Saturday, March 30, 2013

Reviews of Cinder & Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

I'm reviewing these two titles as part of Fairy Tale Fortnight!  You can also find my reviews over at The Book Rat, who's co-hosting this event with A Backwards Story.

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1) Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

(Summary from GoodReads)

Cinder is the type of book that makes me want to cry tears of joy.  Sometimes a great book idea gets put into the wrong hands and the whole thing just crashes and burns, but that wasn’t the case with Cinder at all!  Cinder far surpassed my expectations and is a book that I am eager to fanatically shove into all of your faces.

Being a cyborg isn’t easy for Cinder.  Although she’s respected as a mechanic, a lot of people look down on her for what she is.  Cinder was a great character because even though she was angsty about who she was, she also tried to change her life for the better.  While we’re on the note of characters, I loved Prince Kai!  He was down to earth (no pun intended) and a sweet guy who was decidedly worthy of my swoons.

The plotting and the world in this book are both incredible.  While Cinder still would have been an interesting read without the Lunars, having that extra threat gave it a nice element of political intrigue.  There were also a lot of twists and turns that kept me glued to the page.

Romance, world building, and political intrigue are often three places where books go horribly awry, yet Cinder didn’t. It was a fantastic read all the way to the final page and I immediately picked up Scarlet, the sequel, which is a rarity for me.  Meyer perfectly juggles these three elements so that none of them take over the story and make it feel too contrived.

I was hoping I’d like Cinder, and I wasn’t at all disappointed!  I was blown out of the water, and it left me so satisfied and wishing I could feel this way about every book I get excited about it.  Cinder will almost definitely be one of my favorites of 2013.

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2) The fates of Cinder and Scarlet collide as a Lunar threat spreads across the Earth...

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling 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.

(Summary from GoodReads)

Scarlet is the sequel to Cinder, and while I sometimes take a breather between books one and two in a series, in this case I jumped right in.  Meyer added lots of interesting new facets to her world while still doing a great job of building on the existing ones.  Scarlet was still immensely enjoyable, though it did touch on a few of my personal pet peeves.

Scarlet is our main character in this retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.  Wolf is the love interest and we meet him right away.  While I could see some appeal in him, the romantic plotline kind of drove me crazy for two reasons.  Scarlet is drawn to Wolf, despite being well aware that she shouldn’t trust him. We all have our lapses in judgment, but I thought she was playing a bit too fast and loose on a life or death matter.  I also didn’t like the fact that it all felt super instalovey.

I loved the fact that we still got to see what was going on with Cinder, Prince Kai, and Iko.  Seeing how all of their lives were changing is part of what kept me turning the pages of Scarlet so rapidly.  I particularly enjoyed meeting Captain Thorne.

Even though Scarlet didn’t quite live up to Cinder, I still wholly enjoyed reading it.  Meyer has created a world that I love to read about. Do we seriously have to wait until 2014 for Cress?

Disclosure: I purchased my own copy of Cinder, but then received an ARC of Scarlet in exchange for a fair and honest review.

1 comment:

  1. I actually really preferred Scarlet to Cinder although I missed reading as much about Kai since I love him so much!



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