Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Book #2 of Lunar Chronicles
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Category: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Setting: Future, New Beijing & Space
Author Website:

About this series:

The world is has gone through a reorganization grouping itself into larger regional governments. Technology has advanced. All citizens, commerce, and security are managed using surgically implanted id chips. Humans injured or ill are rebuilt as cyborgs that have intelligent prosthetics integrating computer processing power with their bodies. All the Earthen governments are looking to Emperor Kai of New Beijing to navigate a tricky political situation with the power-crazy Queen from the Luna planet.

About this book:

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles quartet. While this book is still very much about Cinder, the Lunar cyborg with a big secret, readers are introduced to another strong female character who will help take this series to whole new level. Scarlet, who wears a red hoodie, is searching for her kidnapped grandmother. Scarlet’s search will require her to work with Wolf, a street fighter. Their rescue mission takes them to Paris where their new found friendship will be questioned.

The first half of this book seemed a little slow as it flipped between Cinder and Scarlet’s story lines. However as soon as it is clear that these two are on a collision course the pace picks up dramatically. Scarlet is as strong-willed as Cinder and yet in a completely different way. These two leading women could not be more different; Cinder is a city girl and Scarlet is as country as you can get. Yet, during this novel we discover that they might actually have something in common.

Oh yeah, did I mention there is also a prison break and a cool spaceship in this novel? I think fans of the space-western drama Firefly will enjoy this book. I don’t want to give any spoilers away but there is a wonderful balance of humor, action, and passion that underscores this novel and the series. I couldn’t help but find myself comparing the characters between Scarlet and Firefly.

  • Cinder is a born leader much like Firefly’s Captain Malcolm ‘Mal’ Reynolds and yet Cinder has just enough girlish humor and genius mechanic skills to remind one of Firefly’s adorable prodigy, Kaylee.
  • Scarlet’s unfailing loyalty could march steadily besides Firefly’s Zoë Washburne while her confidence in who she is as a person ensures that Scarlet  would become fast friends with Firefly’s independent spirit, Inara Serra.
  • Wolf’s physical strength and fighting instinct could do some serious damage if paired with Firefly’s Jayne Cobb.
  • Captain Carswell Thorne (you’ll meet him in Book#2) invokes the humor and daredevil piloting skills of Firefly’s Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne.
  •  Emperor Kia’s willingness to sacrifice all for those he cares about could only rival Firefly’s selfless Dr. Simon Tam.
  • Iko’s sweet innocence combined with super-intelligence makes me think of Firefly’s beautiful and resourceful River Tam. (See Firefly episode #10, Objects in Space.)
  • Michelle Benoit, Scarlet’s grandmother, has wisdom and professional experiences that Firefly found in Shepherd Book.
  • Queen Levana of Luna would make the perfect partner in crime for Firefly’s villain, Niska. (See Firefly episode #1 The Train Job and episode #9 War Stories.)

Learn about other books in this series:

Book #1: Cinder

  • Published: January 3, 2012
  • Cinder is a cyborg; or as I’d rather call her an amputee. She has a prosthetic foot and hand. She was adopted by a man who promptly died and left her with his wife and two daughters. Much like the childhood story we know, Cinder is treated like a second class citizen in her house. In fact, all cyborgs are less than normal citizens. And through Cinder’s eyes we see how the world treats people who are different.

eBook #1.5: The Queen’s Army

  • Published: November 23, 2012
  • I haven’t read this book yet, but after reading Scarlet I’m definitely going to seek it out. This is the story of how Queen Levana is building her army trained in the art of killing.

Book #3: Cress

  • Published: Coming in 2014

Book# 4: Winter

  • Published: Coming in 2015

Also see graphic novels about this series:

Book #0.5: Glitches

  • Published: December 5, 2011
  • This is a short prequel to Cinder, providing some additional background into Cinder’s life with her step-mother.