Author: Marissa Meyer
Release date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Reading level: YA
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.
I put off reading Cinder for quite some time because of all the hype. I was terrified that I wasn't going to like it and so I just kept pushing it further and further down the reading pile. Shortly before I got an ARC of Scarlet I decided that it was time for me to put my fears aside and give Cinder a chance. After reading it, I knew I wasn't going to make the same mistake with Scarlet. If possible, Scarlet might have been even better than Cinder and that's saying something!
Scarlet is both a companion novel and a sequel to Cinder. Cinder is still a big part of the book but a huge part of the story is not hers. Scarlet is, obviously, Scarlet's story. However, it's not just Scarlet's story. It's also more of Cinder's, Kai's, Queen Levana's, and the rest of the characters from Cinder but also some new, rather interesting characters such as Wolf and Thorne. The characters are definitely a big part of what made this book work so well. Be prepared for some rambling about how awesome (or awesomely evil) they all are.
First, Scarlet. Scarlet is kick ass! She has none of the insecurities that Cinder did in the previous book. She is take charge, afraid of nothing, and just plain fierce. She is, by far, one of the best heroines I have read about in quite some time. Then there was Wolf. I don't know about you guys but Kai may have some competition for my heart. Wolf is dark, brooding, mysterious, and above all, dangerous. I loved him! Then of course you have your characters from the previous book. Cinder is a very different girl now. She's no longer in the dark about herself, her nature, and her powers. She may not like what she is but she knows that she can't change it and that she has to use her powers to help save the world. She, like Scarlet, is very fierce. Then there is her new companion, Thorne. Thorne is hilarious. He is the comic relief in this book. The things he said and did had me laughing out loud many times. As for Kai, you don't get to see very much of him but what you do see will make you love him even more. He's such a good guy. And last but definitely not least, readers get a deeper look at Queen Levana in Scarlet. Holy crap! That girl is crazy! And evil! There is not a nice bone in her body and I want to see her get taken down!
Now, while the characters definitely were a big part of why this book was so awesome, so was the story. Scarlet is searching for her grandmother with the help of Wolf. Cinder is on the run with the help of Thorne. It doesn't seem like the two stories would go together but they meshed perfectly. What starts as two separate stories ends as one story that will lead perfectly into the next installment in the series. Scarlet will have you on the edge of your seats until the very last page. Readers will get some answers but will also be left dying for the next book!
Overall, Scarlet is one of the strongest follow-up novels I've read. The characters, the story, the writing, every last thing will have readers in love!
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