My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
“She did not know that the wolf was a wicked sort of animal, and she was not afraid of him.”
Across the world in France, Scarlet–dubbed after her distinctive hair color–Benoit is desperate to find her missing grandmother. Due to her strange, paranoid tendencies, the police and those who knew her have dismissed her disappearance as nothing suspicious. But eighteen year-old Scarlet is certain she did not leave of her own free will and decides to take matters into her own hands. Along with Wolf, a timid street fighter who may or may not have information on Michelle Benoit’s whereabouts, she travels to Paris in hopes of finding her.
Meanwhile, Cinder, if you remember from the end of the last book has been given a few upgrades, and along with an obnoxious, womanizing fellow inmate, she manages to escape before she can be executed. Cinder puts up with the annoyance that is Cadet Carswell Thorne, because as a former air force soldier for the American Republic, he has a ship–a spaceship.
And Cinder, who has always been restricted by her stepmother’s harsh commands, is ready for a taste of freedom. Upon her realization that joining Dr. Erland in Africa would not be true freedom, she decides, of course, to head to France and investigate the information she learned from Kai’s android–could she really be the lost Lunar princess?
I’m happy to say that I enjoyed Scarlet much more than Cinder, yay!
Concerning the plot, it still wasn’t anything amazing, but it’s a definite improvement since Cinder. It still relies too heavily on shocking reveals that aren’t all that shocking, but adding more characters into the mix and more storylines to follow kept my interest. It did drag a bit towards the middle, but alternating the chapters’ points-of-view helped me push through so that I could get back to whatever tricky situation the others had gotten themselves into. All in all, it seems this series focuses more on the characters–and these characters were thoroughly enjoyable. It makes for a good light read.
I was proud of Cinder. She got her priorities in order and didn’t make any foolish decisions similar to what bothered me in the last book; she actually even impressed me a bit. I truly enjoyed reading about her this time.
Thorne, Cinder’s partner-in-crime, actually surprised me the most. I thought that his stereotypical role as the cocky, womanizing comic relief would annoy me greatly, but the banter that he shared with Cinder was a pleasant surprise. It actually made me laugh out loud; the way that Cinder always immediately shut him down–mainly at his constant demand to be referred to as Captain, not Cadet–was definitely amusing.
“A relieved grin filled up Thorne’s face. ‘We’re having another moment, aren’t we?’
‘If by a moment, you mean me not wanting to strangle you for the first time since we met, then I guess we are.’ Cinder slumped back on the floor. ‘Although maybe I’m just too exhausted to want to strangle anybody.’”
Although we don’t get to see much of Scarlet outside of her frantically worrying about her grandmother, we do get to see her tough exterior and the admirable lengths she is willing to go to in order to save those she loves. She’s a smart, confident young woman who goes after what she wants, and I immediately warmed to her.
“‘If you were a gentleman, you would offer to buy me one as well.’
‘If you were a lady, you would have waited for me to make the offer.’”
My only complaint is that I did not feel her attraction to Wolf. He was the only character I did not like nor dislike; he was simply there, and I was okay with that. To each his/her own.
The brief moments with Kai were nice even if lonely, Adri and Pearl infuriating, and Iko–yes Iko makes a reappearance!–of course both adorable and humorous.
Overall, this wasn’t a perfect book, but I felt it was a big improvement from Cinder and am glad I chose to continue this series. Hopefully I will have finished it in the next few months, as I am going to take a break and focus on the books already sitting on my shelf.
See you next week! What book are you reading? Comment below!