All of the major characters from Cinder return in Scarlet including Iko, Emperor Kai, and evil Lunar Queen Lavana. With the release of Scarlet, we are introduced to 18 year old Scarlet Benoit, the enigma known as Carswell Thorne, and the mysterious and deadly Ze'ev (Wolf) Kesley. Scarlet diverts a bit from Cinder in that there are 4 main POV's this time around: Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf and Kai. We also get a peak into the machinations of Queen Lavana and her plot to take over the world by using genetically altered supersoldiers. Scarlet also diverts wildly onto a separate path from the original Little Red Riding Hood that I grew up with.
It's rare when a sequel is equal to or better than the original. But, it does happen. Scarlet definitely sends readers on a bit of a ride in that things between Earth and Queen Lavana are reaching a boiling point and things turn intense and ugly quickly. I found myself liking this book more than Cinder because of Scarlet and Wolf's involvement and the fact that the level of danger reaches the point where Kai is left to make a difficult decisions that may change the course of his realm. Kai isn't the same character as he was in Cinder. He's discovered things he could only imagine about the girl he thought he cared for and now, he's fighting for the sanctity of his own Empire.
Scarlet is a gutsy, intelligent, sharp tongued and quick to take action kind of character who is on a mission to figure out what happened to her grandmother Michelle Benoit. Readers may remember her from Cinder so I won't spoil who she is. Scarlet is quick to temper which gets her into all sorts of sticky situations which leads her to fall into Wolf's web. She finds herself attracted to the danger and mystery that is Wolf. In the end, Scarlet more than makes up for her mistakes and finds a glimpse of a possible future with Wolf while joining Cinder's journey into finding a way how to stop Queen Lavana.
Cinder's journey has taken on a life of its own. Instead of the renowned mechanic who can fix any machine, she's on a mission to find out answers to her own past and the missing 8 years of her life that she can't seem to remember. Her quest is fraught with danger at every turn because she also needs to stay one step ahead of Queen Lavana and her minions who want to capture and kill her. Cinder is understandably confused and angry at times and I can totally understand where she stands. She's not only learned about her true heritage and the reason she was made into a cyborg, but the reason Queen Lavana wants to kill her as well. She's also coming to terms with her unique powers to manipulate bio-electricity like Lavana. She knows now that she must find a way to learn how to control her powers quickly so that she can defeat Lavana before she starts a war that nobody can win. She still has lingering feelings for Kai even knowing that he's made a deal with the devil that may come back to bite him in the ass.
It was fun reading Cinder and Scarlet back to back, but now I have to wait nearly a full year before Cress is released in 2014. I really wish authors and publishers would release books every 6 months or so but that's my pet peeve and I shall endeavor to get over myself quickly.
Title - Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles # 2)
Author - Marissa Meyer
Publisher - Feiwel and Friends
Released - February 5, 2013
Genre - YA Dystopian
Source: Borrowed from Library