Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An outstandingly futuristic and fast-paced sequel that dives back into the action with a hot-headed Scarlet trying to find her missing grandmother with the help of "Wolf", and Cinder--an escaped prisoner, a cyborg, a princess.
At first I did not like Scarlet's character . . . it took me a while to come to terms with it. Really, how can you be that blind and naive? And so angry all the time? Her temper flares up in less than a second. She's hot-headed. (Ha ha.) But doesn't that fit the traditional rendering of Little Red Riding Hood? Once I realized that, I liked her more. She's strong because she knows what she wants, she's loyal, she sticks to her guns and fights for what she wants. A strong character. And the tension between her and Wolf is strong and promising, helped a lot by Wolf's mysterious character that will have you believing one thing and changing your mind the next moment. Their fast and hot relationship is the opposite of the slower, sweet, one between Cinder & Kai. Definitely a good balance.
Cinder's in a serious situation in this book. She's pulled in a lot of different directions--her true identity, the smoking hot and somewhat desperate Kai, her wanted fugitive status, and her deep desire for freedom. So it's really helpful to have a certain Captain Thorne to run around with. His character will make you laugh and also balance out Cinder's seriousness with his fabulous one-liners.
Part of what made this a good sequel was the well integrated plot review from book one. I really don't like it when a sequel wastes time recapping, but in Scarlet you get enough of a review through Cinder's painful reliving of past events through the newsreels as she is escaping. Lots of action makes this remix hit the mark.
Another reason I'll be sticking with this series is because I love the way the stories were combined and the way she pulled off 2 main characters, both girls, with love interests, but totally different personalities. The stories developed well and then were woven together beautifully. And I'm totally impressed by the remix of the age-old stories, apparent in small story and character details, and this crazy fast plot of power and destruction between Lunar & Earth. Am I gushing a little bit? I hope so.
See my review of Cinder here.
Also, check out the short story about Wolf before we meet him in Scarlet. If Wolf was your fave, or even if he wasn't, this is great. It will only sort of fill up the empty hole you'll have in your life waiting until 2014!!! for the next book, Cress, to come out. And after that, Winter, in 2015.