Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing and Scarlet doesn’t believe it to be a simple case of the older woman running away. The young woman believes her grandmother was taken and is determined to find out who and why. When she first meets Wolf, a street fighter who claims to have knowledge of where Scarlet’s grandmother is; she is hesitant to trust him. And with good reason for Scarlet’s father claims to have been kidnapped and tortured by individuals bearing tattoos that Wolf also bears.
With little choice in the matter, Scarlet hesitantly teams up with Wolf. As they work to unravel the mystery of where Scarlet’s grandmother has gone they find another when they meet Cinder. The Commonwealth’s Most Wanted Criminal, Cinder has escaped from prison and is on the run. She too is trying to find Scarlet’s grandmother, hoping the older woman has information on the young cyborg’s past.
Together they must stay one step ahead of Lunar Queen Levana; a vicious ruler who will do anything to capture young Cinder and keep the information she is trying to find secret.
Scarlet picks up almost immediately where Cinder left off. It continues the story of young Cinder and her search for the truth about herself but also adds in the story of young Scarlet and her search for truth. For the majority of the book the two stories parallel one another; moving from Scarlet and Wolf over to Cinder and back again. The main characters then meet up towards the climax and finale of this second book.
If I were to have any complaints about the book Scarlet, it would be about the lack of characterization in regards to the main character. In Cinder we are given a good deal of information about Cinder, about her family and the life she leads. We see her hopes and dreams. Unfortunately, we aren’t given that kind of information about Scarlet. What little we are told about her is very basic – what she looks like; where she lives; etc. Aside from the fact that she cares for her grandmother very much and wants to find her desperately, we know little else about Scarlet. Her world revolves around finding her grandmother and unfortunately this makes her a bit one dimensional; at least in my opinion.
Other aspects of the book however were quite well done. The action sequences were nicely written out and really pulled the reader along. Also, how the two plot lines ran in parallel to each other only to blend fairly seamlessly towards the end.
Aside from a few issues with characterization, Scarlet is a decent addition to the Lunar Chronicles series. Not as good as Cinder in my opinion but I seem to be in the minority with that. Readers looking for a good read that combines familiar fairy tales with science fiction and fantasy should give this series a try.