Anyway, it's pretty safe to say that if you liked Cinder, that you'll really like Scarlet! It has all of the first book's strengths—plucky heroine, really cool worldbuilding INCLUDING a setting centered OUTSIDE of the United States (WOO!), political intrigue and threads about cultural and economic and physical differences and YES, ROMANCE—and, like Cinder, in Scarlet, Meyer takes a familiar story and makes it fresh and new and compelling and surprising.
I especially love that it works not just as a sequel to Cinder, but as a companion to it, too: it's set in the same world, and it continues Cinder's story, but it also introduces a completely new heroine and all of her trials and tribulations. So even though the overarching Big Picture Story is about Cinder, Scarlet is about, well, SCARLET.
Who is, in case the cover art didn't make it abundantly clear, Little Red Riding Hood.
If you HAVEN'T read Cinder, then you probably don't know what I'm talking about. So if the phrases FUTURISTIC FAIRY TALE or CYBORG CINDERELLA or MECHANIC AND SECRET PRINCESS make your ears perk up, hop on back to my post about it.
BONUS POINTS: Iko the android continues to be hilariously shallow and adorable.
BONUS BONUS POINTS: Wolf. I love him. Not just because I have a soft spot for the Street Fighter Who May Or May Not Have A Heart Of Gold type, but because I loved the descriptions of his mannerisms: they're very... wolf-y, which was a nice touch. (As well was making sense within the context of his history, etc., but I'd picked up on them well before THE BIG REVEAL, and it was just all-around well done.)
TRIPLE BONUS (I just typoed that as 'BONES' and almost left it, because wolf/dog/bone and that would have been HILARIOUS) POINTS: The Queen of the Moon continues to be A COMPLETE MONSTER. And hugely enjoyable. I vote for Charlize Theron to play her, so that she can play an Evil Queen in a movie that doesn't, you know, stink.
Book source: ILLed through my library.