Scarlet - Marissa Meyer *Genre* YA Dystopian*Rating* 4.0*Review*In reading the Lunar Chronicles back to back, you really get a fresh prospective of what just happened in the first book, and how it ultimately ties into the second. Having read Cinder, you are already aware of who Cinder is and why she's on the run and the dangers she now faces. Cinder is a 16 year old teenager who just happens to be known throughout the land as a Lunar cyborg, a fugitive, outlaw, and an outcast. Everyone is now searching diligently for her in an effort to stop a war between Earth and Luna. All of the major characters from Cinder return in Scarlet including Iko, Emperor Kai, and evil Queen Lavana. With the release of Scarlet, we are introduced to 18 year old Scarlet Benoit, the enigma known as Carswell Thorne, and the mysterious and deadly Ze'ev (Wolf) Kesley. Scarlet diverts a bit from Cinder in that there are 4 main POV's this time around: Cinder, Scarlet, Wolf and Kai. We also get a peak into the machinations of Queen Lavana and her plot to take over the world by using genetically altered supersoldiers. Scarlet also diverts wildly onto a separate path from the original Little Red Riding Hood that I grew up with. It's rare when a sequel is equal to or better than the original. But, it does happen. Scarlet definitely sends readers on a bit of a ride in that things between Earth and Queen Lavana are reaching a boiling point and things turn intense and ugly quickly. I found myself liking this book more than Cinder because of Scarlet and Wolf's involvement and the fact that the level of danger reaches the point where Kai is left to make a difficult decision that may change the course of his realm. As for the characters, Scarlet is a gutsy, intelligent, sharp tongued and quick to take action kind of character who is on a mission to figure out what happened to her grandmother Michelle Benoit. Readers may remember her from Cinder so I won't spoil who she is. Scarlet is quick to temper which gets her into all sorts of sticky situations which leads her to fall into Wolf's web. She finds herself attracted to the danger and mystery that is Wolf. In the end, Scarlet more than makes up for her mistakes and finds a glimpse of a possible future with Wolf while joining Cinder's journey into finding a way how to stop Queen Lavana.Cinder's journey has taken on a life of its own. Instead of the renowned mechanic who can fix any machine, she's on a mission to find out answers to her own past and the missing 8 years of her life that she can't seem to remember. But her quest is fraught with danger because she also needs to stay one step ahead of Queen Lavana and her minions who want to capture and kill her. Cinder is understandably confused at times and I can totally understand where she stands after learning about her true heritage and the reason Queen Lavana wants to kill her. She's also coming to terms with her unique powers to manipulate bio-electricity like Lavana. She knows now that she must find a way to learn how to control her powers, and defeat Lavana before she starts a war that nobody can win. She still has lingering feelings for Kai even knowing that he's made a deal with the devil that may come back to bite him in the ass.It was fun reading Cinder and Scarlet back to back, but now I have to wait nearly a full year before Cress is released in 2014. I really wish authors and publishers would release books every 6 months or so but that's my pet peeve and I shall endeavor to get over myself quickly.Published February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends