Book Review: Song of Scarabaeus

review-cover-song of scarabaeus

Title: Song of Scarabaeus [Scarabaeus 1]

Author: Sara Creasy

Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Adventure

Rating: 5 Stars

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Description/Synopsis:

Trained since childhood in advanced biocyph seed technology by the all-powerful Crib empire, Edie’s mission is to terraform alien worlds while her masters bleed the outlawed Fringe populations dry. When renegade mercenaries kidnap Edie, she’s not entirely sure it’s a bad thing . . . until they leash her to a bodyguard, Finn—a former freedom fighter-turned-slave, beaten down but never broken. If Edie strays from Finn’s side, he dies. If she doesn’t cooperate, the pirates will kill them both.

But Edie’s abilities far surpass anything her enemies imagine. And now, with Finn as her only ally as the merciless Crib closes in, she’ll have to prove it or die on the site of her only failure . . . a world called Scarabaeus.

WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW

The Nitty Gritty: Technically speaking the book was well written for the most part. I only caught one typo—otherwise the narrative was clean, easy to follow, and moved along at a decent pace. There weren’t any noticeable grammar errors or huge plot holes, and to be honest, I enjoyed it tremendously.

I will admit, the beginning was a little hard to get into. It reminded me a bit of the first time I picked up a copy of the Pern series by Anne McCaffrey. Great world building—but hard to sink into. A lot of technical jargon was being thrown about with little explanation of what it actually meant, and for the first few minutes I slogged through the pages trying to piece together what was going on. Once I got past that, things moved along quite well.  I really enjoyed how Edie’s talent with biocyph translated out almost as lines of music that she had to move around and compose as a way of hacking through the code. It made the technology seem more organic and beautiful than most coding sessions you read about in science fiction—and certainly easier to visualize.

The characters were well-written and with the exception of Haller (who I hated with a passion) and Cat (who I didn’t trust for some reason), they were easy to fall in love with. The chemistry and dynamic between Edie and Finn was amazing. Their conversations were filled with tension and an underlying sexual frustration that made their relationship work well.

The world building was rich, and once past the initial jargon-slog, was relatively easy to sink into. I liked that the story was told on a variety of stages—markets, ship interiors, decimated planets… it was nice to get to see so much of the world Ms. Creasy had imagined. These days it seems like a lot of books tend to be a little more insular, with characters confined into one or two locations throughout the book, and it was a welcome change.

I don’t want to give too much away about this book because it was such a wonderful read, but I will say that it was a beautiful story, filled with fantastic characters, and in a way, it was also a bit of a tragedy. My heart broke for Edie when they arrived on Scarabaeus. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Science Fiction adventure tales with a twist of romance. It was an excellent read, and I’ll certainly be going on to read the next book in the series.

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