This is the sequel to Cinder, and the second book in the Lunar Chronicles by Merissa Meyer. Scarlett is loosely based on Red Riding Hood, while set in the dystopian world which was introduced to us in Cinder.
The plot of this book is much stronger than the previous one, there are more mysteries to solve, more action to narrate and the characters that we are introduced to are added to the already established cast.
Scarlet comes across as a short tempered person who is determined to complete the task she has set for herself. She comes across as the kind of person who doesn’t let anything stand in her way. Scarlet is a very moral driven character and doest care if she is looked upon as strange or unusual by others. Scarlet’s outlook on not judging people until you understand their circumstances is something everyone can attempt to do, though it can be difficult.
Wolf is a mystery for much of the book, everytime something is revealed about him it leads to more questions, until the reveal at the end. His boundless energy supports the constantly moving plot, and it is almost contagious making the reader want to keep moving. He much like Scarlet knows his own mind, but while he may not agree with Scarlet’s choices he does what he can to support her.
While not the main leads in this book we also see Emperor Kai and Cinder, each of them doing their best to make the most of a dangerous situation. Kai is upset that Cinder appears to have lied to him though he still hopes that she somehow stays safe. Cinder is slowly coming to understand about her life while trying to come up with a plan to dethrone the tyrannical Queen of Luna.
This book allows you to explore more of the world that Merissa Meyer established in the first installment. After the first book being centred in the eastern commonwealth we get to see a little of the European Federation, and some of France. I think that this allows the reader a greater understanding of the world and the people within it. We get to see some of the destruction which occured to France during world world four and it helps the readers to understand why the decisions were taken to create the ‘countries’ and the alliance.
This book continues the theme of discrimination, and shows that this challenge is not just centred in the Eastern Comonwealth but is also an issue in the European Federation. Scarlett shows that just becasue discrimination exists not everyone has the same outlook and that fighting for changes to dicrimination, while you may be in the minoriity, is worthwhile.
Another theme which is picked up in this book is betrayal and loyalty. Emperor Kai is willing to do anything to keep his people safe, even if that means looking like he is betraying them all so he can save lives with the antidote for the plague that has been killing thousands of people across the world. Scarlet feels that her grandmother has betrayed her by keeping something a secret from her, but her grandmother would say that she was being loyal to someone else. This book shows that just because it appears as though someone is betraying you, this does not mean that they are not loyal to you or others.
Something that is explored in this book is freedom. We see that Cinder has finally escaped her guardian, and is able to do as she wishes. But she cannot help but think how limited her current freedom is, and the price it has cost. It explores how freedom can be both overhyped and undervalued depending on your experiences of life so far.
The final theme I am going to mention is trust and safety. This links with betrayal and loyalty, but just because you are loyal to someone does not mean that you trust them. Scarlet trusts Wolf to protect her regardless of the challenges that he faces. The book shows that while difficult decisions can break your trust, there are times when you just have to blindly trust that you were right and hope that you are proved right.
This book made me feel that even when you think you are powerless there is something that you can do to help or support someone else. That could be speaking your mind to help prevent discrimination or right now it is staying at home to keep othersand yourself safe.
I am going to give this book 5 Stars. I am glad I am rereading the series and I am thoroughly enjoying it so far.