I've got to find my grandmother!" and repeat. This girl has no common sense and she comes off extremely whiny. She has zero forethought and her supposed "bravery" comes off as idiotic and rash. The narrator attempts to give her a french accent, which is at times thick and at other times almost non-existent. Add that to the already annoying character and its easy to see how this thrilling series took a nose dive.
The original character Cinder makes appearances and manages to keep the book from sinking into a black abyss. The mystery surrounding her is intriguing, as well as her new emerging abilities. Her new-found companion is arrogant and fancies himself a ladies man. He lightens the mood of the book and is a welcome addition. Cinder's funny android friend finds her way back into the story as the AI for their space ship. Her transition from an android into a gigantic space ship is funny and added to the enjoyment of Cinder's story.
The overall plot of book 2 didn't do a whole lot to further the story line of the series. Not much happens, and the main characters remain separate in their own stories until the very end of the book. As I read, I kept wondering why I should care about Scarlet at all. Unfortunately, this question was never answered. We do get to find out more about Cinder's past, and more about the Lunar queen's evil plot (that pretty much sums it up). Despite my disappointment with this book, I still want to find out what Cinder will do next and how she will fight against the odds. If you were a big fan of book 1 (like me) then I recommend suffering through Scarlet and cross your fingers that book 3 will put Scarlet into the back seat.
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
I have heard various re-imaginings of different fairy-tales. What Marissa Meyer is doing with the well loved stories from childhood is something special. She weaves it together in such a clever way that one might think it should never have been separated.
Don't get me wrong, the Lunar Chronicles is not a strict retelling of the classics. It is the tales stripped down to the bare minimum and woven into a post-apocalyptic futuristic setting (after the fourth World War) in which both the earth and the moon are inhabited by the human race. However, there are significant differences between the "earthens" and the "lunars". The lunars have evolved into a sub-species with some special abilities, part of which is interfering with the bio-energetic fields of other "earthens" Like in the classic fairy-tales seeing is not always believing, but in a more sinister way.
The classic fairy-tales are used by Meyer to tell the story of princes Selene, a dethroned cyborg princess, who only after realising who she is, must decide if she will take up her inherited role thus fighting of the lunar threat of Levana, the dictator queen of Luna (the moon). Marissa Meyer blends Sci-Fi, Fantasy and classic fairy-tales into something that might have an equivalent in DC Comic's Fables.
There is enough elements from the fairy-tales, to expect that the story-line will reflect the pace, plot and intrigue of the "original" tales, but also enough new elements to keep you guessing. I caught myself comparing the Scarlet constantly to the classical Red Riding Hood.
Yet, in some ways the Red Riding Hood you will meet is more like Sookie Stackhouse in the beginning than the "innocent" little girl in tamed versions of the story. (I would not be surprised if "True Blood" inspired Meyer's version of the lovely girl with the red cape.)
I thought the way Scarlet linked to the previous book in the Lunar Chronicles was cleverly done. When Meyer foreshadows something, so far in the series, you must take it just as serious as when George R.R. Martin is doing it. (I hope this technique does not become so predictable as the later works of Trudi Canavan.) Currently this is where the most entertainment value lies in this story. The foreshadowing is cleverly thought through. In the Lunar Chronicles that which is, is not what is seems to be... For me, this is the stuff of real fairy-tales and this is where the power of the story lies thus far.
Rebecca Soler's reading is superb. She has the ability of changing her voice to create a mind picture of what she is narrating, though her accent is clearly American. She brings the characters to life in very convincing ways.
This series might do for fairy-tales what Stephanie Meyer's Twilight Series did for vampires. It might recast them in the mind of Global Culture so that one cannot talk about the subject matter without referring to it. The story might be focused on adolescents, but is entertaining enough to entrance everyone. Thus far, I am enjoying Marissa Meyer's refreshing take on some of the classic fairy-tales.
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