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Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)


Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) Cover

ISBN13: 9780312642969
ISBN10: 0312642962
All Product Details







Scarlet was descending toward the alley behind the Rieux Tavern when her portscreen chimed from the passenger seat, followed by an automated voice: “Comm received for Mademoiselle Scarlet Benoit from the Toulouse Law Enforcement Department of Missing Persons.

Heart jumping, she swerved just in time to keep the ships starboard side from skidding against the stone wall, and threw down the brakes before reaching a complete stop. Scarlet killed the engine, already grabbing for the discarded portscreen. Its pale blue light glinted off the cockpits controls.

Theyd found something.

The Toulouse police must have found something.

“Accept!” she yelled, practically choking the port in her fingers.

She expected a vidlink from the detective assigned to her grandmothers case, but all she got was a stream of unembellished text.

28 AUG 126 T.E.

RE: CASE ID #AIG00155819, FILED ON 11 AUG 126 T.E.




The comm was followed by a video ad from the police, reminding all delivery ship pilots to be safe and wear their harnesses while engines were running.

Scarlet stared at the small screen until the words turned into a screaming blur of white and black and the ground seemed to drop out from beneath the ship. The plastic panel on the back of the screen crunched in her tightening grip.

“Idiots,” she hissed to the empty ship.

The words CASE CLOSED laughed back up at her.

She released a guttural scream and slammed the port down on the ships control panel, hoping to shatter it into pieces of plastic and metal and wire. After three solid whaps, the screen only flickered in mild irritation. “You idiots!” She threw the port at the floorboards in front of the passenger seat and slumped back, stringing her curly hair through her fingers.

Her harness cut into her chest, suddenly strangling, and she released the buckle and kicked open her door at the same time, half falling into the alleys shadows. The grease and whiskey scent from the tavern nearly choked her as she swallowed her breaths, trying to rationalize her way out of the anger.

She would go to the police station. It was too late to go now—tomorrow, then. First thing in the morning. She would be calm and logical and she would explain to them why their assumptions were wrong. She would make them reopen the case.

Scarlet swiped her wrist over the scanner beside the ships hatch and yanked it up harder than the hydraulics wanted to let it go.

She would tell the detective that he had to keep searching. She would make him listen. She would make him understand that her grandma hadnt left of her own free will, and that she most certainly had not killed herself.

Half a dozen plastic crates filled with garden vegetables were crammed into the back of the ship, but Scarlet hardly saw them. She was miles away, in Toulouse, planning the conversation in her head. Calling on every last persuasion, every ounce of reasoning power she had.

Something had happened to her grandmother. Something was wrong and if the police didnt keep looking, Scarlet was going to take it to court and see that every one of their turnip-head detectives was disbarred and would never work again and—

She snatched a gleaming red tomato in each fist, spun on her heels, and pummeled the stone wall with them. The tomatoes splattered, juice and seeds spraying across the piles of garbage that were waiting to go into the compactor.

It felt good. Scarlet grabbed another, imagining the detectives doubt when shed tried to explain to him that up and disappearing was not normal behavior for her grandma. She pictured the tomatoes bursting all over his smug little—

A door swung open just as a fourth tomato was obliterated. Scarlet froze, already reaching for another, as the taverns owner draped himself against the door frame. Gilless narrow face was glistening as he took in the slushy orange mess Scarlet had made on the side of his building.

“Those better not be my tomatoes.”

She withdrew her hand from the bin and wiped it down on her dirt-stained jeans. She could feel heat emanating from her face, the erratic thumping of her pulse.

Gilles wiped the sweat off his almost-bald head and glared, his default expression. “Well?”

“They werent yours,” she muttered. Which was true—they were technically hers until he paid her for them.

He grunted. “Then Ill only dock three univs for having to clean off the mess. Now, if youre done with target practice, maybe you could deign to bring some of that in here. Ive been serving wilted lettuce for two days.”

He popped back into the restaurant, leaving the door open. The noise of dishes and laughter spilled out into the alley, bizarre in its normality.

Scarlets world was crashing down around her and nobody noticed. Her grandmother was missing and nobody cared.

She turned back to the hatch and gripped the edges of the tomato crate, waiting for her heart to stop hammering behind her sternum. The words from the comm still bombarded her thoughts, but they were beginning to clear. The first wave of aggression was left to rot with the smashed tomatoes.

When she could take in a breath without her lungs convulsing, she stacked the crate on top of the russet potatoes and heaved them out of the ship.

The line cooks ignored Scarlet as she dodged their spitting skillets, making her way to the cool storage room. She shoved the bins onto the shelves that had been labeled in marker, scratched out, and labeled again a dozen times over the years.

Bonjour, Scarling!”

Scarlet turned around, pulling her hair off her clammy neck.

Émilie was beaming in the doorway, eyes sparkling with a secret, but she pulled back when she saw Scarlets expression. “What—”

“I dont want to talk about it.” Slipping past the waitress, she headed back through the kitchen, but Émilie made a dismissive noise in the back of her throat and trotted after her.

“Then dont talk. Im just glad youre here,” she said, latching on to Scarlets elbow as they ducked back into the alleyway. “Because hes back.” Despite the angelic blond curls that surrounded Émilies face, her grin suggested very devilish thoughts.

Scarlet pulled away and grabbed a bin of parsnips and radishes, passing them to the waitress. She didnt respond, incapable of caring who he was and why it mattered that he was back. “Thats great,” she said, loading a basket with papery red onions.

“You dont remember, do you? Come now, Scar, the street fighter I was telling you about the other … oh, maybe that was Sophia.”

“The street fighter?” Scarlet squeezed her eyes shut as a headache started to throb against her forehead. “Really, Ém?”

“Dont be like that. Hes sweet! And hes been here almost every day this week and he keeps sitting in my section, which definitely means something, dont you think?” When Scarlet said nothing, the waitress set the bin down and fished a pack of gum from her apron pocket. “Hes always really quiet, not like Roland and his crowd. I think hes shy … and lonely.” She popped a stick into her mouth and offered another to Scarlet.

“A street fighter who seems shy?” Scarlet waved the gum away. “Are you listening to yourself?”

“You have to see him to understand. He has these eyes that just…” Émilie fanned her fingers against her brow, feigning heatstroke.

“Émilie!” Gilles appeared at the door again. “Stop flapping those lips and get in here. Table four wants you.” He cast a glare at Scarlet, a silent warning that hed be docking more univs from her fee if she didnt stop distracting his employees, then pulled back inside without waiting for a response. Émilie stuck her tongue out after him.

Settling the basket of onions against her hip, Scarlet shut the hatch and brushed past the waitress. “Is table four him?”

“No, hes at nine,” Émilie grumbled, scooping up the load of root vegetables. As they passed back through the steamy kitchen, Émilie gasped. “Oh, Im so daft! Ive been meaning to comm and ask about your grand-mère all week. Have you heard anything new?”

Scarlet clenched her jaw, the words of the comm buzzing like hornets in her head. Case closed.

“Nothing new,” she said, then let their conversation get lost in the chaos of the cooks screaming at each other across the line.

Émilie followed her as far as the storeroom and dropped off her load. Scarlet busied herself rearranging the baskets before the waitress could say something optimistic. Émilie attempted the requisite “Try not to worry, Scar. Shell be back” before backing away into the tavern.

Scarlets jaw was starting to ache from gnashing her teeth. Everyone talked about her grandmas disappearance as if she were a stray cat who would meander back home when she got hungry. Dont worry. Shell be back.

But shed been gone for over two weeks. Just disappeared without sending a comm, without a good-bye, without any warning. Shed even missed Scarlets eighteenth birthday, though shed bought the ingredients for Scarlets favorite lemon cake the week before.

None of the farmhands had seen her go. None of the worker androids had recorded anything suspicious. Her portscreen had been left behind, though it offered no clues in its stored comms, calendar, or net history. Her leaving without it was suspicious enough. No one went anywhere without their ports.

But that wasnt the worst of it. Not the abandoned portscreen or the unmade cake.

Scarlet had also found her grandmothers ID chip.

Her ID chip. Wrapped in cheesecloth spotted red from her blood and left like a tiny package on the kitchen counter.

The detective said thats what people did when they ran away and didnt want to be found—they cut out their ID chips. Hed said it like hed just solved the mystery, but Scarlet figured most kidnappers probably knew that trick too.


Copyright © 2013 by Marissa Meyer

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Lilian Cheng, April 15, 2013 (view all comments by Lilian Cheng)
This book has NO "negative" reviews! Now I have to be the weirdo. This review will have spoilers about Cinder, so don't read on if you don't want to know.
I hoped Scarlet would redeem the series for me since I was one of the few people who wasn't a fan of Cinder. While I know why Marissa Meyer set Cinder in China (because the tale of Cinderella originated there,) the way she handled the culture was a complete mess, and greatly hindered my enjoyment throughout the novel. Thank goodness, I only had to bear Meyer's misuse of Chinese honorifics in one scene in Scarlet. Scarlet, on the other hand, is largely set in France--a country I have no experience/associations with and therefore would not notice if there were cultural discrepancies. I was right, Scarlet annoyed me a lot less than Cinder did, but still a book I would hesitate to wholeheartedly recommend.

Juvenile Writing, Tackling Uneasy Subjects and Relationships:
This is more of a personal gripe. I just checked Amazon, and apparently Scarlet is targeted towards ages 12 and up (I always thought the book was targeted towards 16 and up, oops!,) so I guess the lengthy writing that often made me feel like Meyer is underestimating her readers is suitable after all. There is a scene were the author suggests a one night stand (okay, maybe it was a one week stand, but that's not that much better) and also the brief suggestion of rape in another. Being that the age level is twelve, I see why these topics are glossed over, but it also makes me feel like the author is not confident enough to tackle these issues despite throwing them in.

I know I am supposed to hate Levana, but I had problems finding a reason to hate her. I get that she wants world domination--and that's always bad--but I wanted to find out WHY she wanted so many people to love her. Was she bullied? A social outcast? World domination is not easy. Not sure why she has to marry Kai either. Why not just kill him and win world domination through conquest? But I just imagine her as a desperate cougar.

I would personally spend my time reading than ruling the world. Cinder tries to make her hateful by describing her burn wounds as a baby, but I felt that was too forced. If her orchestrating the mutation of her people into werewolves and the destruction of thousands of lives didn't make me hate her, a baby getting burned won't miraculously do the trick.
If Cinder's stepmother made me feel for her, despite her "evilness" (which I felt was one of the brighter moments in Cinder,) Queen Levana should have a fleshed out story as well.
Maybe her story is revealed in the novella? I certainly hope so.

Cinder, Poor Girl Gets Overshadowed:
I like Cinder and Scarlet equally, they both have their strengths, but also can be too oblivious or have anger issues. While reading the story, I felt much more invested in Scarlet's character and Cinder quickly became overshadowed. I also felt Cinder became less appealing, not only because she was overshadowed, but because everything became too convenient with her new Lunar powers. Now not only did she have cyborg powers of quick problem solving and the ability to fix hardware by connecting them to her...head? but also mind-control AND the ability to make spaceships undetectable. It felt like every time the author hit a plot hole, she "solved" it by giving Lunars a new ability. "Oh shoot, how is Cinder going to break out of prison? Eh, she can just mind control the guard with her Lunar gift! Oh shoot, how is Cinder going to travel undetected in a gigantic spaceship? Um, well Lunars have the ability to do that too! Oh no, Cinder is stuck in a crowd, how will she get out of it? That's easy! Her Lunar gift can change her appearance to disguise her from everyone!" What can this girl NOT do? And how much of it is actually attributed to her as a person...and not because she has the ability to download and process manuals from the Internet. Suddenly, it felt like Cinder became invincible. Her "let's connect electronics to my cyborg brain" thing made her even harder to relate to.

Cinder & Kai:
I was okay with Cinder & Kai's relationship in Cinder--even though Kai didn't have much of a personality aside from being handsome (he also has way too much time on his hands for being the leader of the entire Eastern Commonwealth.) In Cinder, he struck me as a very poor leader, spending his time being angry, relying on his advisors, not showing up on time to state meetings, and hitting on a girl. Kai really got the short end of the stick in Scarlet, in the few scenes he does appear in, he only serves as background details to the plot. He still has yet to win me over. I wonder how Kai and Cinder relationship will work out, precisely, how Kai will react when he finds out Cinder's true identity as Princess Selene. Will he be jumping for joy? And how will he convince Cinder to be with him without being a jerk that's like "I know you are the princess, so let's marry and everything will be fine and dandy! And let's ignore the whole part about locking you up in prison, doubting you, and stuff." It's going to be sappy. I can just feel it.

Scarlet & Wolf, Echoes of Twilight/A Discovery of Witches:
Not instalove, but dangerously close. Their relationship progressed in the way that romance novels do: the characters don't trust one another and there's some tension, but then they suddenly realize that they are made for one another. How fast their relationship gave me this schadenfreude feeling. I didn't want it to be THAT easy. I WANTED THEM NOT TO WORK OUT. I am evil like that. And because I thought Scarlet did not deserve Wolf. Seriously, that girl has some anger issues. When Wolf comments on her scent, she immediately snaps at him, telling him it's none of his business. That is NOT how you treat a guy who is willing to help you track down your missing grandmother. There's a difference between being a badass and being rude and ungrateful.

I admit, there were some sweet moments, but when I got to the end, their relationship made me wince.
I felt Wolf had more development than Kai though, so I did root for him. But there was a point where I just felt bad for him because Scarlet was just--mean. I could just picture him being that wounded dog thrown out into the rain.
And then came the Twilight echoes. Scarlet was made to be this independent, strong-willed girl, but then she still depended so much on Wolf to save the day. There are moments when she overestimates herself, kind of like Diana from A Discovery of Witches. And then Wolf had the whole "I am too dangerous for you! You have no idea how close I was to harming you..." thing. Ugh.

Blending Fairytale with Sci-fi:
I appreciate how Meyer weaved sci-fi and fairy tales together. The fairy tale elements are often in the background, while the characters have a life of their own. There was a moment, when Scene ran onto a stage in an opera house that was supposed to be a "forest," that struck me as heavy handed and unnecessary. Perhaps it was especially annoying because she was supposed to be in great danger, yet the author still makes her run through a stupid cardboard "forest" for the sake of tying it into the fairytale. Oh, poor Scarlet!

Addressing Plot-Holes: THOSE ID CHIPS
The id-chips left me with a lot of questions in Cinder: how did these id-chip stealing androids get placed in a government facility? Is this a conspiracy? And I am glad Meyer addressed them. Somewhat. I still felt it could have been better handled.
Apparently the general public CARE about those chips, and would riot if they knew it was stolen, because it's VERY important to the family--or so it is said. Which is a surprise, because nobody seems to care enough to claim it after their loved one's death. Or even notice its disappearance. ID-chips causing a riot? I doubt it.

Overall, I felt Scarlet was slightly stronger than Cinder due to more character development in the new characters, though it also had quite a few flaws that made Scarlet a slow read for me. Scarlet has the same fast-paced, action-packed, sci-fi and loose fairytale qualities I enjoyed in Cinder though. It's a pity that Cinder and Kai recede into the background, which makes me scared that the next books will do the same thing and introduce more new characters at the expense of the old. If you loved Cinder, I am certainly you will love Scarlet. Just be prepared not to see Kai or Cinder too much.

As for me, although I was not impressed with the series thus far, each book for slightly different reasons, I know I will probably still read the next book, hoping it will change my mind. I am determined to like this series!
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Product Details

Meyer, Marissa
Feiwel & Friends
Fairy Tales & Folklore - Single Title
Science fiction
Children s-General
Edition Description:
Young Adult Fiction
Series Volume:
2 of 4
Publication Date:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
8.25 x 5.5 x 1.5625 in
Age Level:
from 12 up to 17

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Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) New Hardcover
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Product details 464 pages Feiwel & Friends - English 9780312642969 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Returning fans of Meyer's Cinder will gladly sink their teeth into this ambitious, wholly satisfying sequel."
"Review" by , "It's another Marissa Meyer roller coaster ride, part science fiction/fantasy, part political machination with a hint of romance. Readers will be pushed into a horrific alternate universe where violence, especially mind manipulation and control, create ethical and life-threatening situations for both teens. With at least one more Lunar Chronicle to come, the suspense continues. And which fairy tale will Meyer morph next?"
"Synopsis" by , 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.

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