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 Levanna.
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 Marissa Meyer's the Lunar Chronicles. Instead of just following the titular character from Cinder, Meyer introduces new characters and expands her futuristic world beyond the confines of New Beijing.
I couldn't put this book down, but it becomes clear very quickly that Scarlet could have been a narrative disaster, as there's three different plots going on simultaneously. Instead, Meyer adeptly tells her story through Cinder, Scarlet and Kai's point of view, with no strand of plot or exposition feeling sluggish or out of place.
Most of my admiration for the Lunar Chronicles comes not only from the strong female characters, but from Meyer keeping well away from America. I'm tired of every dystopian novel being set in an almost unrecognisable U.S, so it's fantastic to read Meyer's interpretation of a futuristic Beijing and now rural France/Paris.
Another plus point for me was that only a few key details of the Red Riding Hood tale are harvested and interpreted into the story. When I was reading Cinder I felt that Meyer had tried to force too many elements from Cinderella into her writing when they were not needed. For example, I kept asking myself why Cinder would refer to Adri as her step-mother when she wasn't a blood relation of Linh Garan and she was adopted by Garan when he was married to Adri? The only negative I question I had this time around was why did everyone have to wrinkle their noses at some point in the story? Have they all got hay-fever? Any other explanations?
Now is the point where I'm going to come off as one of those crazy fan girls, and I do keep on wishing my time away, but I need to read Cress...like, yesterday! Instead, I'll have to wait patiently until 2014 rolls around before I can find out where Cinder and company are off to next. I knew there was a reason why I don't tend to start a book series straight away: it's because I have ZERO patience when waiting for the next instalment to be published. Why did you have to make this series so darn readable Marissa Meyer, huh?