Plot: Scarlet is living on a farm in Southern France when she hears the news that a Lunar cyborg has escaped the Emperor of the Eastern Empire. But she has her own problems to worry about: her grandmother has disappeared, probably taken and tortured, and the police won’t do anything. He search leads her to a mysterious street fighter known as Wolf who offers to help her but who she dares not trust.
I was surprised by how much I loved the sci-fi Cinderella tale that was Cinder. Meyer perfectly blended fairy tale elements into an exciting science fiction story. And then she did it again.
Scarlet picks up where the first book left off but to Cinder’s escape from jail and execution, Meyer adds a Little Red Riding Hood inspired tale. There is a girl dressed in red delivering food, a grandmother, a kidnapping and a Wolf. The rest is mystery, thriller and science fiction with a touch of ill-advised romance. The focus is on Scarlet, on her investigations, her conflicted relationship with Wolf and on the mystery of this man’s origins. As her tale progresses, occasionally interrupted by Emperor Kai’s troubles and Cinder’s flight and exploration of her new powers, Meyer slowly shows us how the two young women are related. It builds up to an amazing climatic battle.
After an entire novel about Cinder (who I loved), it took me a few chapters to get into the new story but it was well worth it. By the end I was completely transfixed by the story. Scarlet is a guarded character but she too eventually grew on me. Meanwhile Wolf is a contradiction: both violent and charmingly innocent. And his very nature is fascinating. I won’t spoil it, though there is a big hint in the first book.
The next book in the Lunar Chronicles is Cress, inspired by Rapunzel. I shall be starting that one soon.