new_user's Reviews > Song of Scarabaeus

Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy
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Nov 03, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: romantic-scifi
Recommended for: Linnea Sinclair, Sirantha Jax fans

Okay, these timid, fainthearted reviews gave me no clue what I was in for! I loved this book!

If you've watched the trailer, then you know Sara Creasy's Song of Scarabaeus follows prodigy Edie Sha'nim -it's not a fantasy without apostrophes- as she confronts her greatest failure with the help of your friendly neighborhood kidnappers.

Yes, I saw shades of Gabriel's Ghost and Grimspace , but unlike the heroines of those novels, Edie Sha'nim isn't immediately chummy with her kidnappers (OMG, BFFs 4ev!) Though we learn more about these morally ambiguous people, suspicion and questions lend another layer of tension to Scarabaeus.

Hero Finn, similarly, has his own questions and mistrusts everyone after years of slavery, Edie included. Now I know what you're thinking. Finn's no name for a hero! LOL. He's probably the first plausible slave character that I've read in genre fiction, and the first urban fantasy/scifi hero with genuine reason for coolness.

He's also smokin'! I love a competent hero, and was it wrong that I drooled when he was handcuffed nekkid to the rails? LOL. (No, this is not erotica. PG-13, in fact.) We never read mystery man Finn's perspective, only absorb subtle clues about him from conversation and scenes that conveys the kind of man he is. We know just enough to want more, to squeal at innocent little touches and statements and see sensuality in every letter, intended or not. (I want them together nao!)

1000 points for Edie. Edie's brilliant with wetware, but she's also resourceful, and that saves her more than once. Creasy suggests that you don't have to be superhuman to triumph. I like that message. I like a heroine who fights with her wits. There are plenty of clever women. What do you say? I think we can duplicate her successes. Creasy proves that a female character doesn't have to have werewolf muscles to beat her foes. She's sympathetic too!

Sometimes Edie doesn't have an answer. Nail-biting action and a driving pace made Scarabaeus a delight. I was a little shocked at one point. Creasy's world-building, while well-developed, doesn't require much suspension of disbelief. Her world even seemed natural and familiar, despite all the advanced technologies, because she draws on real life elements to people her conflicts and frame her characters. For example, observing a family's ship, Edie thinks,
"Despite the ramshackle state of their vessel, it was an expensive piece of hardware that required generations of family money to fund."
She draws on real barriers to entry for landowning or business-owning to imagine a future where ships are the new real estate and just as cripplingly costly. I guess I can see why there are so many outlaws in scifi. ;)

Creasy captures the vulnerability of an unarmed woman among enemies, or even against one man, a reality that many authors miss.

However, I admit to some surprise when this rational narrative turned suddenly towards horror/surrealism with some spooky creatures, even some graphic, anime-esque tortures. Must be the season? That aside, I really enjoyed Scarabaeus, despite the cliffhanger ending. Any action fan would enjoy Sara Creasy's Song of Scarabaeus, especially if you like a slow-burning romance that develops naturally instead of in great leaps and the reluctant bodyguard theme. This is soft scifi, so keep a ship glossary handy, stomach a few techy explanations, and get immediately immersed in the action from page one! 4.5 stars!

Free six-chapter excerpt here. Also, the author has illustrations of the ship at her blog, yay! It is hella hard to picture that stuff for us unimaginative folk, LOL. Presenting the Hoi Polloi.
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Reading Progress

10/26 page 62
18.0% "I started flipping through this last night, and then I couldn't stop reading! Stop the madness! LOL." 3 comments
10/26 page 62
18.0% ""It was better than the camps. Better than spending another day with her people." Great context to this story. I'm really interested in the plight of the forgotten Talasi, and she has the refugee character down." 3 comments
10/26 "No insta-lust/love, yay!"
10/27 "OMG, what a nightmare! Poor girl!"
10/27 "'This is outrageous!' Rackham blustered. 'What's with the charade? How dare you trail us like a Priscian vulture with accusations about our manifest and tarrifs, and now this nonsense about harboring a criminal. What are you going to think up next- our taillight is out?' LOL!" 2 comments
10/28 page 216
61.0% "I hope they get to Scarabaeus soon!"
10/30 page 354
100.0% "Nooooo! Son of a betch! It's a cliffhanger! Arrrgh! Graaawr! I'm meltingggg! Are you telling me I have to wait months to find out what happens? Nooo!" 11 comments
07/03 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-40 of 40) (40 new)

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Kathryn Great review! I am determined to read this but I think I will wait until book 2 is out. I no longer enjoy cliffhanger endings like I used to :)


new_user Thanks! Wise choice, LOL. You will not be as frustrated. I hope you like it! I think it's great! <3


message 3: by Jasmin (new) - added it

Jasmin Nice review new_user. As Kathryn said, I'm going to wait for Book 2 before I get my hands a copy of this. XD


message 4: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell Awesome review new_user!! I hope book 2 sounds as great as this book!!


new_user Thanks, Jasmin! LOL. Read this in March! Then you'll be revved for book two! Yeah!


new_user Thanks, Ronyell! I'm really hoping it's just as good!


message 7: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Great review! Sounds like a fun book to read.


new_user Thanks! You can see I thought so. ;) What can I say, I'm an action fan. There's pretty much never too much action for me, LOL.


Pygmy Did you rec this to me? Or maybe I just saw it in my email as an Auto Updates thing. However way it got to me, I ended up reading the 6 chapter excerpt online and loved it!! I don't think I would ever have given it a shot if I didn't read your review that it was SLOW romance with lots of real scifi. Thanks! Now I have to rationalize some more spending...:P


message 10: by new_user (last edited Nov 03, 2010 11:41AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

new_user Yay! Someone to share the love! This one is really great. I'm glad you liked it. I think it may definitely be up your alley. ;) Let me know what you think! This book starts off with a bang, doesn't it? I love that. Thanks for reminding me of the excerpt, btw. I'll link it here. I challenge anyone to read it and not get engrossed! ;)


Wicked Incognito Now Great! Another book I want to read :-) Great review.


Wicked Incognito Now BTW your Gabriel's Ghost link goes to the wrong book.


new_user LOL, April. Happy to mound Mt.TBR higher, kekekeke!

It's the right book, it's just the first issue under her old pseudonym. I was trying to show that Gabriel's Ghost came out before Sirantha and Edie with the whole girl is forced to travel with criminals and they become BFFs theme. But maybe Sinclair was borrowing from someone too. :o

I should link to the new one though, in case anyone wants to check out her works. In fact, I will do that. Thanks, April!


Wicked Incognito Now new_user wrote: "LOL, April. Happy to mound Mt.TBR higher, kekekeke!

It's the right book, it's just the first issue under her old pseudonym. I was trying to show that Gabriel's Ghost came out before Sirantha and E..."


OH! I'm sorry. I clicked on the link and didn't see any reviews from GR friends and thought: "that's weird! I could swear everyone was talking about this not too long ago."

As for the space travel with criminals into BFFs...hmmm...that sounds familiar. I did read Grimspace, is it Star Wars? I guess Leia wasn't really forced to travel with Hans and Luke, they saved her ass. Put it does seem like a familiar trope.

Anyway, lots of story elements are recycled in books (orphan children finding out they're something special). As long as it feels fresh and the novel is enjoyable, that's all that matters, right? This one looks great. I put it on my Amazon shopping list. Reviewers over there seemed to love it too.


new_user Np! Yeah, that's true. It doesn't matter if the trope's recycled, as long as you contribute something new.

Wow, you're right, the Amazon reviews are pretty positive! Good to hear! Yay! Glad you added it. Let me know what you think! :D


Katyana Damn you, NU, now I have to get this book! It sounds fantastic! Great review!

*shakes fist at NU*


message 17: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Argh! You've made this sound so exciting!

I'm adding this to the list, but I'm seriously not buying it until I've read a large portion of the ones I already own. What? Don't look at me! I'm telling the truth this time!


message 18: by Sans (new)

Sans Hon, I keep telling myself that. Don't worry, there's always the next paycheck to start sticking to that promise. *glances guiltily at Amazon cart with over $130 in books* At least I'm going through and looking for good used copies, right? That'll save me a few bucks. And yeah, this book is in the cart right now.


message 19: by Catherine (new)

Catherine I always promise myself this and then I fail. *hangs head*

But not this time! At least not for a few weeks...


message 20: by Sans (new)

Sans Or a few days.

Or in my case, several minutes.


message 21: by Catherine (last edited Nov 05, 2010 11:26AM) (new)

Catherine You remind me of Katyana! She's addicted to Amazon.


message 22: by Sans (new)

Sans Oh my word, I'm on Amazon almost as much as Goodreads. I keep telling myself books are a safer addiction than smoking or drugs, but damn me if they aren't turning out to be more expensive than either of those!


new_user Thanks, guys! Muahaha, my diabolical plan is working! Buy, my pretties, buy!


message 24: by Catherine (new)

Catherine LOL


Wicked Incognito Now Sans wrote: "Oh my word, I'm on Amazon almost as much as Goodreads. I keep telling myself books are a safer addiction than smoking or drugs, but damn me if they aren't turning out to be more expensive than eith..."

Yeah, I tell myself that too. I always spend the longest time judging the price of new books against the price of used ones. But new books have free shipping (ebooks especially) and used books charge a shipping charge per book. So then I try to find sellers that have a lot of the books I want so I can get combined shipping....it's a long drawn out process to feed my neurosis. It's nuts.


message 26: by Sans (new)

Sans I think of it as a treasure hunt. I get to spend hours looking at books and finding the best prices for them. Unfortunately, that also feeds into my lack of a social life. *sigh*


message 27: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH Have you tried book depository? I used them last month and I found their prices low and no shipping cost. The book took 5 days to get here. I checked the price of the book I bought on Amazon and Amazon was $3.50 higher plus shipping charges. Not bad!


message 28: by Sans (new)

Sans I love Book Depository. Free worldwide shipping FTW!


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* Great review, NU! I loved this: "He's also smokin'! I love a competent hero, and was it wrong that I drooled when he was handcuffed nekkid to the rails? LOL." Great visual! ^_^


message 30: by Catherine (new)

Catherine AH wrote: "Have you tried book depository? I used them last month and I found their prices low and no shipping cost. The book took 5 days to get here. I checked the price of the book I bought on Amazon and Am..."

I bargain shop between The Book Depository and Amazon. I go with whoever's cheaper because they both have free shipping for me. (I have Prime)


 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~* The Book Depository is responsible for my growing mountain of books. Yes, it's nothing to do with my own lack of self-control, of course. Low prices and free shipping - FTW indeed!!


message 32: by Sans (new)

Sans I'm hoping Amazon creates a Prime Elite status - spend over $200/month and get upgraded free. Cause I'd be a shoe in. An extra little discount, free overnight guaranteed maybe.


new_user LOL. Thanks, Jayne. It was a nice image for sure. *_* Big, strong man. Om nom nom.


message 34: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Sans wrote: "I'm hoping Amazon creates a Prime Elite status - spend over $200/month and get upgraded free. Cause I'd be a shoe in. An extra little discount, free overnight guaranteed maybe."

Ooh, that would be awesome!


message 35: by AH (new) - rated it 4 stars

AH You guys could become your own little Amazons (LOL!) with all the books you have at home!


The Holy Terror Hey, this is up for a Philip K. Dick award!


new_user Yeah! I'm happy for the author! It's a good series! :D Now I can say, "But this series was nominated for a Phillip K Dick award!"


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Just finished it today. This book was made of awesome. I loved it first for the Blue Steel look he gives me on the cover. Blue Steel! Marry me Finn.


new_user LOL! He's totally perfecting his Blue Steel. Also, Finn is mine! LOL.


The Flooze I think there will be a lot of fighting over this man! I imagine him as a lil less pretty than the cover boy though.


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