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