Sunday, 17 March 2013

Scarlet - by Marissa Meyer

I just finished reading Scarlet (book 2 in the Lunar Chronicles) moments ago, and I instantly felt the need to go onto Goodreads and give it five stars. It was a surprisingly action-packed page-turner, and I read it all in one big wolf-licking gulp (forgive the pun). I have to admire a book that compels me to do that. I rarely give books my figurative five stars of approval unless they have some deeply intellectual underlying thoughts, or quotable life-altering messages, which this book doesn't.

However, it transported me into another world. - I was no longer just in my room reading a book, I was in France jumping-off a speeding train with some huge muscular Wolf-man, or on a huge spaceship navigating my way around radars, hiding like a fugitive. I was in this book, wrapped around its characters. - Eager to see them succeed and be true to themselves throughout their moral dilemmas.

The intricacies, all the character's seamlessly melding together, still blows me away. Its a very detailed story, with fairy-tales intersecting at all angles.

Scarlet is a feisty young lady with fiery red hair (couldn't help love her just for that) who lives in the south of France. She is extremely upset about her Grand-mere's disappearance, and convinced its fowl play. Most of the towns people think she's a little off-her-rocker. - Which reminded me a great deal of Beauty and the Beast. Interesting, too, they both have large "beasts" in them. - Scarlet can be extremely irrational, at times, its enough to make one want to ring-her-neck, and she goes on about her Grand-mere inexhaustibly. By the same token, she endears readers to her by this irrational passion. Especially, our dear Mr Wolf.

Enters Wolf. A strong dark street-fighter with an insatiable hunger, and an ominous tattoo. Before reading Scarlet, do read The Queen's Army, it will heighten your appreciation for Wolf, a deeply troubled and daunting character whom you shall come to love. I feel Meyer really did her homework on Wolves in this retelling of Red Riding Hood.

Most mesmerizing is how the above story is simultaneously told with Cinder's story. Where we get all the juicy details on how Cinder escapes from Royal Guard and continues to grow in her powers of Lunar glamour. Quickly the question of the love between Cinder and Kai enters, and one hopes its real and still alive. Kai, who is, in my opinion, a character most to be pitied, just days into his Emperor-ship he has to choose between true-love and saving his Empire and the world. - Both of which seem to lead to his eminent death. Poor Kai gets no sleep at all.

A character I've never addressed in my review of Cinder is Iko, and its a shame because she adds such life and humor to the stories. Iko is a lovable android with a defective personality chip (which basically means she's fun, dramatic, gets scared, and has crushes like a teenage girl) who Cinder had to rebuild, and save on several occasions. Cinder loves Iko like she's family, and, come to think of it, Emperor Kai feels the same way about one of his droids. The story just wouldn't be the same without Iko.

To digest further subtleties of this story, be sure to read My Friends are Fiction's Interview with Marissa Meyer. The following is an excerpt from this interview where Meyer explains setting choice for Scarlet:

"When trying to choose a setting for Scarlet, I wanted a place that had a history of werewolves and werewolf stories-although the people in my futuristic world aren't superstitious about such monsters, I liked the idea of a very old fear being replaced by a new, very real fear. So when I saw a documentary about a series of killings that happened in 18th-century France, and at the time were believed to be the act of a real werewolf, I felt that worked perfectly for a way to tie the mythology together with my own werewolf-like characters."

I couldn't suppress the constant thought that, done right, this series would make a fantastic movie. Especially with all the high-intensity action scenes in Scarlet. Which isn't as far fetched as it seems after a recent conversation I had with Marissa Meyer on twitter. - it appears movie rights are being discussed. I found myself creating a dream cast for the roles, like:

To quote Marissa Meyer "Lunars are kind of their own ethnicity. Her ancestry is very mixed, and she has tan skin, brown hair, and brown eyes."

- Kristin Kreuk (would be my 1st choice for Cinder, b/c she is Dutch/Chinese but its hard to place her. Also, she can easily be dolled-up and made to look like she's glamouring everyone.)

Jennifer Lawrence as Cinder - might be fun, she has a real intelligent seriousness about her. - 

- Tim Kang as Prince Kai

Or Daniel Henney as Prince Kai -

I know both my Prince Kai picks are Korean, however they could maybe pull-off a Northern Chinese look? No?

- Emma Stone as Scarlet (probably my 1st choice).

Or Brittany Snow as Scarlet.  - 

- Or Rachel McAdams as Scarlet, would be good too, very passionate.

Joe Manganiello is the only actor coming to mind for Wolf -
(To be honest, he was the guy I really imagined Wolf to be while I was reading. - I know, I've got one sexy imagination.)

Can't think of anyone for Captin Thorn at the moment... any suggestions?

You can buy a copy of Scarlet online at: Chapter's Specials

For my review of Cinder (book 1 in the Lunar Chronicles) click on the following link: My Review on Cinder by Marissa Meyer


  1. Do we vote by commenting, then? I guess so :P My votes would go to Jennifer Lawrence (YESSSS!!!), Daniel Henney and Rachel McAdams. Though for Prince Kai I'd be sorely tempted to cast Gackt-sama myself :P He'll be forty this year, though, so even though he looks hot as hell, he might be just a smidge too old to play Kai :-/

    1. Oooooh, he would be a cute Kai. I know about the too old problem... Not sure if an older Kai, Cinder, and Scarlet would ruin the integrity of the story or not... technically Cinderella, and Red Riding Hood were very young...

  2. Nice! Although I think Rachel and Amy are too old for Scarlet. I just saw a redheaded Elle Fanning in "Ginger & Rosa" and think she would be perfect!

    1. Ooooh... Elle Fanning, she is growing up, and I loved her in Super 8. I guess technically any actress could dye their hair, doesn't have to be a currently red haired actress. I was feeling numbered in selection, why I went older, but I think there could be a lot of options. ;P

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Oooh, David Henning sounds really good for a Prince Kai! Although I've heard a lot of people compare him to a K-drama actor Lee Seung-Ki.

    And I don't know if this is canon, but I've always envisioned Cinder as vaguely Asian...Must be the whole otaku thing that Marissa keeps on confessing to. :P

    1. Good point on both counts... lol... I guess b/c I envisioned her coming from Europe, and before that the moon, wasn't sure what Lunar nationalities they have up there... lol... that was a miss on my end. :P

  5. Oh, I think Kristin would be great for Cinder. Emma or Rachel would make a good Scarlet

    1. I could see their personalities giving those characters three dimensionality. I really hope HollyWood takes their time in picking the right characters, in all reality I can see it being had to pick actresses that are strongly tied to other franchises, and they need to get the ages just right.... it'll be a super tough call. Glad I won't actually be to blame for it. :P

  6. Kristin Kreuk would be a better choice than Jennifer Lawrence for Cinder although I don't really picture either in the role, but I think Jennifer Lawrence would be about as wrong for the role as Kristen Stewart would, both actresses are already attached to a major young adult book franchise and are basically seen as the face of the characters they'd portrayed. I may be wrong, but I don't feel The Lunar Chronicles would have it's own sense of individuality if they pulled one of the LEAD actresses from one of the two best known young adult book movies series. It would be like trying to cast Daniel Radcliffe as Wolf or Prince Kai he'd have to work very very hard for people to see him as the character he's been cast as and not just look at him and think about him as Harry Potter. Obviously all the actors and actresses in major franchises are going to go on to do other work, but I don't think attaching them to what could potentially be a new major YA franchise is the best choice. They've taken on repetitive roles that make you think of them more as the character they portray than as the actress or actor behind that character like for example no 90s child can look at any of Sarah Michelle Gellar's recent stuff and not think about Buffy and expect a Buffy style character from her. That may happen someday for these other actors and actresses though I doubt it ever will for Gellar, but I think it's too soon to even think about that now. OF course that's just my opinion. I didn't really picture Kristin Kreuk for the role either, but in the photo you've shown here I can kind of see it. So maybe it would be an excellent choice. As far as Scarlett goes the above mentioned actresses just don't have that touch sort of rough around the edge beauty I pictured for her. Maybe someone more like Karen Gillan of the Doctor Who series minus the heavy British accent would be similar to what I had in my head though even then I'm not sure that's quite right. And while Joe Manganiello makes a very sexy wolf, he's a little older than what I pictured reading the book for the character of Wulf, I was picturing someone barely past their teen years early 20s at best for all the main characters in the series.

    1. I wrote out the long reply to you, lol... and accidentally erased it all... lol... grrrr!!! Suffice it to say that I agree with you. Its next to impossible for such an actress to distinguish herself from a major franchise, tho I thought Kristen did a good job of disappearing into her role of an Indian wife in Partition. But to be honest, I'm ashamed to say my major thought process behind all my pics was more their faces then acting... and I know most of their ages are way-off... I'm sure glad I don't actually have to help do any casting... and btw I love your Karen Gillan pick. Totally has the angsty-edge Scarlet needs. Sadly, yes Wolf is too old, but Dang!!! Hopefully HollyWood will find some fresh mind-blowing talent to make the Lunar Chronicles a really big deal, b/c it so deserves that.

  7. That's it! I've tried and tried to think of who Wolf is. You pegged it! Lol I like all of your choices. Definitely Emma Stone for Scarlet, though Brittney isn't a bad choice. Kristin Keurk for Cinder, and Daniel Henney for Kai. My first thought for Thorne was Alex Pettyfer, as he needs to be very good looking and have light brown or dark blonde hair. I think now that Garrett Hedlund might be the one for Captain Thorne. 😍