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.
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles #2)FeaturedHot
It started out with great promise. Somewhere in Southern France, seemingly far removed from the Eastern Commonwealth and the events of the first book, we're introduced to Scarlet Benoit--a fiery farm girl with a hoodie fetish and a missing granny.
Determined to pick up where the police have given up, Scarlet enlists the aid of a mysterious street fighter known only as 'Wolf' (view spoiler) and together they set out to rescue her beloved grandmother. As they close in on their goal, it becomes clear that granny is hiding something that gives her far closer ties to the worldwide political upheaval than Scarlet could have ever guessed.
With the main character being 18 instead of 16, I'd hoped for a more matured YA feel to the storytelling. Which did occur in some small part. The violence is a little more graphic, and the romantic angle a little more sensual. But the continued simplicity to the structure and worldbuilding—along with the rash immaturity of Scarlett—still held more of an upper MG/younger YA lite-fantasy appeal.
The story alternates back and forth--being told primarily from Scarlet's point of view, while also including chapters that catch us up on what's going on with the recently escaped Cinder from book #1 (and the occasional Emperor Kai thrown in.) Unfortunately, though Wolf is easily the most interesting character outside of Cinder's sidekick android, readers aren't allowed into his head at all.
The greatest drawback for this reader, outside of certain nonsensical political moves, was the character of Scarlet. Unlike the resourceful Cinder, Scarlet comes across as all brash and no brains. She repeatedly makes unrelatable, poor life-expectancy decisions—(view spoiler) And while one could initially mistake her hot-tempered demeanor (and willingness to throw the entire world under a bus in the name of saving her beloved granny) as strength, it doesn't seem an adequate counterbalance to her lacking in cleverness, emotional fortitude, and general likeability.
As far as the romantic element goes, the chemistry between Wolf and Scarlet (despite my gnawing dislike for Scarlet) was leagues more believable than whatever was trying to go on between Cinder and Kai in the first book. I have to give credit for relational progress there. I actually DID enjoy the bickering banter between Cinder and her accidental accomplice, the vain and attemptedly suave Carswell Thorne. Iko's return is a more than welcome and a delightful diversion, as she adjusts to a new “body” that turns out to be oddly fitting to her larger-than-life personality.
What personally left me unsure whether I'd want to invest any more in this series turned out to be one of the few scenes involving newbie Emperor Kai. And there is no way I can explain my frustration without the use of spoilers, so please forgive me. (view spoiler)
There's also the issue to how Cinder and her purpose fell so miserably through the cracks.
Those who were able to suspend disbelief and overlook surfacy worldbuilding in the first book should be able to enjoy this book just as well—if not more—than book #1. Unfortunately, the logistics and lack of character-connectivity are getting the better of me. I'm not sure at this point if I'll continue on in the series.
Why is it even better than Cinder? Scarlet is faster paced and the constantly shifting points of view - Scarlet's, Cinder's and Emperor Kai's- ramp up the tension and suspense. Together the two books make an awesome beginning to the series.
Meyer does not leave her loyal readers in the dark. Scarlet answers a lot of the questions left in Cinder. But Meyer keeps up the momentum -Scarlet is filled with turns and surprises that will make readers question everything they discovered not only in Cinder, but what unravels in Scarlet as well.
The best parts of Scarlet? -Too many to list without giving away the plot line. However, Scarlet Benoit, phenomenal and fierce, brings an entirely new dimension to the story. She is immediately a lovable and admirable character; one you can't help but rout for. Cinder, the main protagonist, is still coming into her own as she continues to discover pieces of her past. Each voice is distinct and the narrations are clearly different. I am often hesitant and skeptical of multiple perspectives. In my personal experience, this type of narration is either done well or awkwardly in some novels, taking away from the plot. The way Marissa Meyer intertwines each voice is absolutely mind blowing. I would say possibly the best multiple narrations I have read.
What's not to like? Readers will find themselves wanting to grab the next book- but we will all have to patiently wait for book 3. But the anticipation of the next book always makes reading worth while.
This is a great read for fans of Cinder and for those who like fractured fairy tales and strong female counterparts, and some unusual world-building.
When picking up the sequel to a book you adored, there's always a little frisson of fear that the book might disappoint. This fear increases tenfold when the new book focuses on a different character than the first. I love Cinder, so I admit to a bit of concern as to whether I would like Scarlet as much as a character. Introducing a new cast can be really difficult to get right, but Meyer did so brilliantly.
The world building remains utterly brilliant. I just cannot get enough of the mix of fairy tales and science fiction, and Meyer is a master of blending these elements into a cohesive, dark, magical whole. Meyer raises the stakes in Scarlet, global tensions rising and danger much closer to the forefront. The directions Meyer's taking the story and the characters gives me every expectation that the next book will be even more dynamic and powerful.
As with Cinder, the characters that will really steal your heart are secondary. Iko continues to be completely delightful, especially in her new form. She still fangirls with the best of them over Prince Kai, and is still just as vain, hilarious, and flirty as before. Perhaps my favorite scene occurs when she interacts with Captain Thorne, another new cast member. They have a lot in common, both focused huge flirts and clowns, and they are incredibly funny together. Captain Thorne serves to lighten the mood, keeping even scary scenes funny, and he is just delightfully unscrupulous when it comes to pretty women or items worth stealing.
I actually like the new cast even better, though I'm sure not everyone will feel the same. Scarlet, like Cinder, is a powerful girl, who will not let anyone stop her from doing what she feels she needs to do. In this case, what she needs is to locate her grandmother, missing two weeks. The authorities don't care, seeming to think that her former military grandma just wandered off and forgot where her house was. Scarlet knows better and she will get her grandmother back, even if it means facing danger and relying on unsavory characters.
What Left Me Wanting More:
With Scarlet in desperate for information, Wolf appears, a street fighter, who knows more than he's willing to let on about the group that took her grandmother. Scarlet doesn't know if he's trustworthy, but he's the best resource she has to try to rescue her grandmother. I actually really liked their relationship, and the complexities of Wolf's character, except for one thing. They definitely flirt far too much with instalove. Everything gets serious a bit too fast, because, despite the book's length, there are a lot of things going on, and not much time for falling in love. I really like them (perhaps because they remind me of The Tenth Kingdom), but they got a bit too cutesy and I would have liked them to have more time to develop romantic feelings naturally.
In fact, though the new cast members do get more screen time, Cinder remains a main character and we get to spend quite a bit of time with her. Iko, Kai, and Levana all make appearances as well. The rotating third person narrative worked quite well for the most part, though Kai's narratives tended to bore me. I like Kai, but he's not as interesting as the other characters in play, and he doesn't really get any character development in Scarlet.
The Final Verdict:
With Scarlet, Marissa Meyer has cemented herself as one of my very favorite authors. Cinder was great, but Scarlet blows it out of the water. I absolutely love this book and this series, and cannot wait for more!
I loved this book more than I loved Cinder (and I did love Cinder so much!). Once I got the hang of the action it took me a day and a half to go from its first part and the ending. Scarlet was an awesome character and I'd have liked to know her grand-mère better, I squealed like an idiot everytime Wolf did or said something. I wasn't expecting to like Thorne the way I did, he was so funny, intelligent, sassy and such a good side-kick for that bamf that Cinder is! And Iko... OH Iko, I didn't realize how much I missed her until she was re-installed into the Rampion! Everytime she had a comment regarding Kai I laughed like an idiot! I cannot wait to know what happens to Kai now, poor thing and Levana... LEVANA! I haven't hated a queen so much since when I used to watch Cersei Lannister on Game of thrones! But deep down I do think she's another badass... Everyone's a badass! ... Except Miss and Mrs Linh... God, erase them from the face of the earth, please!
When I picked up Scarlet, I was going to see Cinder. And I'm so happy that was in the case. I just loved her so much to not see her in the next.
I also like Scarlet. She's a perfect written character. Her loyalty to her grandmother was respectable.
Now I'm more excited for Cress.
Scarlet is different from a lot of sequels in the way that it added an additional point of view to the existing perspective. The story is pretty evenly balanced between Scarlet and Cinder’s actions, with occasional glimpses of Emperor Kai in New Beijing. I think this method of storytelling is pretty high stakes, since it isn’t until halfway through the (rather lengthy) book that the connection between Cinder and Scarlet is revealed, and it’s only in the last few chapters that the two teenagers meet up. So for much of the book, this is just two different girls running around trying to survive. Personally, I thought both narratives were interesting, though I am worried about what will happen in future installments, when I assume Meyer will add in a third and fourth girl’s point of view. Scarlet on its own is already a very long YA book, covering only a few days.
For the longest time, I had trouble putting my finger on why I was less than enthused with Scarlet. Don’t get me wrong, I like this book, but I wasn’t totally impressed like most of my friends were. But in the last 50 pages, when Cinder and Scarlet meet up, I figured it out. For me, the two girls’ voices were exactly the same. They spoke the same, thought the same, had the same basic personality. If you switched their names, I wouldn’t have been able to tell them apart. I think that’s a very big issue with dual-narrative books: making the different characters have unique voices. I definitely didn’t think Scarlet or Cinder were unique, and when they were together in the same scene, they might as well have been clones.
I could also say the same about most of the other characters, really. I think that, in general, Meyer’s characters are interesting and easy to root for, but also a bit superficial. The two love interests—Kai and Wolf—have pretty much the same attracting qualities. Nice guy, doesn’t want the power he’s been given, tries to do the right thing. I like those kind of love interests, but not at the cost of a bland, formulaic cast of characters.
I do, however, still enjoy Marissa Meyer’s way of achieving a fairytale retelling. She definitely makes the story her own, while still alluding to the Little Red Riding Hood tale. I like that this isn’t a verbatim retelling, just with the setting switched, as that would be quite dull. In some places, I might like a bit more depth as far as world-building goes, but this isn’t bad at all. Definitely, Scarlet (and the entire series) is pretty much Sci-fi Lite.
Overall, I think this is a fast-paced and fun story. In some places I might have preferred a less shallow approach, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Scarlet as is. Meyer’s writing is exciting and full of action, and even though readers know how things will turn out in the end, the plot stays fresh. I think this is a very good book, and is an excellent example of a fairytale retelling done right.
Publisher: Feiwei and Friends
Source: Publisher (Thanks!)
Cinder is one of those books that is so amazing and beautiful. You have to admit it, Cinder is wonderful. Marissa Meyer is clearly a gifted, talented author of Cinder and Scarlet. Great creativity and imagination. Right now I'm going: How come I never dream up of a cyborg Cinderella?
Scarlet, like Cinder, carries that unique trait that makes readers want to read and read until the last page. That trait makes readers go "How could you not like this book?" Scarlet is quickly and wonderfully paced, perfect for readers of most ages. (Some chemistry/hot moments) It's a good thing Scarlet isn't one of those "middle child/whiner" book.
The plot of Scarlet is a huge eye opener. I can fall in love with it, plot alone. It's that good, people. There isn't that much of dialects, but that's okay because Scarlet is better without it. The writing is va va voom and delicious. I can devour it and not get enough. I'm addicted and I just can't get enough. (Not kidding.) It's clear and full of talent. It's even better than Cinder, actually.
The ever changing of POVs are refreshing and perfectly changed. POVs of Cinder, the dashing Prince Kai, the evil Queen Levana, the hot Wolf, and the badass gun-carrying Scarlet are included.
Scarlet is the retelling of the red riding hood tale. Wolf, surprising, isn't the wolf of the tale. It's someone way different.
Scarlet: She's one of those badass heroine who is a "attack now, ask questions later" type of persons. Scarlet is an alpha, who can take action immediately despite the danger and threat. She's a better character than Cinder, in my opinion. Her greatest strength and weakness? She's fiercely loyal to the people she loves. (Grandmother) Wolf isn't included in that group till the last few chapters. She will do anything to protect and save the ones she love.
Wolf: Woo! We have another hot guy to swoon over. (Everybody, run over to Wolf and leave Prince Kai alone). Yeah, I know you might be rolling your eyes at this, but truly is he. It helps if you read The Queen's Army although it is not required. Wolf is the Alpha. Even though others may seem to see him as an vicious animal, he cares about Scarlet. It is obvious that he care, if not love Scarlet.
Prince Kai: I can't help but feel terrible for Prince Kai. In one of the scenes with him and a press conference, Prince Kai is unbelievable hilarious despite his diplomacy skills. I'm angry at Prince Kai, but I'm not telling you anything.
Cinder: Cinder, in the beginning, is like this little lost sheep. It's infuriating for me because I hate ignorant/lost characters who wander around aimlessly until they find a true goal. In the end, Cinder finally find her true goal and determination. She finds her inner agenda. She's a major character in Scarlet.
Thorne: I mean, Captain Thorne is the womanizing, suave character. He is hilarious and so cheerful compared to Cinder. I like how he calls himself Captain, but can't pilot his own ship. (Epic Fail, right there). He doesn't even know what's in his own ship. (Double Fail) He brings the life and fun into Scarlet.
Rating: Five out of Five-Drop whatever book you're reading to read this book. Cinder, if you haven't read that one.
So, the first of many things I loved about this book were the characters. Cinder is back, and this time, while she’s still adjusting to her new-found identity, she’s not the insecure mechanic that was introduced at the beginning of the series. She’s much more determined. She’s quick-witted and smart, and she uses that plus her Lunar abilities to make it through the novel. I loved seeing Cinder start to come into her own. I’m sure she has quite a journey ahead of her before the last book, but this was great progress.
Unlike Cinder, Scarlet, our newest addition to the fairy-tale gang, does not have insecurity. What she does have is a gun and a feisty streak a mile wide. She knows how to run her life, let me tell you. Even when bad things happen, like her missing Grandmother, she waste no time and springs into action. She does get down, depressed, and sad, but she’s not the type to mope. I have a feeling her temper might get her into trouble in later books, but in this book it serves her pretty well.
Prince, now Emperor Kai is back, though if I had to make any complaint with this book, it’s that he’s not on the pages nearly enough. I missed seeing him interact with Cinder, but given the circumstances to the ending of Cinder and the fact she starts the book as a fugitive that would be a bit difficult to manage. Even so, I really felt for the guy. He’s not having an easy time running his country with the plague and the Lunar Queen all on his mind.
As for the new guys, Wolf and Captain Thorne, they’re both just as great as characters. Wolf is more of a broody, dark, almost “bad boy” archetype, but unlike most, the reasoning behind his character makes a lot of sense. I can’t talk much about his character without giving plot details away, but I will say I loved the addition of Wolf and his companions. It made the story seem scarier and really drove home how much is at stake with all the tension between Earth and the Lunar colony. Thorne is more of the comic relief type, but that’s not to say his character is shallow. He was one of the most fun characters to read in this book besides Iko. I didn’t even realize how much I missed Iko until she showed back up!
The way Marissa Meyer weaves the story together is just amazing. All of those different characters I’ve come to love at first seem so separate from each other. What could Wolf possibly have to do with Cinder’s tale? How would Scarlet get involved in this plot? I was intrigued as to how the plot lines would intersect and I was really pleased by the end result. I cannot imagine the amount of thinking, planning, and plotting that had to be done to get all the different aspects of this story to flow together so seamlessly.
I didn’t dislike the ending to Cinder, but I didn’t love it either. It didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the book, but it wasn’t something I walked away from thinking was the best ending ever. The ending to Scarlet, on the other hand, is one of my favorites that I’ve read in awhile. It leaves the impression that there’s a lot more to come, but the characters are so resolved that you can’t help but to get excited for what they’re going to do!
Final Impression: I have a LOT of thoughts and opinions on Scarlet, and they’re all positive ones! The world that Marissa Meyer has created just sucks me in every time and I *had* to read this book in one sitting, no matter how much time that took. Scarlet, Wolf, and Thorn are new additions to the Lunar Chronicles, and I loved them just as much as I loved my old favorites of Cinder, Iko, and Kai. This has become one of my favorite series.
Scarlet is searching for her lost grandmother. Cinder is trying to escape from prison and save her neck. They are both stuck in the middle of a catastrophe. Scarlet’s grandmother has been keeping a dangerous secret for years. Scarlet just has no clue what it is and why anyone would want to take her. Cinder just found out that she was Princess Selene. She is struggling to cope with everything this entails.
Scarlet was one of my favorite characters in this book. She is a very head strong and brave individual. She is willing to risk everything to save the person she loves the most. She is also not afraid to stand up for herself and others. Although her rushing into things gets her into trouble at times, she means the best. I was so sad for her at times in the book. It seems that the good people always suffer the most sometimes, and that was definitely the case for Scarlet. Her losses are devastating, but she is strong and I am hoping she finds a way to fight back in the next coming books.
Cinder was another one of my favorites from the get go. She is strong willed, selfless, and genuine. I hated the injustices she faced at the hands of her stepmother, The Lunar Queen, and now Kai. He turned his back on her when she needed him the most. I see that he thinks that he is doing the better good for his kingdom and the world, but he is just being plain stupid to think that would solve anything. Queen Levana is blood and power thirsty and there is only one way to quench that thirst. She wants to rule the world. I will say I was sadly disappointed with Cinder when she tucked tail and ran from her responsibilities. I can understand how frightening it must be, but people have given their lives for her in hopes that she will fulfill her duties as a Princess and win back her throne. So I ask myself who is more selfish, Cinder or her believers/saviors? I am just shocked that she still has feelings for Kai. I just do not know how I would feel about someone who turned their back on me.
The comical side of this story was brought on by Captain Carswell Throne. I loved how humorous he was. He always brought a bright side to a situation. He was also very loyal to Cinder; OH did I mention he was handsome! Although he is a criminal, he turned out to be a really great guy. He was also very resourceful when it came to Cinder’s escape. I am hoping to continue to see more of him in the series. I find myself eager to find out his happily ever after.
Wolf and Scarlet….. OMG…. their relationship is so heart pounding, swoon worthy, hand on heart awww evoking, and tragic! Wolf is the type of guy any girl would want. He is handsome, strong, sweet, thoughtful, protective, and he has super human senses. I mean come one I feel like my dream guy just appeared before my eyes! LOL! I definitely have a book crush on him. I was just so upset with how easy it was for the Lunars to control them. I know that Wolf was struggling between protecting Scarlet and obeying his “masters” and I hated it. BUT I did love their whirl wind romance. It was a definite love at first sight. I found his inexperience with worldly things adorable. I am really rooting for their relationship! I cannot wait to read more about them in the future books!
I was really delighted with this book. I felt it ended on a strong note and left me anxious and eager to see how the story will continue in the next installment. I was really disappointed in Emperor Kai throughout this book. I understand that he now has to think about the greater good for his people, but I felt that the whole time he was just blindly making unwise decisions. That one brutal, surprising attack should have said it all. I really hope that Cinder ends up with him, but I also hope that as a character he grows with the next two books. I was ultimately blown away with all the events happening in the book, and I would definitely recommend this book!
You may want to read The Queen’s Army in between Cinder and Scarlet so you have a better understanding of what is going on in Scarlet. Just click the title; the read is free (:!
This book follows Scarlet for the most part as she is on a mission to find her grandmother who she believes was kidnapped. We follow her as she searches for her missing grandmother and finds herself in a bit of trouble. We do get to see some of our old favorites such as Cinder and Emperor Kai and even someone who is nobody's favorite by any means, Queen Levana. We also get to meet some new characters as well such as Scarlet, Thorne and Wolf. The combination of the new and the old was interesting and really added well to the storyline.
I have to say I found Scarlet to be refreshing. She was totally kick-butt and didn't put up with crap from anyone. She had her own opinions and was not afraid to speak her mind. I loved Cinder, do not get me wrong, but she had the tendency to hide when things got rough. We get introduced to Wolf in this installment and all I can say is I absolutely love him. He's tough and protective. Yet at the same time he's shy and timid. He's just such a complex character and I did not see that twist coming with him. Finally we have Captain Carswell Thorne. I may actually like him more than Emperor Kai. He's funny and is always joking. He has a good time with everything and he may be dirty but it's hard not to laugh when he's talking. I was actually kind of hoping something would blossom between him and Cinder but there's always a chance right?
This installment had everything I could ever want. There was action and fight scenes as well as some totally sweet romance. Things got tense in certain parts and I was on the edge of my seat turning pages to find out how things were going to go and what was about to happen next.
Like with Cinder last year, I was swept up in the story and had a hard time putting the book down. When it ended I really didn't want it to be over and now I have to wait until 2014 until the next installment into this riveting and wonderful series.
I can't recommend this series enough! If you haven't already you need to pick up the first book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder! This second book Scarlet was fan-freaking-tastic. I can't decide if I love it more than the first but regardless they were both great! Meyer has a wonderful gift for storytelling. She draws you in with her fabulously realized characters, even her minor characters have unique voices all their own. The world she has created is so unique and yet so eerily our own, that I can really picture this being how things end up on our planet. I especially love Iko, the android with a real personality...she is so lovable.
Now for the new characters! - I know most of us don't like the addition of new characters because you can't wait to get back to the ones you originally started with but these ones were a great addition! I found myself liking them right away. The Captain that isn't a Captain, well he just really grows on you even though you want to smack him from time to time. I think of him as comedy relief.
Originally I thought that the second book would continue to follow Cinder, as that was a retelling of the classic Cinderella. But I didn't mind at all when we were introduced to Scarlet, Meyer's version of Little Red Riding Hood. I connected with her a lot and SPOILER! - I couldn't help falling for Wolf right along with her.
Wolf was definitely my favorite character. I love his shy demeanor and the way he doesn't know what the simplest things are. But a wolf is still a wolf and wolves will always be....dangerous. *cackles madly*
I'm tormented that I have to wait at least another year for the next installment. I'm so curious as to whether it will include another classic fairy tale retelling! *cracks the whip* Keep it coming Marissa Meyer!
The plot is extremely fast paced as it only covers a few days, but those couple of days certainly keep each of the characters busy. First we have Scarlet searching for her missing grandmother with the help of Wolf, a street fighter. If you’ve read The Queen’s Army (a free short story), you’ll recognize him as I did. I was always wondering if he could actually be trusted or not. I did like how Scarlet didn’t just immediately trust him, even after she accepted his help. She’s not one to just follow blindly. Second, we have Cinder busting out of prison! She also picks up an accomplice in the overly charming Thorne, another prisoner. I loved Cinder’s new found confidence as she escapes! Finally, we have Emperor Kai. He’s dealing with the aftermath of discovering Cinder’s Lunar heritage and the attacks from the Lunar Queen. I felt so sad reading his chapters, since he doubts Cinder and thinks she just another manipulator.
For the first three quarters, Scarlet read like two separate stories. I was a little iffy about this in the beginning, but by time the two storylines collide, I felt like this was the only way to tell it. As I said before, we follow Scarlet as she searches for her grandmother and Cinder as she escapes from prison. But guess who she’s looking for? Scarlet’s grandmother! Of course they team up in the end. Both storylines taught us so much more about how Cinder got to where she is and about the Lunars in general. There’s some super strange medical/scientific stuff going on there, and I’d love to learn more of the specifics! Perhaps in the next book?
I really don’t want to give too much away, but there’s a lot of stuff revealed in Scarlet. The war between the Lunars and Earthens is just getting started, but Cinder is going to have to make some decisions and soon! Kai has already made one, but I really hope he doesn’t go through with it! I’m not sure if I enjoyed this one more than it’s predecessor, but I do know that I thoroughly enjoyed it! There’s never a dull moment!
We end Cinder with Cinder's world turned completely upside down. All we know is that she's probably going to die if something doesn't happen soon and then we're left there to hang. How in the world is she going to get out? I'm pleased to say, you do find out what happens to her in Scarlet. Cinder's story moves along at a nice pace I found appropriate for the hero of the series. Her plot keeps moving forward but it doesn't cause Scarlet's story to suffer any. In fact, we make some very interesting discoveries about Cinder and her past in Scarlet.
But, of course, it's Scarlet that we've all been anticipating. How will Meyer do The Little Red Riding Hood in a futuristic world full of aliens? Have no fear, it's amazing. I absolutely loved Scarlet's character and plot. She had a great story line that led very nicely and smoothly up to Cinder's. But to every great plot, everyone knows there's an absolutely amazing love interest and Wolf is so much better than Prince Kai! I love Wolf. Trust me when I say, you will not be able to guess anything when it comes to his past and what exactly about him (rather than some obvious signs) makes him the "wolf" of Scarlet's journey. I mean, he's human after all. Right?
As far as characters go, I think I'd have to pick Scarlet. I just connected with her more. Cinder is all mechanical, and that's not the poor girl's fault, but it's the only word I can think of to describe her character and how she thinks. There's nothing wrong with that but I enjoyed Scarlet's point of view more mostly because she seemed to ask the questions and pay attention to the things I or any other human would. Plus, she's tough, even when she knows resistance is futile, and she never gives up.
When it comes to the male leads, well, I'll quote what a friend of mine said. Tall, dark, and scary. That's my type of guy when it comes to fictional books. Don't get me wrong, I think Prince Kai is sweet and perfect for Cinder but Wolf is just cooler (and perfect for Scarlet).
The writing was great. I'd have to say though, the last 150 pages or so had my whole body tense the entire time. I was physically flipping out with some of the things that happened. I could not put the book down and I could not read fast enough.