Scarlet by Marissa Meyer, published by Puffin on 7th February 2013
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.
'Scarlet' is the second book in the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. I adored 'Cinder' so I couldn't wait to get started on the sequel which turned out to be equally brilliant and amazing and mind-blowingly good.
I thought I would miss not having Cinder as the main focus of the story but she is still at the heart of a lot of the action which takes place. I would have liked some scenes between her and Kai but I have a feeling that this could well be stored up for the next book, just to keep us fans in anticipation. Cinder is joined by some fantastic new characters including the determined and headstrong Scarlet Benoit, the mysterious Wolf and the amusing Captain Thorne.
The story is split into two strands, one following Cinder and Thorne and the other focusing on Scarlet's quest to find and rescue her grandmother. Chapters switch back and forth between the two but the plot strands eventually converge as the links between all the characters come to light. I was curious to see how Meyer was going to integrate all the new faces but she did it brilliantly and by the end of the book I loved Scarlet as much as I do Cinder.
The interweaving of fairytale elements with a fantasy sci-fi twist is one of the trademarks of this series and is so cleverly done. There are traces of Little Red Riding Hood throughout with Scarlet on her way to find her grandmother after her mysterious disappearance, as well as Wolf appearing on the scene to help her. At the start, I wasn't sure if he could be trusted or not but by the end I was hooked on the scenes with him and Scarlet and their burgeoning romance.
Fabulously inventive and original, I love Marissa Meyer's writing and this series is one of my current favourites. Compulsive reading, I finished 'Scarlet' over the course of one evening. A simply unputdownable book!
Still to come in the series are 'Cress' in 2014 and 'Winter' in 2015. I'm not sure how I'm going to stand the wait!