Though I greatly enjoyed Cinder, I did have some issues with it. The sense of place wasn't entirely clear, the secondary characters weren't exactly well-developed, and the whole 'draft' issue pretty much just irritated me. I'm glad that I didn't have any of these issues in Scarlet.
I did have a slight problem with the pacing in the beginning of the book. The first 100 or so pages felt somewhat choppy with the switching between four character point-of-views. Happily, I was invested, immediately, in each of the POV characters so it made it easier for me to overlook this.
Scarlet quickly endeared herself to me. We join her as she's determined to find her grandmere, who has been missing for a few weeks. Things quickly spiral out of control and she finds herself in the company of an intriguing, unknown man named Wolf. I was rooting for her from the beginning. She was always smart and competent. Though she did have some damsel-in-distress moments, I loved how she continued to fight - even for someone she wasn't entirely sure of, Wolf.
Wolf is such a great character. I'm shipping them SO HARD. His confusion as he travels with Scarlet, his fighting against and with his instincts, his absolutely protective personality and too-few smiles make me utterly enamoured of him. He's so tentative, like an injured animal, but utterly sure of himself at the same time. I love the dichotomy of Wolf.
Then there's Captain Thorne. I admit, I was unsure of how I felt about him in the beginning, but I quickly grew to love him. He's so cocky and fun, so up for an adventure and unapologetically selfish. I still don't want him to end up with Cinder, unlike some of my friends, but I can't wait to see what happens with him. The way that he ends up part of Cinder's group, how his loyalty begins to transfer to her after being with her for a while; he just insinuated himself into my heart.
I couldn't end this review without talking about Cinder. I loved her in the first book, and I LOVE HER EVEN MORE here. She's just starting her real journey after finding out who she actually is. She's got questions, and concerns; worries and fears, but she forges ahead on her own path until she feels sure of what she's doing. It's not always a neat trip, she makes mistakes and some choices that I might not agree with, but I can't help but admire her.
Immediately upon finishing this I wanted to dive right into Cress, thank goodness it's already out, but I forced myself to write this review first. So forgive me if it's a little incoherent. Marissa Meyer's got me hooked. Her world is original and intriguing, and her characters - my god, her characters are FAN-TASTIC. I can't get enough of them.