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We promise to never spam you, and just use your email address to identify you as a valid customer. It’s a little impossible to review the second book in the series without referencing the first, so, a little about Cinder, where we meet the primary protagonist of the series: instead of a meek fireside maid turned princess with the help of a fairy godmother, Cinder is a sarcastic, inventive, half-cyborg mechanic in New Beijing, where she ekes out a living repairing devices and androids in the local market.
Yes, Cinder has an evil stepmother, meets a handsome prince, and even discovers a kind of pumpkin coach, but Disney similarities fall away as the reader begins to connect with Cinder as a fully realized and complicated character.
Our main series protagonist has grown up not knowing her real parents and experiences harsh discrimination as cyborgs are considered revoltingly subhuman. To be as spoiler-free as possible, let me just say that when we left Cinder at the end of the first book, she is in much different, much more exciting circumstances than trying to fix a broken android in the market. Scarlet (a reimagined Little Red Riding Hood) grew up on a farm in rural France raised by her grandmother and role model, an ex-military pilot turned hard-working farmer who’s been missing for weeks. Tropes, traditions, and genres are Meyer’s grounds for inspiration and she is an intrepid storyteller, manipulating familiar literary territory to bring the adventure around an unexpected turn or to highlight a surprising aspect of a character. My personal favorite aspect of Cinder is her growing ability to not only be her own fairy godmother, but to also be her own hero.
The cast of characters grows in Scarlet to fill out Cinder’s Scooby gang who, we have to assume, will inevitably take on the evil Lunar queen, Levana. Mild spoiler: Scarlet continues Cinder’s themes of finding yourself, your strength, and your allies against the odds, so it’s inevitable that Cinder, Thorne, and Iko would meet up with Scarlet and Wolf (though the circumstances are far from predictable). As we learned in Cinder, Meyer’s sensibilities may be driven by humanity, quirky humor, and maybe just a bit of genre pulp, but she pairs the light with the dark. Time and time again in both books, Meyer makes the more difficult choice both in character and story development; a refreshing and rare experience when reading young-adult fiction.

The Lunar Chronicles are only at their halfway point, and I cannot wait to see what twists we get to enjoy next with Cinder, Scarlet, and their new friends. Tacoma, of course, is particularly proud of their native daughter, and you have two chances to celebrate Scarlet in February. February 21, 6 pm: King’s Books in Tacoma will host a book party with Marissa Meyer, complete with book signings, costume contests, games, and more. Katy Evans Founder and Co-Managing Editor at Post Defiance, Katy writes and fundraises for Tacoma. Delighted and intrigued by her first book, a futuristic reimagining of Cinderella entitled Cinder, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her second book, debuting this February. Through evolving circumstances that begin in the first book and continue in Scarlet, Cinder begins to discover her true strength and capacity. Scarlet begins by introducing us to the titular character, a spunky, short-tempered redheaded teenager searching for her missing grandmother. Frustrated by the lack of response from the police department, Scarlet decides to take matters into her own hands. Scarlet treats its readers to a fairly classic journey tale that incorporates mystery, thrills, and a little horror in almost a cinematic way, picking up the pace dramatically at the halfway point with some very serious by challenging its plucky cast of characters and taking some pretty scary turns. This exciting and sadly regularly missing element (particularly in YA books) only continues to evolve and develop in Scarlet.
I particularly enjoy this element of Meyer’s storytelling, as it reminds me more and more of her pop culture inspirations, Joss Whedon specifically.
Our cast of characters faces all sorts of complications and trials and when they succeed, we start to see how together, Cinder and her friends might, just might, be able to find a way to stop Queen Levana from enslaving humanity and mercilessly ruling both the earth and the moon.

She doesn’t shy away from tragedy, and doesn’t sidestep exploring how grief, terror, and instinct can impact a character and their choices. The event will feature a reading, refreshments, raffle prizes, swag, signing opportunities and more with Marissa Meyer.
Read along with this touching tale of Hester Prynne and her daughter Pearl as they struggle to survive as outcasts. Cinder’s android friend Iko is back, but in a much different form, and Cinder has also warily befriended the overconfident reprobate, Captain Carswell Thorne. Only one person, Arthur Dimmesdale, the Reverend, knows Hester's true story, but he is kept away for fear of what the community would think of him. Sounds like we may be entering tired-sparkly-vampire-level-nouveau-bodice-ripper-for-teens territory? Moeller’s Mythic Landscapescalvin klein underwear on Puppets + ProphylaxisSylvia Murray on M. Find out how Hester turns hardship into the ability to help the very people who scorned her.
Scarlet flirts almost gleefully with these tropes and turns them on their heads in clever, satisfying and downright shocking ways.

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