As much as I enjoyed the first book in The Lunar Chronicles, Cinder, I thought it definitely needed some improving in places, and you could see where Ms Meyer got her inspiration from. While it was an original take on the Cinderella fairytale, I was hoping she’d move away from her initial inspirations (Sailor Moon) and give us a better depth to Cinder’s world and the characters therein. Scarlet does improve on these things and others by quite a lot. The strongest points of the novel were the pacing and the plotting in general; it’s a huge step up from Cinder, and Meyer easily juggles two POVs and a bunch of new characters in one book. Scarlet’s voice is different from Cinder’s, and they’re both engaging leads to read about. Although at times, Scarlet was a little hard to like, if only because she remained pretty hotheaded throughout the entire book. There’s being determined to get your loved one back no matter what, and then doing incredibly stupid things that might get you killed. Every time she went off on some ill conceived plan, I groaned. I would have been more forgiving of it if she’d, at any point, gotten better about not doing this, but she never did. Still, she’s not an awful character, far from it. She’s just a frustrating one. I was also a little skeeved by her relationship with Wolf; due to a reveal later on in the book, I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the new light it put on their earlier interactions. I can’t go into much more detail without spoiling it, but I’m hoping Meyer addresses the trust issues between Scarlet and Wolf in the next book instead of just pretending that everything is daisies and sunshine with them now. Sometimes the writing was a little too convenient, in order to keep the characters from getting into any trouble and disrupting the plot. There was one big instance that I won’t spoil, but even with the handwaving given to us by the characters and the narration, I didn’t entirely buy that they didn’t get caught at that particular time based on one little detail. It didn’t make sense with the world building Meyer’s presented us. The newest addition to the cast, the captain pilot who Cinder breaks out of prison with, was a fun character, if a little cliched. The flirtatious, womanizing, thieving pilot? Where have I not seen this before? Still, he added a much needed lightheartedness to the story, which got progressively darker as things went on. And the ending prologue with a new POV makes me super excited for the next book and what Meyer has in store for us. Overall I enjoyed Scarlet and I’m impressed by the ways Meyer improved on her first book. There are still some issues, but given the strengths of this book I’m confident that she can improve even more. I’ll be back for the next book, Cress.Read more of my reviews at On The Nightstand!