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Scarlett is the second book in the reimagined fairytale series by Marissa Meyer, The Lunar Chronicles. We catch up with the Cinder from the first book, and are introduced to Scarlett, of the Red Riding Hood fairytale as we discover more about the Lunar princess, and some of what happened to her when she was first secreted away on Earth, hidden from the evil Lunar Queen Levanna.

Synopsis [Goodreads]:

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner

Returning to the world of Cinder, this somewhere in the future land where the world is just a little but different, made up of people living on the moon, three distinct empires on the Earth and people with a little bit of cyborg in them as well, things aren’t going very well. The Lunar Queen will do anything to have the Earth under her power, and is bidding her time until her plans come into fruition. She thought that the Lunar princess was dead, having killed her many moons ago, but it turns out that isn’t quite true. She was rebuilt. Enter Cinder.

We first join Cinder as she’s incarnated for being a Lunar. Very few people know her true, more dangerous identity. She’s going to break out, and do whatever it is necessary to stay alive. Even if that means taking a cocky American pilot with her. She’s out to discover her real identity, the person she needs to be, and she doesn’t like that idea at all. She just wants to be the grungy mechanic fixing androids.

We meet Scarlet as she’s searching for her grandmother. She simply disappeared one day, leaving her identity chip behind. They have no secrets between them, nothing to suggest the reasons why she would have been taken. Except, there’s just that one thing that her grandmother never told her. Hidden heritage, and the biggest secret in the world.

I really enjoyed being back in the world of Cinder. I enjoyed the new characters, Scarlet was pretty cool – although the constant references to her hair and her hoody were a little unnecessary – I get that she’s wearing her favourite red hoody, and that her hair matches her name already! I liked the fact that we got to see a different part of the world, and just how Cinder’s and Scarlet’s worlds married up. The idea of the “Order of the Pack” was a little annoying, more so because of the name – it doesn’t flow very well for me, you know?

The end of the book was heartbreaking with Scarlet and Cinder being so close to their mission – Scarlet’s grandmother – and to have been unable to complete it, and to not get the answers that they needed was frustrating! But it does set up nicely for the next book, Cress, which I look forward to reading soon!

What I like about these books is that they are easy to read, and it’s so far not been a story of overwhelming love – sure, there’s been love elements such as Kai and Wolf – but that isn’t the central story. All to often I read books that are supposed to be one thing that descend into ridiculous love stories that the thing that started it all is sort of forgotten about. This is not one of those stories, and is becoming one of my favourite reads of this year!

What are you reading at the moment?