Posts Tagged ‘Scarlet


Story and characters pretty good. Editing not so much. CBR8 review 8.

UnknownNow that Bunnybean is tearing her way through the Lunar Chronicles books, I figured I might as well try and finish up the last book (I don’t count the new book of “related short stories” that just came out), Winter.

I wasn’t all that excited about reading it, to be honest. I loved Cinder and Scarlet, and really liked Cress. And then I read Fairest. And I despised it. It really almost ruined the entire series for me. It was so heavy-handed and annoying, I honestly didn’t care about any of it anymore.

And I have mixed feelings about Winter, now that I’m finally done.

As this is the last book in the series, I’m too tired to explain what’s going on. If you’ve read these books, great, keep reading. If not, stop reading this, and go out and read Cinder. You won’t regret it.

What did I like? Well, the basic plot was fine. We needed some closure on all of the main characters, and of course we needed to make sure that something terrible was going to happen to nasty Queen Levana. And we got all of that.

All of our main characters, plus a few new ones, stood up to various evils in order to bring down Levana and bring harmony to relations between Earth and the Lunar colony. Seriously, something terrible was thrown at our heroes pretty much every chapter, and yet, they kept at it, never stopping until Cinder (aka Princess Selene) is able to take her rightful place on the Lunar throne.

I liked that nothing came easy to this bunch, and that Cinder and her friends end up making a lot of mistakes along their way, mistakes that even end up costing the lives of some of their allies. And that they actually learned something from these mistakes, and changed their approach to getting Cinder on the throne.

And I’ll be honest…while I really didn’t much care about whether or not Cinder and Kai or Scarlet and Wolf ended up together, I was nervous about Cress and Thorne. I’m glad we got a happy ending for those two.

What didn’t I like?

Well. How much time do you have?

First of all, Princess Winter. All of it.* Ridiculous. No.

This was a character that I understood the need for, but just didn’t work for me. And Jacin? Yes, I get that they’ve been friends forever. And I understand that she’s a beautiful princess. But their romance was really just a bit icky.

*I will give Winter a pass on one subplot — the alliance of the wolves to the rebels. This was actually ok.

But my major problem with this book was the editing. This book was over 800 pages long, and it felt like it. There were plot points that were repeated again and again (really, how many times can characters wonder about whether or not they should escape in tunnels? Or how many times do we need to be told that Levana is using her lunar gift to manipulate the masses? SO MANY TIMES, I GUESS.), and entire scenes that were completely unnecessary. If it had been half as long, I think I would have liked it a lot more.

Sloppy details bugged me so much. On one page, we have Scarlet, recently rescued from the menagerie. She hasn’t bathed or done laundry in ages and her trademark red hoodie is filthy. When she meets up with her friends, she is constantly fidgeting with her hoodie strings. They offer to wash her dirty sweatshirt, and then put it in the laundry. Over the next few pages, Scarlet is STILL described as playing with the hoodie strings in great detail. And then the clean sweatshirt is given back to her. So messy and such bad editing. If Scarlet had just left her hoodie alone, we could have cut 25 pages.

Sad that such a wonderful story ended on such a low note. I’m glad I read Winter, but wish it had been a stronger entry in the series.




Scootsa1000’s #CBR6 Review 24: Cress by Marissa Meyer

imagesI’m still so far behind in my reviews, I’m starting to get anxious about it. We are leaving for a month-long vacation next week, and I just might not be able to get a chance to say everything I want and need to say. Sorry that these next few might not get the detail that they deserve 😦

Even thought it feels like ages ago, I think it was only about two weeks ago that I finished Cress. For those that don’t know (which, really, I think most of you do know), Cress is the third book in the awesome Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. These books tell the story of a future world where earth is being threatened by the evil Moon queen, thousands are dying of a mysterious plague, and a half-cyborg teenage girl is our best hope for survival.

What I love most about these books is the fun way that Meyer loosely bases her characters on fairy tales, but that they aren’t in any way “princess-y”. In book one, Cinder, Linh Cinder lives with her evil stepmother, falls in love with a handsome prince, and even has a big scene when she’s dressed up at the ball (but here, instead of a glass slipper, she leaves behind her cyborg foot. Potayto-Potahto.). In the second book, Scarlet, Cinder’s adventures continue, and along the way we also meet Scarlet, a girl in a red hoodie sweatshirt who lives with her grandmother, and meets a scary guy who happens to be named Wolf.

The adventures of Cinder, Scarlet, and friends now intersect with a new character — Cress. A girl imprisoned alone in a satellite, circling the earth, Cress has long, long, LONG hair. She only has her computer to keep her company, and she’s starving for some human interaction, especially if it could be with a certainhandsome, rakish, Carswell Thorne.

Cress has been forced to spy on Cinder for the leaders of the lunar colony. It turns out, Cinder is the heir to the lunar throne– long thought dead by the people of the moon. Cress knows Cinder’s secret and decides to revolt against her captors in order to help Cinder and her crew.
Cress has truly convinced herself that there’s more to Thorne than meets the eye, and is willing to do just about anything for him, even without actually having met him.

Meyer is a pro at sharing time between the characters — effortlessly jumping from old characters to new, from Cress to Cinder, from the moon to the Sahara. Yes, there were some characters I wanted to know more about, and some I was less invested in, but I was never bored, and never found myself skimming sections (hello, George RR Martin). These books are really just fun.

I hear that the fourth book will be based on Snow White (I’m guessing the wacky lunar princess holding Scarlet hostage fits that bill). I’m looking forward to continuing with this rare series that has actually gotten better as it goes along.


Scootsa1000’s #CBR5 Review 15: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Unknown-1Recently, I’ve hit a bad patch of YA trilogy installments. I couldn’t stand Reached and was quite disappointed by Requiem (side note: I think my days of giving the benefit of the doubt to Lauren Oliver are officially over. Lauren, you and I are through. Sorry.) And then I read — and liked — Scarlet, the second book in the Lunar Chronicles trilogy (remember the first one came out last year, Cinder.  I liked it a lot).

I’m wondering if Scarlet is really that much better than those other books, or if I’m just glad it wasn’t terrible. Its been two weeks, and I still don’t know which side I’m on with this.

Scarlet picks up right where Cinder left off, but instead of being a story all about Linh Cinder, lunar princess/cyborg mechanic and her attempt to save handsome emperor Kai from the clutches of the evil lunar queen, we are introduced to a second plot somewhat based on Little Red Riding Hood. Scarlet is a young girl living on a farm in rural France with her grandmother. Scarlet always wears a red hoodie. When her grandmother goes missing, she teams up with a strange, handsome, new guy in town named Wolf.

Scarlet and Wolf race to Paris to attempt to save her grandmother, who is in trouble for hiding some big secret.

And just maybe, that secret has something to do with the young lunar princess who was secretly adopted in France before moving to Beijing years ago.

While it took me a while to warm up to the new characters (really, at first I was annoyed when the chapter POV was about Scarlet, when all I wanted was to find out more about Cinder), after a few chapters I was into the new story. I liked some of the new characters better than others (verdict is still out on Wolf, but I enjoyed the comic relief of Carswell Thorne), and I’m looking forward to seeing how Meyer integrates all of these characters into the next books (one I think will be based on Rapunzel, and one on Snow White).


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