Scarlet (Cinder #2)
7th February 2013
This is not the fairytale you remember.
But it’s one you won’t forget.
Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. The police have closed her case. The only person Scarlet can turn to is Wolf, a street fighter she does not trust, but they are drawn to each other.
Meanwhile, in New Beijing, Cinder will become the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive – when she breaks out of prison to stay one step ahead of vicious Queen Levana.As Scarlet and Wolf expose one mystery, they encounter Cinder and a new one unravels. Together they must challenge the evil queen, who will stop at nothing to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner . . . (Goodreads)
I remember enjoying Cinder, but I don't recall it having had any lasting impact on me, so I was looking forward to reading Scarlet, but not Over The Top I Will Die If I Don't Have This Books excited. Well, I am now that excited to read Cress and Winter, the 3rd and 4th books in the series. This book really raised the game with the intertwining of both Cinder and Scarlet's stories and further developing the world that we were introduced to in the first book.
I was never really sure what to expect with this book after I'd finished Cinder, because I'd always been under the assumption that it was going to be a series of companion novels. However, with the cliffhanger that Cinder ended on, I knew that that couldn't be possible, so I hadn't been sure if it'd still be wholly Cinder's story or if they'd be bringing in a new POV character. I wasn't too sure initially if I'd really like it that much, but it really worked for me, and I loved getting to see how other people in the Earthen Union were effected by the Lunar's as well as learning more about the Lunar plans should a war happen.
One of the really great things that I actually noticed about these books this time around is the strength of the female characters. The books are absolutely right to be named after them because both Scarlet and Cinder are wonderful and nuanced in different ways, and I'm hoping that we'll be able to see even more awesome ladies in Cress and Winter in all different capacities (because being physically strong is most certainly not the only kind of strong), as well as seeing Cinder and Scarlet develop even more.
We also got a few chapters from Prince Kai's point of view every now and again, which was interesting because it gave us a insight into what (he thought) the Lunar's were up to as well as getting to see what he thought about the whole Cinder is a Cyborg thing. I hope that he and Cinder will get to see each other again though, when the Lunar Queen isn't trying to kill them both and take over Earth. I think that that should definitely take priority over any romance.
On the subject of romance, I thought that Wolf was interesting, too. I definitely didn't anticipate what actually happened. I'm not going to spoil it for you (obviously) but it actually took me by surprise which was nice, but at the same time horrible because feelings. We are also introduced to a certain Captain (Cadet) Carswell Thorne, who I hope will hang around because I love him even though he's a bit of a tosser. He's one of those lovable cad types who gallivants around, not taking life too seriously until he is actually in danger. I was glad that there wasn't romantic tension between him and Cinder, though, because I like them as friends.
I really enjoyed getting to grips with the different setting, too. The first book was set in the Eastern Commonwealth (which I think is what it's called I'm not 100%) which is basically Asia, and this book was set mostly in France and a little bit on a spaceship. It's not a massive change or anything, but I just like getting the sense that it's not just a small thing that's going on, it's something that effects the whole planet. I really hope we'll get to see some more settings in the next two, particularly Africa.
Scarlet was an excellent sequel, fast-paced and gripping throughout with strong, interesting characters and an increasing sense of threat from the Lunar's. I cannot wait for book 3!