Tor, Jun 2 2009, $6.99
The war left much of the globe in dangerous chaos and many areas became deserts by 2010. During the hostilities scientists genetically engineered the Others; species with super or para normal skills like vampires, shifters and special elite Captain America soldiers. In the twenty-second century, on a mission sanctioned by her grandfather to Nuria, Arizona , super soldier Gina “Red” Santiago learns she is a werewolf (see RED) and remains in the town where she has fallen in love with the Sheriff alpha werewolf Morgan Hunter. He worries about Red as her survival will depend more on her learning to shift when awake than on him.
A commercial advertises buying clones as a wife, prostitute, child or slave labor. Morgan is shook because the clones in the ad are that of his dead family; he leaves town to find and destroy his late family’s cells. Immediately after he departs, someone commits murder; the townsfolk believe Red killed him. Another newcomer inflicts injuries on himself and accuses Gina of beating him up. A vigilante mob demands justice while an enemy from before whom she defeated manipulates behind the scenes emotions of the townsfolk; the goal is the death of Red, who faces everyone alone again, naturally.
The super SCARLET contains two strong subplots; that of Morgan seeking a needle in a deadly haystack and Red under a lethal threat from a nasty villain. The two segments merge into a strong post apocalyptic science fiction thriller that can be summed up by the heroes’ understanding that Others have to hide in plain sight as politicians play the genetics card like they used to use race in the twentieth century; especially one ruthless individual with ambitions to rule the world. The story line is filled with action while the lead couple and “Others” insure the decimated earth with paranormal and super species seem genuine.