Review: Song of Scarabaeus

Sara Creasy
354 pages
Scarabaeus #1
First 3 Chapters

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.

Song of Scarabaeus is the definition of a "slow burn".  There's nothing wrong with a slow burn; hell The National's Boxer album was a slow burn and even 4 years later, I still listen to that album, singing along to every word.  Creasy doesn't give you all the answers, and even though you're a little pissed and a little frustrated at book's end, a couple days will go by and you'll start to think about the characters and the world again, and then you wonder what answers you'll get in the next book. 

One of the most surprising things about this story, was it's heroine, Edie. Edie is a character that was very much not what I thought she was going to be.  She's not especially tough physically, but her convictions are fierce. Her protection gene runs strong for those that are close to her, but her general timidness is something that I hope she grows out of; even the picture on the cover says it all.  She hasn't really taken a stand in her own life yet, but for others she's quick to defend.  It'll throw some of you readers that are use to a hard-ass heroine, like I was, off for a bit, but it'll just make you have a list of things you want out of her character. There are goals I have for her for book 2, but she is interesting, and I'm curious to see where her character goes. {Don't fear, she's off her knees on the cover of Book 2}

Another slow-burn is the relationship that's being forged between Edie and Finn.  This is purposefully done, and since the two have to constantly interact, it doesn't damage your feelings towards him.  Finn wears the hardest shell I've ever seen/read. Other than a slight crack maybe twice {that was quickly repaired}, he doesn't really reveal a single freaking thing about himself.  It's not necessarily bad, but readers will want to strap him to a chair and refuse to give him water until he tells you everything there is to know about him.  There were times when it became a little frustrating to not know any of his motivations, but remember that part where I said Creasy doesn't give you all the answers? Yeah.

The world is interesting, and stands separate from other sci-fi stories I've read, which is always appreciated, but I had some problems with the author's delivery.  She does a great job in submerging the reader into the book's surroundings, but gets so carried away that she'll use a new term and will forget to tell you what it does, or what it looks like. {and no, there wasn't a glossary that I overlooked} I just thought that the author could have just said "box" instead of making up a word, just because this is a sci-fi.  Eventually you figure things out, but it kinda hinders the progress you're making with the imagery on the pages; because you're off trying to imagine out what a "girder" is.... I'm pretty sure it's a large box.  Now, it didn't ruin the book, but it slowed the experience for me slightly.  

Bottom Line: All-in-all the book was filled with new characters, constant developments in the story-line, and a ton of action.  I will definitely be reading book 2.

3.5 stars


  1. Wow this is a great review, Jess! I am definitely going to read this. I do like "timid" characters as long as they GROW from it.

  2. Pam: YES! And she's on both feet and holding a gun in book2 ... excited!

  3. Oh nice review. I admit I don't always have patience for the 'slow burn'. I get antsy. :)

  4. I don't know if I would've been able to finish this one, but it does sound interesting.

  5. FV: I got a little antsy too, but the action distracts ... there's a lot

    Colette: It WAS interesting.

  6. Hmm...not sure about this one, but your review is great!

  7. I read the second book, but not the first. I really enjoyed the world she created and the characters. There was lots of action and I love the whole idea of trying to create new worlds by seeding them and speeding up the evolution. From a biologists stand point she made it seem plausible if the technology was there.

  8. Julie: It's very sci-fi

    Sharon: I'm excited for book 2

    Kristin: Thank you for lending!. xo

  9. Well it sounds like you did enjoy this book even being a bit pissed at the end. It is sometimes refreshing to read a heroine that is a bit different than we are used to. I like diversity in my reading even though I really like a kick-ass woman being the heroine. It's nice to see that you want to read book 2 and I can't wait to see what you think of it! :-D

  10. I felt that the story itself was pretty action packed, but I do agree with Edie and Finn's relationship being a "slow burn". I didn't have a problem with Creasy's jargon, but the terms "millet" and "Linguish" irritated me.

    I enjoyed your review and included a link to it in my own review post of this book.