Reviewed by: Amy
Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will reference events in the first book. Check out VBC’s review of Cinder.
Scarlet starts directly after the end of Cinder. The storyline, while still focusing on multiple points of view, follows mainly Cinder and Scarlet as they both are off on their own journeys.
Cinder focuses on breaking out of prison, and what her next steps should be since she’s now a fugitive. After the shock of learning that she’s the long lost Princess Selene, Cinder decides to piece together what little she does know about her past. Briefly in Cinder, we were given details of what possibly happened with Princess Selene after she was presumed dead and this is how Scarlet and her grandmother figure into Cinder’s story.
While planning her escape, Cinder picks up the handsome Captain Caswell Thorne, whose comic relief is the direct opposite of Cinder’s overall serious situation. The two play very well off of each other, and I personally liked that Marissa Meyer (at least in this book) hasn’t set these two up as romantic counterparts. No, Cinder’s heart, as much as she may like to deny it, still belongs to Kai. For his part, Kai is still in the precarious situation of trying to figure out Cinder on one hand and appease Levana on the other. The only thing he is certain of is the fact that he wants to do right by his people.
So we finally get to Scarlet, who’s scenes were my favorites. I found myself reading faster between her passages, just wanting to get back to the greatness that was Scarlet and Wolf. Scarlet’s grandmother has been missing for more than two weeks and she’s running out of ideas to find her. When her absentee father shows up raving about being taken by men with tattoos, Scarlet’s mind immediately flashes to a new street fighter in town with a similar tattoo. Upon confrontation, Wolf acknowledges that, while not him specifically that took her grandmother, he does have information. So Scarlet convinces Wolf to help get her to her grandmother.
Scarlet is based on Little Red Riding Hood and while all the components of that story are in this retelling, I found it a lot less predictable than Cinder. I liked Scarlet’s voice better than Cinder’s. She’s a couple of years older than Cinder and while they both haven’t had the easiest living situations, Scarlet’s voice just sounded more mature. She didn’t have the same confidence issues as Cinder, but it could be said that her downfall was her rashness. She can’t understand why someone would take her grandmother. So when the situation presents itself she automatically jumps at the opportunity to find her grandmother without truly thinking it through. Anyone who knows the original tale should be wary of the big bad wolf.
The relationship formed between Scarlet and Wolf is subtle yet sweet. Wolf looks at Scarlet like he doesn’t know quite what to make of her, and they circle around each other for most of the book. I liked that Meyer decided not to be overly obvious with the whole alpha wolf scenario when it came to their growing relationship. Wolf was also only given one section from his POV, which I liked as it kept the mystery about him.
Overall, I like this one more than Cinder and I’m excited to read on in the series.
Sexual content: Kissing