Book Review: Song of Scarabaeus
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.
I read Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy as part of the Vaginal Fantasy’s book club selection and got my copy from the library. Usually the Vaginal Fantasy selections have one book that is heavy on the sexy times and one book that is heavy on the scif/fantasy and this was the book that was heavy on a scifi plot. I just give this warning, because when I pick up what looks like its a light fun urban fantasy book that mayhaps have a sex scene or two and I find myself reading some nitty-gritty biology (the author has a background in it) and there is like one or two kissing scenes, and I don’t get what I expected, I’m a tad disappointed. If I had understood there were be very little sexy times and I was going to learn about terraforming, and wettech verses hardware and electrical pulses that tether people together and biocyph technology I maybe could have wrapped my mind around the story a little bit quicker.
The author does an excellent job of setting up the world that all of this takes place in. The different planets visited are detailed and have their own personality. The crew/pirates are unique and interesting. I also like the different ships that are used. One of the secondary characters is a pilot and she is all about the ships and made them interesting without a lot of info dump. I also found all the techy stuff cool, up to a certain point. Then when things go haywire (sometimes literally) I would loose some interest. I tried to imagine what all the nerve synapsis were doing and I lost track along the way and then boom, there is a consequence and its awesome and maybe there should be an imaging aid for this book and my mind would have to imagine how another mind with cybertechnology in it works (you know like how they follow through the body in shows like CSI or House).
I also thought the main characters were interesting and I liked how their backgrounds were revealed, but I thought it would have made for a more interesting story if that had been the main plotline and the seeding of planets had been the secondary plot instead of the other way around. I would consider this more hardcore sci/fi because of that, where I prefer urban fantasy with the relationship as the main focus. For example, the author basically skims over the male protagonists background, yet the female falls for him and we are supposed to too? Because he’s a good guy? Because he has a sad past? I never felt particularly emotionally connected to him, not even as much as I felt towards a planet!
However, Edie’s background is delved into with greater detail, and I really appreciated that, because I felt like I knew where she was coming from. Edie is an awesome character. She is so strong! I liked that she was a strong character mentally, and didn’t have to run around in leather with knives to fit into a masculine idea of strength to be considered strong. She has basically a computer brain and has this really cool job terraforming planets, with her brain, and then when she realizes she’s been used as a tool she decides to do something about it. Edie is a really cool character!
There are some really strong elements to this book. It has a really good solid plot, interesting biology related science fiction, and a strong female character. If you like strong science/fiction oriented stories with interesting characters you should check out Song of Scarabaeus.