Book cover of Scarlet
|Series||The Lunar Chronicles|
|Genre||Young adult, Romance, Science Fiction, dystopian|
|Publisher||Feiwel & Friends|
|February 5, 2013|
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback), audiobook, e-book|
|LC Class||PZ7.M571737 Sc 2013|
Scarlet is a 2013 young adult science fiction novel written by American author Marissa Meyer and published by Macmillan Publishers through their subsidiary Feiwel & Friends. It is the second novel in The Lunar Chronicles series and the sequel to Cinder. The story is loosely based on the fairy tale of "Little Red Riding Hood", similar to Cinder, which was loosely based on "Cinderella".
Scarlet Benoit is a young girl living on her grandmother's farm in Rieux, France. Her grandmother is missing and Scarlet is sure that she has been kidnapped rather than left on her own will as the authorities believe. While delivering fresh goods to one of her loyal but unfriendly customers, her friend Emilié introduces her to a jittery shy street fighter whose code name is Wolf, who saves her after she makes a speech defending Linh Cinder, the Lunar cyborg who caused chaos at the Eastern Commonwealth ball. She notices a tattoo on his arm; a string of numbers and letters that have no meaning to her. When she gets back from her job, her estranged dad is there and is crazily trying to find something. She questions her dad, who has burn marks all up his arms from being tortured, and he says that the same people have her grandmother because she is hiding something. The one clue that he can remember is that the kidnappers had a tattoo on their forearm, similar to Wolf's. Scarlet heads out to question Wolf in a fight ring, where he defeats and almost kill the champion. The next morning Wolf comes by her farm and tells her that the tattoo stands for a group he used to be part of and that they are the ones who kidnapped her grandma. He decides to help Scarlet and they both embark on a trip to Paris.
On the train to Paris, Scarlet meets a man called Ran who Wolf seems to smell on her later. They jump off the train after a letumosis outbreak occurs and continue their journey through the woods. While resting, Ran shows up and Scarlet realizes that he and Wolf already know each other and don't get along well. Wolf fights with Ran and almost kills him until Scarlet shoots him in the arm. They leave Ran unconscious and get on another train to Paris.
Meanwhile, Cinder teams up with Carswell Thorne, a fellow prisoner who stole a spaceship from the American Republic military. They escape on the ship, a Rampion, but find problems with the autopilot. Cinder remembers that she has Iko's personality chip and inserts it. Once in space, Thorne asks Cinder where she wants to go and even though Dr. Elrand told her to go to Africa, she chooses to go look for Michelle Benoit, a woman connected to the missing lunar Princess Selene (Cinder) and Scarlet's grandmother.
When Scarlet and Wolf arrive in Paris, he leads her to where her grandmother is being held, but turns her in and reveals that he is a Lunar Special Operative, a bioengineered soldier who serves Queen Levana. Disguising as her grandmother, the soldiers maipulate Scarlet into telling everything she knows about Princess Selene and why her grandma can't be manipulated. She recalls Linh Garan talking to her grandmother but doesn't know why she resists manipulation. Then, she is imprisoned.
At the same time, Cinder and Thorne land in Rieux and discover Michelle Benoit's shelter, where Cinder was held in a suspension tank for eight years and later turned into cyborg. They go to Gilles's tavern but are found by the military due to Cinder having her dead stepsister's ID chip. Trouble gets worse when the Lunar wolf soldiers start attacking following Queen Levana's order. Barely escaping, Cinder tracks down Scarlet.
Wolf visits Scarlet in her cell and kisses her in order to give her an ID chip, which she uses to escape and go to her grandmother's cell. She tells Scarlet that Cinder is Princess Selene and that she must find her but Scarlet refuses to leave without her. Ran comes in and threatens her but her grandmother sacrifices herself to allow her to run away. However, after killing Michelle, Ran chases down Scarlet until Wolf appears and starts fighting with him, eventually killing him. Wolf then corners Scarlet and struggles with his thaumaturge control but is shot with a tranquilizer dart by Cinder, who thought he was harming Scarlet. They all manage to escape in the Rampion with Cinder finally revealing to Thorne and Iko that she is Princess Selene.
Finally, Emperor Kai agrees to marry Queen Levana in order to stop the attacks against Earth.
- Scarlet Benoit: A red headed and curly haired farmer at Benoit Farms and Gardens. She wants to find her grandmother, who is missing.
- Ze'ev "Wolf" Kesley: A street fighter who once belonged to a "Pack", willing to help Scarlet find her missing grandmother. It is later revealed that he is a runaway genetically-modified Lunar special operative named Ze'ev Kesley and alpha of a "pack", a cell of genetically-modified Lunar special operatives.
- Michelle Benoit: Scarlet’s grandmother who has gone missing, possibly taken hostage by “the Pack” for information she may have from when she was a pilot for the European Air Force.
- Luc Benoit: Scarlet's charismatic and selfish alcoholic father.
- Ran Kesley: the omega of the "Pack" that Wolf was once a part of. Ran Kesley is Wolf's brother.
- Linh Cinder: A young female cyborg mechanic and main protagonist in The Lunar Chronicles. Revealed as the Lunar Princess Selene in Cinder, who is the missing heir to the throne of Luna and niece of Queen Levana.
- Emperor Kaito: Known as Kai, the Crown Prince of Eastern Commonwealth, has become emperor after his father died in the plague.
- Dr. Erland: Lunar fugitive that took care of Cinder in the first book after spending many years looking for her.
- Iko: Cinder's android partner and one of her only friends. Iko sometimes forgets that she's not human due to her malfunctioning personality chip. She is forcibly dismantled by Adri after Cinder is arrested, but luckily her chip survived and Cinder vowed to give her a new life, which she does in Thorne’s space ship.
- Carswell Thorne: A runaway cadet from the American Republic Military, but referred to as Captain. He is a fugitive that escapes with Cinder from New Beijing prison after being convicted and sentenced to a 6-year prison sentence.
- Queen Levana: The cruel queen of Luna, the moon colony. Not above using terrorist and genocidal tactics to obtain power, she is partially responsible for the existence of the plague on Earth since many of her subjects flee there to escape her influence. She uses a powerful glamour to appear captivatingly beautiful and force people to do her bidding.
- "Scarlet" (first edition). LC Online Catalog. Library of Congress (lccn.loc.gov). Retrieved 2016-12-28.
- Truitt, Brian (July 5, 2012). "Cover reveal, excerpt and interview: 'Scarlet' by Marissa Meyer". USA TODAY. Retrieved March 24, 2013.
- Lloyd McMichael, Barbara (March 4, 2013). "Tacoma author's 'Scarlet' is an entering fairy tale/sci fi mash-up". The Bellingham Herald. Archived from the original on April 10, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2013.