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Review: Scarlet (Marissa Meyer)

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Rating:4 Pfoten

Book 15 on My Book List 2021

”Your mom never made you eat your vegetables, did she?”
Their gazes clashed and the awkwardness was immediate.

Well, nope?! He’s the big bad wolf after all and I found it kind of hilarious that he loved tomatoes. *lol* This said, “Scarlet” was another great addition to “The Lunar Chronicles” and even though the Star Wars vibes weren’t as strong in this one as in the first book I still enjoyed it a lot and was very intrigued by Scarlet’s and Wolf’s story.

Interestingly this book picked up where the first one left off. So we didn’t only get Scarlet’s story that played in France, but also continued our journey with Cinder that still (mostly) took place in New Beijing. For me both plot lines were very interesting and the fast pacing of Scarlet’s chapters was a nice counterweight to the rather slow chapters of Cinder and Emperor Kai. Still, the fact they had a slow pace definitely didn’t mean that they weren’t super intriguing and suspenseful as well, because they definitely were. 😉

I guess we can all agree that Queen Levana is quite a formidable antagonist so the Kai chapters had me clasping my fingers and hoping that she wouldn’t do something unforgivable to him. He’s too precious and I don’t want to see him hurt. And speaking of precious characters: The new addition of Thorne and the return of Iko made this even more fun. *lol* We finally got some answers in “Scarlet” and I can’t wait to read the next book! I’m sure there’s even more to come and I’m looking forward to see where Marissa Meyer will take this series. =) For now we’ll talk about “Scarlet” though and as always I have thoughts. (I always do, don’t I? ;-P)

2

Bonjour, my fellow readers! You are now entering the spoilery territory of my review and if you haven’t read “Scarlet” already I’d recommend leaving this review. If you’re too curious… Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. We all know: Curiosity kills the cat! ;-P

Scarlet:

”I just think we shouldn’t judge her, or anyone, without trying to understand them first. That maybe we should get the full story before jumping to conclusions. Crazy notion, I know.”

Ahh Scarlet and her shotgun! I really liked that girl! *lol* She’s super independent, can stand her ground and is very down-to-earth, which are all good traits. And she’s very compassionate and always thinks of others first. I loved how much she cared about her grandmother and how determined she was to find her and to get her back to safety. When Scarlet finally reached her grandma it broke my heart though. They only had a couple of pages together and when she died I was so sad. You could feel their strong bond and their love for each other and if Scarlet now feels like eliminating Queen Levana’s soldiers with her shotgun for what they did to her grandma… well go ahead girl! XD The poor old lady deserved so much better than to be tortured by those Lunars. T_T I really hope Scarlet will get over the loss of her grandmother and that she’ll come out of it even stronger than before. Give my girl a shotgun in “Cress” and let’s see what will happen next! ;-P

”I suspect you would shoot me all over again if you thought it would help your grandmother.”
She blinked up at him, almost surprised to discover how close they were standing. “I would,” she said, “But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be sorry about it afterward.”

”Mademoiselle Benoit retrieved,” she said, planting her heel on the back of the dazed, blank-faced soldier and shoving him off the ramp. “And don’t worry, we’ll take Alpha Kesley off your hands.”

Wolf:

”The only way to prevent becoming an omega is to fight. And to win. That’s why I do it. That’s why I’m good at it.”

Wolf was such an enigma! From the very first moment he appeared on page I wondered about his motives and why he helped Scarlet. His heightened senses, the predatory actions and his appearance, it all had me wondering if he would turn on Scarlet and in the end he actually did. Despite all that I’m pretty certain that we got to see the real Wolf. Beneath the animal there’s still a person and it’s struggling for control. I always wondered why he was so scared around Scarlet and I finally realized that he was afraid of her because she made him feel like a human being, like a person and not an animal. So that kind of made me wonder about how he was raised and how he became one of Levana’s soldiers. He’s certainly no normal Lunar and it was hinted that Levana sort of “breeds” them, whatever that means. The last scene showed her soldiers in some sort of boot camp so I guess she trains them? I really hope we’ll find out more about this in the next books or that “The Queen’s Army” will be able to answer some of my questions. XD For now I’ll give Wolf the benefit of the doubt.

His hands hastily brushed the curls from her face, gripped her shoulders, rubbed her bruised wrist, every ounce of his frenetic energy devoted to checking that she was there. That she was all right. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I lost focus, I slipped – I’m sorry. Scarlet. Are you all right?”

”His jaw worked as if to take in a bigger gulp of hair.
She could see his fight. His struggle. As clearly as she could see the animal – the wolf – in him. As clearly as she could still see the man.

”I appreciated everything you gave me.” He picked up the can of olives and sniffed at them, wary of being tricked again. “Although I didn’t deserve any of it.”

Cinder:

”What are they doing?”
“Obeying,” she said heavily, hating herself for making the command. Hating the hums that filled her ears. Hating this gift that was too unnatural, too powerful, too unfair.

Cinder had quite a lot to digest in this book and it’s no wonder she’s kind of insecure about what to do and how to proceed. I guess to find out that you’re a long lost princess that was almost killed by your own evil aunt would be tough for everyone. XD She’s still trying to make sense of everything that happened and with Levana’s henchmen and every citizen of earth looking for her she didn’t even get a break to come to terms with her new status as a princess and fugitive. Not to mention that she still has feelings for Kai and must feel pretty betrayed by his actions. Considering what Levana did to her I’m kind of glad she has no conscious memory of what happened when she was a little kid though. >_< I wonder if Cinder will accept her powers in “Cress” or if she’ll still feel conflicted about them. Let’s hope she’ll make peace with them. I mean it’s not like the entire world depends on that, right? *lol*

”Levana had tried to kill her when she was only three years old.
Her operation had been completed when she was eleven.
Eight years. In a tank, sleeping and dreaming and growing.
Not dead, but not alive either.”

Kai:

”What he didn’t know was how many times she’d glamoured him before that. How many times she’d tricked him. How many times she’d made him out to be a complete fool.”

POOR KAI!!! To read his POV was pure torture! I felt so sorry for him because he doesn’t know about Cinder’s connection to Levana and has no idea what’s actually at stake. Not that he would need any more pressure. He’s basically holding his country together by sheer force of will. To say he’s between a rock and a hard place would be putting it more than just mildly. If you ask me it’s admirable that he even tries to defy Queen Levana! A lot of people would have cowered before her if she’d taken away their voice, but Kai? He still uses every single one of his breaths to annoy the hell out of her. It’s the only way he can defy her and boy does he give her a run for her money. *lol* Still, the pressure was too much and I hated to see him crumble. ARGH! I hated every single moment he had to wait for Levana to stop her attack. The price was too high and Kai basically gave his life for his people by agreeing to marry her. T_T Kai deserves so much better than that… so, so much better.

”Sensation returned to his tongue and Kai threw a thankless smile at Aimery. He then proceeded to do the most disrespectful thing he could think of – he pulled his chair back from his desk and sat down. Tripping back, he folded his hands over his stomach.”

”With the click of the latch, Kai let himself crumble into his chair. His entire body was shaking. It was suddenly so clear that he wasn’t ready for this. He wasn’t strong enough or smart enough to fill his father’s shoes. He couldn’t even keep Levana out of his own office – how was he going to protect an entire country from her – an entire planet?”

Thorne:

Then, “You’re … rather handsome, Captain Thorne.”
Cinder groaned.
“And you, my fine lady, are the most gorgeous ship in these skies, and don’t let anyone ever tell you different.”

Don’t you love a guy that calls himself Captain and is afraid of cockroaches? *lol* I’m not gonna lie, my first impression of Thorne wasn’t really a favourable one. XD To be honest my exact words were: He’s not the brightest candle on the cake. *lol* Which still holds true but the more I got to know him the more I realized that he’s like an adorable puppy. He has no idea what he’s doing but his heart is in the right place and sometimes he’s even downright reasonable. Haha! I think that makes him a great addition to the cast and I’m definitely looking forward to more of his dumb genius moments. In short: He’s super goofy and his rakish attitude makes him very entertaining. XD Considering the next book is “Cress” I’m pretty sure we didn’t see the last of him and that my wish to see more of him will come true soon. ;-P

”I get that you feel like it was your fault, but let’s try to put some of the blame where it belongs here.”

Queen Levana:

”Your Majesty,” Kai said, addressing the queen with, he thought, an admirable lack of contempt. “What a pleasant surprise.”
“One more patronizing comment and I will have you slice off and nail your own tongue to the palace gate.”

Isn’t Levana a sunshine? *lol* No, honestly, I hate that witch! With a fierce passion and the power of a thousand suns. This woman is horrible and I refuse to call her Queen. From now on I’ll only call her Levana because she certainly doesn’t deserve the title. Every once in a while you stumble upon a villain you can’t like because it’s such a horrible person and well, that would be Levana in my case. Guess there’s nothing that could redeem her in my eyes. I hate what she did to Wolf and all her other subjects and I hate her even more for using her power in order to bully Kai into a marriage with her. That cold and calculating, conniving, cruel WITCH! ARGH! I swear if she really marries Kai I’m going to throw that book against a wall. >_<

3

Scarlet & Wolf:

Scarlet’s brow was ceased as she inched toward him. “Do that again.”
He took half a step back, eyes glinting with sudden nerves. “Do what?”
“Smile.”

This was insta-love par excellence, but I still kind of shipped them? I guess we can cut them some slack because they got to know under really dire circumstances and if you take Wolf’s nature into consideration it’s kind of logical that he’d fall for someone hard and fast. Love seems to be connected to his instincts and since he’s such an instinct driven boy it’s no wonder he loves Scarlet. As for Scarlet… I have no explanation for her insta-love other than that she obviously digs broody handsome boys… don’t we all somehow? *lol* I don’t know how I feel about his betrayal though. From a logical perspective he’s as free as Kai is, so not free at all because his free will has been manipulated for years, but still. If I’d be Scarlet I would feel bitter about my grandmother’s death. I guess it works in his favour that he wasn’t around when they captured and tortured her. =( Ahh what a complicated mess… let’s hope that now he’s out of their reach he’ll be his own master and make his own decisions.

”Don’t come near me. I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to listen to you. I would rather die than ever be touched by you again.”
She saw a gulp straining against his throat. Hurt flashed across his face but it only served to make her angrier.

”I know you don’t want to hurt me, Wolf.”
His nose bumped against her jaw. His breath caressed her collarbone.
“You helped me. You rescued me.”

”I know we met less than a week ago and in that time I’ve done nothing but lie and cheat and betray you. I know. But if you give me a chance … all I want is to protect you. To be near you. For as long as I’m able.”

Cinder & Kai:

”But Kai wasn’t his father. He wasn’t that selfless.
Knowing it was wrong, he couldn’t help but wish that wherever Cinder had gone, they would never find her.”

So we basically didn’t get any “Cinder & Kai” moments in “Scarlet” but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t think about each other because they did. Kai still cares about her and this even though he doesn’t even know the entire truth. And Cinder basically went ballistic when she heard of his engagement with Levana, which most definitely had nothing to do with him being foolish but everything with him agreeing to marry that despicable person. *lol* Ahh I really want those two to meet and to talk things out. Can’t Cinder idk… kidnap Kai before he marries Levana? XD Throw me a bone here Marissa! ;-P

Cinder & Thorne:

”You opened my control panel?” she said, her words a little clearer with anger behind them.
He scowled. “I didn’t want to.”

Hahaha!!! What an accusation! It almost sounded like they were intimate which I suppose they actually were? Control panels are tricky things like that. *lol* Anyway, I really appreciated the blooming friendship between Thorne and Cinder and I was so there for their moments. I think without Thorne Cinder wouldn’t even have come as far as she did because in his own way he supported her and helped her to continue. I was really glad she had him at her side and wasn’t all alone with her problems. Even though Thorne only found out about her real identity at the ending of the book. *lol* Their friendship is still precious and I hope we’ll have more Cinder/Thorne moments in “Cress”.

”Yeah, because we’re famous.” He sang the word with a certain measure of pride. When Cinder rolled her eyes, he nudged her in the arm. “Oh, come on, it could be worse.”
She quirked an eyebrow at him and his grin broadened.
“At least we have each other.” He held out his arms, like he would have given her a huge hug if they hadn’t been strapped into their seats.

4

I think in a lot of ways “Scarlet” is such a typical second book. The world expands; new characters are introduced and old ones continue on their journey. Some questions are answered, new ones appear and the stage is set. 😉 All things considered this was a worthy sequel and I’m excited to read book 3. Apparently it’s even better than the first two and I’m ready to be blown away! XD

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