Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Saturday, June 28, 2014

Plot Summary:
For the last two weeks, Scarlet has been looking for her grandmother who disappeared, leaving no note or explanation. Unfortunately, Scarlet's leads have run out and the police have closed the missing person's case because there was no evidence of foul play. In other words, the police have told Scarlet that her grandmother just left town and there us nothing they could do. For Scarlet, she know her grandmother would never do such a thing because she loved her home, her farm, and she loved her. While delivering a load of groceries to the local pub, Scarlet meets a fighter who is not only new to town, but there is something about his eyes and his tattoo that she can't quite figure out. Granted, this fighter (named Wolf) is as good as he says, but when she discovers that he is a part of a violent "wolf" pack she doesn't know if she can trust him. However, he is the only who can help her find her grandmother and she reluctantly goes with him to look for her in Paris. Meanwhile, Cinder has broken out of prison, only to gain an unwanted sidekick named Captain Thorne (thief and deserter). Although Cinder has no desire to form a relationship with this handsome, smooth-talking, criminal, she needs his stolen spaceship to track down her past and ultimately help her find out who she is. With Cinder on the loose, Emperor Kai is still reeling from all that has happened in the last few days and is trying desperately to let go of his feelings for Cinder. However, with Levana threatening him with violence, he must make Cinder disappear or a lot of people will die. In this sequel, there is a lot of action and excitement that will not only bring all of the characters together, but help them form an alliance that will prepare them for the imminent battle with the Lunar Kingdom. The ending will readers begging for more. 

Critical Evaluation:
Wow! All I can say is "WOW!" It's not an unknown fact that sequels aren't as strong as the first story, but this one is even better than the first! Not only do we meet Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorne, readers will start putting all of the puzzle pieces together and will yearn for more. I really didn't know what to expect from this story and I am very happy with the non-stop twists and turns. For the lack of a better term, this series is episodic so readers are anticipating other stories that will ultimately lead back to finding Princess Selene. In this episode/story/installment, Scarlet represents "Little Red Riding Hood" who not only packs a punch (like Cinder), but it willing to risk everything to find her grandmother, which leads to another interesting discovery that she is part Lunar. What I loved even more is that Kai, who refused to believe that Lunars lived amongst them, admitted their existence to only learn that he has been surrounded by one for years and is in love with one. Although the point of views switch, readers don't get lost because everything comes back full circle, which is why some books (i.e., Allegiant) falter; granted, all of these stories are told from an outside perspective, readers have a better sense of what's going on instead if trying to figure out who is speaking. The relationship between Scarlet and Wolf (in my opinion) is incredibly enticing. Not only will readers (male and female) be drawn to their personalities, but their developing romance is inevitable; they really do need each other because Wolf needs Scarlet to protect and Scarlet helps Wolf keep the monster (inside him) in control. I will say that I am liking this romance a little more than Kai's and Cinder's, but that has yet to develop so I am looking forward to that.  I am really, really, really pleased with story and will be moving onto Cress ASAP!

Information about the Author:
According to her website:
One of my first spoken words was “story” (right along with “bath” and “cookie”), my favorite toy as an infant was a soft, squishable book, and I’ve wanted to be a writer since I first realized such a job existed.
When I was fourteen my best friend introduced me to anime and fanfiction—over the years I would complete over forty Sailor Moon fanfics under the penname Alicia Blade. Those so inclined can still find my first stories at fanfiction.net. Writing fanfic turned out to be awesome fun and brought me in contact with an amazing group of fanfiction readers and writers. As Alicia Blade, I also had a novelette, “The Phantom of Linkshire Manor,” published in the gothic romance anthology Bound in Skin (CatsCurious Press, 2007).
When I was sixteen I worked at The Old Spaghetti Factory in Tacoma, Washington, affectionately termed “The Spag.” (Random factoid: This is also the restaurant where my parents met some 25 years before.) I attended Pacific Lutheran University where I sorted mail that came to the dorm, carted tables and chairs around campus, and took writing classes, eventually earning a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Children’s Literature. Knowing I wanted a career in books, I would also go on to receive a Master’s degree in Publishing from Pace University (which you can learn more about here). After graduation, I worked as an editor in Seattle for a while before becoming a freelance typesetter and proofreader.
Then, day of days, someone thought it would be a good idea to give me a book deal, so I became a full-time writer. CINDER is my first novel, though I have an adorable collection of unfinished ones lying around too.
I now live with my husband and our three cats (Calexandria Josephine, Stormus Enormous, and Blackland Rockwell III), who go in and out, in and out, about eight hundred times a day. My favorite non-bookish things include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, re-watching episodes of Firefly, and playing all manners of dress-up.

Genre:
Teen Sci Fi, Teen Fantasy, Teen Romance

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to Scarlet:

Awards & Recognition:
From Amazon.com

* "A great choice for all ages, with strong appeal for both girls and boys, these novels will be read and enjoyed—repeatedly." —VOYA, starred review

* "It’s another Marissa Meyer roller coaster ride, part science fiction/fantasy, part political machination with a hint of romance. Readers will be pushed into a horrific alternate universe where violence, especially mind manipulation and control, create ethical and life-threatening situations for both teens. With at least one more Lunar Chronicle to come, the suspense continues. And which fairy tale will Meyer morph next?" —Booklist, starred review *

"Returning fans of Meyer’s Cinder will gladly sink their teeth into this ambitious, wholly satisfying sequel." —Publishers Weekly, starred review "The author has stepped up the intrigue and plot from the first novel, and readers will be eagerly awaiting the next." —School Library Journal

"Further development of this futuristic world plus plenty of action, surprises, and a fast pace will keep readers invested in their journey." —The Horn Book

 "The sci-fi elements are stronger than the fairy-tale allusions this time out, but the story remains just as absorbing. . . . Readers will be thrilled to discover that this steampunky fairy-tale/sci-fi mashup promises two more installments." —BCCB

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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