Welcome to Day Four of Fiery Hot Reads for Icy Cold Nights! I have a fantastic stop for you today here on my blog. First, here are the participating blogs for today:
Kimba@ The Caffeinated Reviewer: Santa Montefiore The Woman from Paris
Ali@My Guilty Obsession:Nicole Reed: Ruining Me and Ruining You
Pragya@The Reviewing Shelf: Tolulope Popoola: Nothing Comes Close
Be sure to visit their posts and enter their giveaways!
Today, I am thrilled to welcome Marissa Meyer, author of Cinder and Scarlet in The Lunar Chronicles. I loved Cinder her debut novel last year and I was beyond excited to get my hands on Scarlet. I was lucky to get Marissa to answer a few questions. I know she is incredibly busy preparing for the release of Scarlet. Thanks Marissa!
For those of you who aren't familiar with Marissa or her books, here is her bio:
Marissa is the author of CINDER and The Lunar Chronicles. She's into things like roadtrips and buying unfamiliar vegetables at the farmer's market and then spending too much time on Pinterest trying to figure out what she's supposed to do with them. She now lives with her husband and three cats (Calexandria Josephine, Stormus Enormous, and Blackland Rockwell III), who go in and out, in and out, about eight hundred times a day. Her favorite non-bookish things include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, re-watching episodes of Firefly, and playing all manners of dress-up.Follow her on her website or on these fine social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and Pinterest.
Here is my interview with Marissa:
Interview with Marissa Meyer
1. I just completed Scarlet and I was thoroughly impressed. I think you outdid yourself, and this book was even better than the first! Did you feel more pressure to write your sophomore novel,Scarlet, as opposed to your debut,Cinder?
Thank you! I had so much fun writing this book and I'm thrilled that readers seem to be enjoying it. I had written a lot of Scarlet before the series sold to my publisher (I think I was working on the third draft already at the time), so I don't think I had the same sorts of pressures that a lot of writers experience while working on their second novel. I was just in love with the story and the characters and did my best to let that shine through! The same can't be said about Book 3, though, which I'm just about finished with. Trying to write this third book while Cinder has been out in the world has brought on some new pressures and concerns, but I try my best not to think about them and just focus on the story.
2. I have to admit, even though I love both Kai and now Wolf, Thorne wiggled his way in and became my favorite. Did you have fun creating his character? Was he inspired by anyone in particular?
I'm so glad to hear you say that, as Thorne might be my personal favorite as well! He has a much more starring role in Book 3, too, so I hope you'll enjoy that. He wasn't based on anyone in real life, but I was definitely influenced by two of my all-time favorite fictional characters: Han Solo from Star Wars and Mal Reynolds from Firefly. What would a sci-fi series be without the cocky spaceship captain, after all?
3. I love your incredible world building and entertaining story lines, especially the way you spin the old classics of Cinderella and Red Riding Hood. I am guessing you must have had an active imagination as a child. Did your imagination get you into any trouble?
HA! How could you tell? Yes, I had such a hard time shutting my daydreams off. I even remember getting in trouble for talking to myself in the middle of storytime when I was in elementary school! *mortified* I also used to daydream that I was a "hero," and one time I decided to stand up to a bully who was picking on another student on the playground. That brave moment got me a black eye for my troubles. Although... I guess I have no regrets.
4. If you were going to pick one of your male leads to run away with and live happily ever after, who would it be and why?
THAT'S a tough one, as I really do love them all. I think in a book setting, like I said above, Captain Thorne is my dream guy. But in real life I'd probably choose Wolf. He's the kind of guy who would do anything to keep his love content and happy, and despite his ferocity, I think he'd make a really good husband. Oh gosh, now I'm picturing Wolf cooking dinner, wearing an apron.... *swoon*
5. I admired both Scarlet and Cinder as they are strong, capable and smart. Do you identify more with Scarlet or Cinder?
Thank you! It was important to me to write about heroines I could admire. I personally identify more with Cinder, because she's very thoughtful and focused on finding solutions to her problems. On the other hand, Scarlet is such a firecracker and tends to rush into things without thinking about them, which isn't like me at all. Cinder and I also share a sarcastic sense of humor.
6. Can you tell us anything about the next book? The brief description says it will feature Cinder and Rapunzel in the Sahara Desert!
That's right, CRESS is my Rapunzel retelling. Although parts of the book do take place in the Sahara desert, it actually begins in space. As opposed to being held in a tower, like your typical Rapunzel story, Cress is trapped in a satellite orbiting Earth. Poor girl!
7. How many books are planned in The Lunar Chronicles?
There will be four total. The last book, WINTER, is based on Snow White.
8. Are you a planner or do you fly by the seat of your pants when it comes to writing your stories?
I'm definitely a planner. I had all four books outlined before I wrote a single word! That's not to say things don't change, though. I've reworked those outlines more times than I can count. But having a plan keeps me inspired. It allows me to jump around to scenes I'm really excited about, or push through a tough spot when I have something to look forward to in an upcoming chapter. I also find that it helps me lay important groundwork for the plot, like backstory and foreshadowing, because I know what readers will need to know to make sense of what comes next.
9. Were you into princesses and fairy tales (Disney movies) growing up or spaceships and danger (Star Wars and Star Trek)? Tell me what were some of your favorite books and movies and favorite characters.
Both! (Perhaps unsurprisingly, lol.) My brother and I would watch Star Wars every time we went to visit my grandparents, and when I got older I fell in love with spy movies (like James Bond). But The Little Mermaid was the first movie I remember seeing in theaters, and that began a fascination with fairy tales and stories about true love and sacrifice. Growing up, I also loved anything that introduced me to a new, unfamiliar world - from Narnia to Middle Earth to Laura Ingalls Wilder's stories of life on the prairie.
10. Finally, in honor of the Fire and Ice Theme for the month, who are some of your favorite romantic couples?
Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice), Katsa and Po (Graceling), Ella and Prince Charmand (Ella Enchanted), Hercules and Meg (from Hercules, which I think is one of the most underappreciated Disney movies there is!), Han and Leia (Star Wars), Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask.
I have to agree, I really liked Hercules as well!
A huge thank you to Marissa for the interview. I am so excited for Scarlet to release so you can all read it! Of course, since this is Fire and Ice there has to be a giveaway. Enter to win a paperback ARC copy of Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter after reading the Contest Policies. Good Luck! This is open to U.S. Residents only. a Rafflecopter giveaway
Here is my review:
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-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 and 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 has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.
As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner. Hardcover, 464 pages Expected publication: February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends
Five stars: Danger, romance and more! This sequel lives up to the hype!
Scarlet anxiously grabs her comm expecting to hear news about her missing grandmother. Scarlet's beloved grandmother, Michelle, disappeared over two weeks ago. Her bloody i.d. chip was left behind, the only clue. Sick with worry, Scarlet learns the police are suspending the search. They suspect her grandmother vanished on her own accord. Scarlet knows better. Her grandma would never leave her without an explanation. Scarlet endeavors to find her, not matter what it takes. Even if that means pairing up with the mysterious and dangerous street fighter named Wolf. Wolf is the only lead to her grandmother. Across the world, Cinder now fitted with her new bionic hand is attempting a daring prison escape. What she doesn't plan on is landing in the wrong cell and taking on an accomplice, the pompous, cocky American captain Thorne. Cinder discovers that Scarlet's missing grandma may hold some important information to her past. Can Scarlet and Cinder find Michelle Benoit and learn the secret she has been hiding?
What I Liked:
- These days, I am often leery going into a sequel, especially if I loved the first book. Cinder not only was one of my most coveted books of 2012, but it also ended up on my favorites of the year list. With sequels, you never know if they will live up to their predecessor, or fall flat and become a filler book in the series. Luckily, I can assure you all that I found Scarlet to be even more exciting and thrilling, and imaginative than Cinder. Grab this one immediately, it does not disappoint!
- One of the minor complaints I had about Cinder was that I loved in the beginning how strong and determined Cinder was, but toward the end she falters and loses some of her fierceness, especially when she bends to her stepmother. I wanted her to stand up and defy her cruel stepmother once and for all, and it didn't happen. This time around, Cinder is capable, strong and determined throughout. I loved how she handled herself and I admired her problem solving skills.
- Scarlet, is just as an admirable heroine as her counterpart, Cinder. While the woman are completely different, as they hail from two different backgrounds, they are both headstrong, smart and fierce. Scarlet with her fiery red hair is a fire cracker. She is sharp tongued and quick to take action, even if it means getting into plenty of hot water. She has a temper,is a bit headstrong and willing to do whatever it takes to save her grandmother. I always admire kick butt female characters, and both Scarlet and Cinder fit the bill.
- This series certainly has some swoon worthy men. Kai doesn't play as big of a role in this one, but when he is present he is even more admirable and wonderful. I loved how he wavered with his feelings for Cinder throughout. He is noble, kind and brave, and I respected that he was willing to make tremendous sacrifices to save his people. Next up, there is the tragic and tortured Wolf. He escaped from a maniacal group called the wolf pack. He wants to help Scarlet, even if she won't take his good advice. He is hiding a dark past and is tortured by his bad decisions, but I think deep down he has a good heart. Wolf is mysterious and dangerous. Finally, the one who stole my heart, even though most of you will probably think I am crazy, is the cocky and somewhat arrogant Captain Thorne. He is reminiscent of Han Solo and Captain Kirk (From the New Star Trek Movies). He has a very high opinion of himself, and he believes all women will fall for him. He is a bad boy that totally made me laugh. Some of the stuff that comes out of his mouth and his antics provide plenty of comic relief.
- I adore Ms. Meyer's world building. She once again manages to bring us her vision of a futuristic dystopian society with a bit of sci-fi, romance and more. I love how she respins the old fairy tale classics. This time around she revises Red Riding Hood, and I must say I think this retelling was even better than her Cinderella version. She brings us Scarlet (Red Riding Hood) trying to save her grandmother from the big bad wolf in a whole new way.
- Finally, I was pleased that this one didn't utilize a love triangle, and the ending tied off nicely, without a dreaded cliffhanger. It felt more like a to be continued ending, and I was left satisfied. However, I cannot wait for the next installment, Cress a Rapunzel retelling!
And The Not So Much:
- I was a bit disappointed with the lack of information on the cyborgs in Cinder, and unfortunately, I had the same problem when it came to the wolves. For most of the book, the wolves are a mystery and I was a bit frustrated wanting more details. Finally toward the end, I gained some insight into the wolves, but I still had some questions. Such as: How did Wolf escape the pack? How close does the wolf have to be to their thurmatage in order for them to be controlled? What exactly are their powers? This isn't a big issue, but I am one of those readers who likes details.
- Though I did like the romance between Scarlet and Wolf, I thought that it happened a bit too quickly. The head strong Scarlet falls fast for Wolf and I wished that there had been a bit more development, I much preferred the slow building romance of Cinder and Kai. However, I guess the whirlwind romance is more in line with the impetous Scarlet.
- I wanted more background/history on Wolf. As I mentioned earlier, he definitely appears to be a bit tortured by his past. What happened to him?
Scarlet is a worthy sequel to Cinder. Pick this one up confidently as it is a fast and furious read. I love the amazing world building and the imaginative retelling of Red Riding Hood. Ms. Meyers has created a series that is unique and fun. I wholeheartedly recommend her books. It has kick butt heroines, romance, action, danger, cyborgs, wolves and more. I cannot wait for Cress!
“I knew they would kill me when they found out, but....” He struggled for words, releasing a sharp breath. “I think I realized that I would rather die because I betrayed them, than live because I betrayed you.”
“I know. We met less than a week ago and in that time I’ve done nothing but lie and cheat and betray you. I know. But if you give me a chance....all I want is to protect you. To be near you. For as long as I am able.”
“I don’t think of it as stolen. They have no proof that I didn’t plan on giving it back.”
“I can see you’re in need of an accomplice,” Thorne said, straightening his jumpsuit. “And lucky for you, I happen to be a criminal mastermind.”
“Am I really on the news? How do I look?”
I received an ARC copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.