Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Book 2) by Marissa Meyer

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Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Book 2) by Marissa Meyer

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: Never tricksy, but always triumphant, this second of four novels continues the fabulous future fairy tales.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 464 Date: February 2013
Publisher: Puffin
ISBN: 9780141340234

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The events of last time are but media chatter as we start book two, with a French farmgirl being worried. Her grandmother has been missing for over a fortnight, and the police think there's no case for them to solve. Our girl is even more worried when her dad, long missing presumed drunk, turns up to ransack the farm looking for something that must have been left behind – something that her kidnappers need. Things might look up with the arrival of a good-looking man, the epitome of calm power and strong senses, but while he seems concerned and claims his innocence, dad points him out as one of the gang behind the crime. How much can he be trusted? Either way, things must be investigated – and so our heroine, Scarlet, complete with her favourite riding-red hoodie, must go off into the unknown –alongside the man his fellow underground fighters call Wolf…

You don't need to be a genius to see the parallels with fairy tale of yore. You might need to be a genius to write such fascinating, sci-fi updates of them as this series proffers. We won't forget Cinders, the cyborg who left her entire foot behind at the royal ball, either, for this is neither a straight follow-on to her story nor stand-alone part of the series – it's one major part of a brilliant whole. Cinders herself will have another adventure, with friends old and new, and it'll be almost halfway before we can see any connection between the two tales.

This world is just so cleverly created. It's nothing like the tricksy telling of tales it might appear in summary, but a whole fantasy saga. The moon, forever a major background factor of fairy tales and fantasy (especially ones with wolves in, of course) is a major part here, and its queen is still being evil – although I must say she seems to be particularly overtly evil, and why she would say what she does just because one droid has its back turned I don't know. Apart from that the book is a successful continuance – opening things out here, keeping things on the straight and narrow quest story there, and all the while being written with the ideal levels of clarity, energy and intelligence of the best in writing for the young adult.

Which brings me to finish with the declaration that us lowly book reviewers need sympathy, for we seldom get what we want. Yes, we get a review copy here and there to sate our demands for new books, but in this case I want more. I care for the characters, I really engage with the way they revisit the old with things so fantastical, and intertwine their individual threads with something so large as cross-solar system grudge matches, and I want everyone else to do so too. I want this series to be huge – and I mean Hunger Games huge. There's nothing here that says I want this for my own private delight – and this is definitely not a guilty pleasure. Meyer is trying her best to get her brilliance out there – at time of writing there are two stand-alone short stories as e-books to serve as advertisers and appease us Lunar Chronicles completists. I'm trying my best. It's out of our hands, however – but if this series gets the acclaim and audience it deserves it would be a modern day fairy tale come true.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

Seeing as we mentioned it - although you are hard pushed to get away from it these days - we do really like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Buy Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Book 2) by Marissa Meyer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Book 2) by Marissa Meyer at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Book 2) by Marissa Meyer at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, Book 2) by Marissa Meyer at Amazon.com.


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