Scarlet is the second installment of a serial novel. It’s an easy read that moves quickly.
Scarlet winks at fairy tales. I didn’t think the cute epigraphs at the start of each section added much (“Oh, Grandmother, what terribly big teeth you have”) but Meyer immediately departs from fairy tales.
Scifi and Fantasy
The stories take place in a futuristic world with spaceships, androids, genetic manipulation, and imperial governments. In a fantasy element, the Lunars have a Force-like ability to “glamour” Earthens and mentally control them.
The two stories don’t come together until halfway through the novel. Meyer presents a few chapters from each story at a time, which I like better than hopping between subplots with each chapter. I get a better feel for the characters the way Meyer writes.
The stories involve two teenage women. Cinder is a cyborg who drops, not her glass slipper, but her left foot at the Prince’s ball – she even has a stepmother and sister who do not wish her well. Scarlet, in a red hoodie, has a grandmother who’s been kidnapped by… wolves? Unlike the fairy tale, this grandmother was a space pilot hiding important secrets decades after she retired to a French farm.
The two stories start separately – in the more science-fiction tale, Cinder the cyborg escapes from prison with a sidekick, a spaceship, and a neat android intelligence. Scarlet’s story is more of a fantasy – the frantic and hot tempered Scarlet tries to find her kidnapped grandmother with the unexpected help of a street fighter named Wolf – and his name may be somewhat literal.
Loves and Fights
There’s a love interest in each story and a larger conflict between the empires on Earth (our nations have disappeared) and Lunar, which seems to be an empire on the Moon, though the story stays earthbound.
I must admit as I got closer to the end I skimmed the fight scenes. That may just be me – I’m not a big fan of the details of fighting.
Both Scarlet and Cinder have adventures and the ending is a pause in the larger serial story. I’ve only read Scarlet and I enjoyed it – I think it stands alone well enough.
What’s on Amazon
This is the second novel in the series and gets a phenomenal 4 1/2 stars from 1277 reviews. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Complaints seem to come from people who didn’t realize this is the second installment in a serial novel. You might want to start with the first book, Cinder.