Scarlet picks up pretty much where Cinder left off--Cinder is in jail and Levana has Kai precisely where she wants him. But Cinder being Cinder, she's not going to just rot in jail until she's exported to Luna; using her new found Lunar "gifts", Cinder escapes from jail with a rather hapless accomplice named Thorne and takes off in a stolen air ship, hoping to discover more about her existence on earth and her life as Princess Selene. Meanwhile, far away in France, Scarlet is tending her missing grandmother's farm, frustrated that no one will take her seriously when she claims her grandmother has gone missing. Enter Wolf, a street fighter who happens to intrigue Scarlet, and the two set off on a journey to find said missing grandmother...who is also the woman responsible for saving Princess Selene. Nice tie-in there.
Scarlet got off to a bit of a slow start for me, but once Scarlet and Wolf go on the run, things pick up quickly and the back and forth between the two main characters kept me saying "just one more chapter" until I was done. I liked how Scarlet felt betrayed and yet was willing to trust her instincts; I love Cinder and her sarcasm, and once I got used to Thorne, he rapidly became a favorite character. Meyer's world-building is meticulous and layered, with many not whom they seem to be and lots of wrenches being thrown into play. Nothing is ever easy and most of the time I was breathless waiting to see how on earth they were going to get out of the predicaments they found themselves in. From the nastiness of Cinder's stepmother, to Kai's sacrifice, to Thorne's irritating self-delusion, all of the characters shine with life. Excellent read and ready for number three!