Book Reviews: Scarlet and The Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen

sc:ltTitles: Scarlet and The Lady Thief

Author: A.C. Gaughen

Series: Scarlet #1 & #2

Genre: Teen Fiction

Rating: 3/5 stars

The Overviews: Scarlet: Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in. It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

Lady Thief: Scarlet’s true identity has been revealed, but her future is uncertain. Her forced marriage to Lord Gisbourne threatens Robin and Scarlet’s love, and as the royal court descends upon Nottingham for the appointment of a new Sheriff, the people of Nottingham hope that Prince John will appoint their beloved Robin Hood. But Prince John has different plans for Nottingham that revolve around a fateful secret from Scarlet’s past even she isn’t yet aware of. Forced to participate at court alongside her ruthless husband, Scarlet must bide her time and act the part of a noblewoman—a worthy sacrifice if it means helping Robin’s cause and a chance at a future with the man she loves. With a fresh line of intrigue and as much passion as ever, the next chapter in Scarlet’s tale will have readers talking once again.

sc:lt 2

The Review:

Yep – I’m doing a dual review because after two months of trying, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no way I’m going to get caught up with all of the books I need to review unless I take some drastic measures… and your looking at ’em. It helps matters that these two books were incredibly similar – even down to receiving the same overall rating. I also liked and disliked them for the same reasons. Behold the review:

I am not one for retellings, but this version of Robin Hood won me over. Not only was it clear the author done a fair bit of research, but the spin that she took on its was something I’ve not seen before… it was actually quite brilliant. I loved the characters – everyone from Robin Hood himself (hubba, hubba) to a one-armed sidekick named Much were vibrant and rounded.

One of the twists I actually liked the most was the addition of a love triangle between Scarlet, Robin Hood, and John (don’t cringe, it was actually one of the better ones). There was no doubt in my mind who I thought she should go with, but it was a lot of fun to see her get pulled in different directions. Did the drama between the three go on a little too long? Probably. Was some of the drama a little senseless? Definitely. But the magical thing about this book is that I didn’t care – I just had fun reading it.

Be warned when you pick up this series that there is a slightly distracting use of language throughout the entire thing. Whether it was to create and uneducated feel for her main protagonists, or just to make a statement and stand out with the language, the author went through and replaced every “was” with a “were.” She were this, she were that, the castle were big.… You get the idea. While I appreciate what she was trying to do, I don’t think it actually did more than make me work harder to understand the story. Changing a single word does not make for a successful new dialect, and I thought it would’ve been a lot stronger if she had just spent some extra time adjusting the dialogue of the main character and left the narration alone. As it was, Scarlet spoke intelligently save for that single word. In the whole scheme of things, it’s not a huge deal, and as the author gets further into the story it becomes less noticeable (probably because there’s more dialogue), but it is something to be aware of before diving in.

I love the story of the first book, and indeed thought it could’ve stood as a standalone if it wanted to, but the plot for the second one had me highly interested. I really like the promise it held and the direction it was going in. It didn’t quite explore things as thoroughly as I would’ve liked, but again that didn’t bother me too much because I was genuinely enjoying reading it.

Overall, if you like retellings, this is definitely a book I would recommend. I will be picking up the third and final book in the trilogy, but it’s not one of those I’ll have to have the day it comes out (I say that, but you watch me change my tune as soon as there’s cover reveal, lol).

Other books you might like:

by Niki Hawkes


Escape Reality Book Club – April’s Selection!


Hosted by your’s truly and Charlotte at Apathy and Rhetoric

Your votes have been counted and the results are in!

April 2014′s official book club book is:


Title: Scarlet

Author: A.C. Gaughen

The Overview: Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

So what happens now?

If you missed the Escaped Reality Book Club launch post, click here for more details.

Otherwise, you are all invited to join in the fun!

We will be reading Scarlet from April 7 – April 21 and geeking out about it on our official Facebook page, followed by a meeting at Menchies Frozen Yogurt for those of you in the Southern Utah area.

This blog reaches a global audience, so not everybody will be able to make it to the meetings. Because of that, if you read the book and want to be included in the discussions, Charlotte and I will be willing to host a twitter conversation (#escaperealitybc) for anybody who shows interest (just send me a message through our Facebook group, or leave a comment).

 I hope you all enjoy the book! :-)

by nikihawkes

I Love New Books! (Noteworthy Releases 2/4/2013)

Not a huge release week overall, but definitely a strong week for the teen category. My favorite: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer!
feb 5Title: Scarlet

Author: Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2

Genre: Teen Fantasy

Overview: 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.

Feb 5Title: Unravel Me

Author: Tahereh Mafi

Series: Shatter Me #2

Genre: Teen Fantasy

Overview: tick tick tick tick tick it’s almost time for war. Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance. She’s finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch. Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible. In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam’s life.

a3Title: The Kiss

Author: James Patterson

Series: Witch and Wizard #4

Genre: Teen Fantasy

Overview: Whit and Wisty Allgood have finally triumphed over the evil that has long overshadowed their world with their defeat of The One Who Is The One. Now they move on to their next mission: becoming members of a governing Council that will return the Overworld to a place of creativity, magic, and freedom from persecution. But it isn’t long before the city is threatened from inside and out. The adults on the Council want to control the use of magic in the city, and a fearsome Wizard King threatens war. As Wisty begins a new relationship with an intense and mysterious boy and the pressures of leading the city bear down on them, Whit and Wisty find themselves growing apart. Will they be able to come together to fight the mounting threats that could return their world to the hands of a tyrant? James Patterson delivers what the fans have been asking for–the story of what happens next–with an epic fourth installment about the heroic teen witch and wizard that have captured our imaginations.

a5Title: Perfect Scoundrels

Author: Ally Carter

Series: Heist Society #3

Genre: Teen Fiction

Overview: Katarina Bishop and W.W. Hale the fifth were born to lead completely different lives: Kat comes from a long, proud line of loveable criminal masterminds, while Hale is the scion of one of the most seemingly perfect dynasties in the world. If their families have one thing in common, it’s that they both know how to stay under the radar while getting—or stealing—whatever they want.

No matter the risk, the Bishops can always be counted on, but in Hale’s family, all bets are off when money is on the line. When Hale unexpectedly inherits his grandmother’s billion dollar corporation, he quickly learns that there’s no place for Kat and their old heists in his new role. But Kat won’t let him go that easily, especially after she gets tipped off that his grandmother’s will might have been altered in an elaborate con to steal the company’s fortune. So instead of being the heir—this time, Hale might be the mark.

Forced to keep a level head as she and her crew fight for one of their own, Kat comes up with an ambitious and far-reaching plan that only the Bishop family would dare attempt. To pull it off, Kat is prepared to do the impossible, but first, she has to decide if she’s willing to save her boyfriend’s company if it means losing the boy.

a4Title: A Natural History of Dragons

Author: Marie Brennan

Series: N/A

Genre: Fantasy

Overview: You, dear reader, continue at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart—no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon’s presence, even for the briefest of moments—even at the risk of one’s life—is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. . . .

All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.

Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever.

a6Title: Dead Space: Salvage

Author: Christopher Shy & Antony Johnston

Series: Deep Space Saga

Genre: Graphic Novels

Overview: Anticipating the release of Dead Space 3, we collect Dead Space: Salvage #1-6 in a stunning graphic novel, including never-seen before materials!When a group of freelance miners find the abandoned USG Ishimura in deep space, their once-fortunate luck turns into a catastrophe. With the Earth Government racing to reclaim the ship and an army of Necromorphs wreaking havoc on board, do the miners have any hope of surviving?

*Photos and Overviews taken from

Coming Soon: Scarlet

feb 5Title: Scarlet

Series: The Lunar Chronicles #2

Author: Marissa Meyer

Release Date: February 5, 2013 Now Available!

The next book in a interesting new series is almost upon us! With a great combination of classic fairytale storyline combined with the futuristic technological edge that I loved so much in “Partials” (Dan Wells) and “Uglies” (Scott Westerfeld), this is a series definitely worth picking up!

Here’s more information about book #1:

1Title: Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1)

Extras: For an excellent synopsis of this book, read the overview below then go to the blog Finding Me in Words to check out the great review and summary that talked me into picking this one up!

Overview: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.