Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
The Lunar Chronicles bk 2. Feiwel and Friends, 2013. ISBN 978
(Ages: 12+) Highly recommended. Science Fiction. Scarlet's grandmother is missing and she'll do anything to find her - even enlist the help of a fist-fighting drifter named Wolf. He claims to have abandoned the gang that took her, but not before learning what big secrets Grandma is hiding, such as her ties to the Lunar Princess Selene. Meanwhile, Princess Selene - Cinder - has her own problems. Escaping prison and a death sentence are just two of them. Luckily, her fellow fugitive, the vain Captain Thorne, has his own stolen and untraceable space ship, and the Earth's orbit makes the perfect place to hide. But she can't hide forever. The mind-controlling Lunar Queen is furious about Cinder's escape and threatens now-Emperor Kai (Cinder's deserted prince at the ball) with an invasion by her own soldiers. Cinder must be found in three days or there'll be hell to pay.
Scarlet is a rare sequel that improves upon the first, especially with the introduction of characters Scarlet and Wolf and a whole new fairy tale to jauntily reference. Emperor Kai is stuck in the palace, harassed by the Lunar Queen, so the Cinder love story fizzles. Poor Kai ... And poor Cinder, stuck on a ship with a conceited 'captain' - though it's quite fun to watch Thorne and Cinder butt heads.
Scarlet and Wolf pick up the fairy-tale-romance angle nicely, and without a dull moment in their relationship. Author Marissa Meyer really ups the action this time, making Book 2 hard to put down, especially when Scarlet and Wolf get to Paris and all the 'wolves' get restless. Readers will be very restless for the next book in this four-part series.
Joanna B. (Student)