Scavenge the Stars by Tara Sim
Reviewed by Sam!
**We received an advanced copy of this book from ALA. We’d like to thank Tara and Disney Hyperion for the opportunity. This book comes out on Jan 7th and you can get it here or at your local independent bookstore**
What I drank prior: I had a couple really REALLY strong cocktails while watching Star Wars with my amazing roommie. #SelfcareSunday
When Amaya rescues a mysterious stranger from drowning, she fears her rash actions have earned her a longer sentence on the debtor ship where she’s been held captive for years. Instead, the man she saved offers her unimaginable riches and a new identity, setting Amaya on a perilous course through the coastal city-state of Moray, where old-world opulence and desperate gamblers collide.
Amaya wants one thing: revenge against the man who ruined her family and stole the life she once had. But the more entangled she becomes in this game of deception—and as her path intertwines with the son of the man she’s plotting to bring down—the more she uncovers about the truth of her past. And the more she realizes she must trust no one…
Packed with high-stakes adventure, romance, and dueling identities, this gender-swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo is the first novel in an epic YA fantasy duology, perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo.
Spoiler-free Overview: This is a Count of Monte Cristo retelling… sort of gender-swapped. When one of our main characters, Amaya is on a debtor’s ship for 7 years and vows to take revenge on the folks responsible. The folks responsible so happen to be our second main character’s family, Cayo. Cayo gambled away his family’s fortune and all of a sudden his sister gets sick and meds aren’t cheap and dad wants him to marry somone to fill the coffers again. Amaya impersonates a super rich lady to take her revenge. So… that can only go well in a YA novel.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: Folks, this book was boring. I hate to say it because I really REALLY wanted to like this.
Characters: They fell super flat for me. I sort of get Cayo? But it’s really hard to cause like… oh em gee i GAMBLED my way into ruining my family. It’s really hard to feel bad for a privileged dude. Super privileged. Amaya is fine I suppose but I don’t really get her or her motivation. What I do love is the rep in this book. I’m not sure there’s a straight person in this book… and there’s this one bit where a card dealer is wearing a pin that is universally known to mean they use they/them pronouns. A universal pin. That everyone respects without it even being a thing. It’s fab.
Plot: I had trouble reading more than 10 pages of this at a time, it was so damn slow. And also, this book starts REALLY vicious. Things are sort of chugging along and then someones EYEBALLS are literalyl in a glass jar. WHAT?!
Writing Style: Yawn.
World Building: The only cool part of this story is that god is a woman. That’s it.
What to pair it with: A coors light, the worst of the lights. You get full before you get drunk.
Rating: 2/5 Shots
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,