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Children of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy

I was literally salivating with my need to get a hold of this book as soon as was humanly possible after finishing Sara Creasy's wonderful Song of Scarabaeus. Then I remembered that I'd seen it on NetGalley not so very long ago, and I ripped right over there to see if it was still available. It was. I requested it and waited impatiently for a response. The minute it was approved, I downloaded it to my nook and sat back in contentment. Oh, wait. That's right. I work. And have a million other things I have to get done within a single twenty-four hour period. However, since this pregnancy has rendered me and sleep mortal enemies, my nights at least are free. Always a silver lining, right? That's right. I'm a glass is half full sort of girl. Pay no attention to the sound of my husband's laughter in the background. He doesn't know. The point is, I finally had the all-important sequel in my hands, and all was right with the world. At least with my world.

Edie Sha'nim appears to drag catastrophe (and uber-controlling, wannabe despots) wherever she goes. On their way to help the Fringe worlds get out from under the thumb of the omnipresent Crib empire, Edie and Finn (and their meager crew) are re-captured by the very woman Edie's been trying to escape since she was ten years old. Natesa is determined to keep Edie and her powerful abilities under lock and key. And that includes keeping her away from other interested parties, particularly other Crib and/or military individuals who believe Edie's singular talents would be put to better use back on Scarabaeus itself, figuring out what went wrong in the first place and what exactly is evolving now on its treacherous terrain. But Natesa's control extends only so far, especially as the work on her precious Project Ardra isn't exactly thriving. The further Edie delves into the details of the project, the more she realizes just how badly the project is foundering. And, with her control slipping and her professional reputation on the line, Natesa will do anything she can to collar Edie. Including separating her from Finn and any other influence she deems antithetical to her goals. Determined to set Finn free from the leash that binds them and the grasping fingers of the Crib, Edie must decide where to place her loyalties and which devil to serve.

I slipped into this one with absolutely no trouble at all. Part of that was, of course, that it had only been a few days since I finished the first book. But a larger part is due to Sara Creasy's wonderfully sure sense of setting and character. The world is vast but consistent, the characters familiar and compelling. Edie and Finn had an immediate stranglehold on my attention and my emotions were high and riveted for the duration of the book. I'll go ahead and say that it's a palpable relief to read a duology. They're all but extinct these days it seems, and I can't tell you how relieving it was to go in knowing the tale would not stretch on for eons, that the author had an ending and a way of getting there in mind. That said, I would read more about these two and their world in a heartbeat. The unusual and vital relationship that evolves between this cypherteck and her rebel-turned-bodyguard launched my heart into my throat with each scene they shared. It was meaningful and based on trust, as opposed to hurried and based on lust. I enjoyed the two of them so much and looked forward to anytime they were allowed to be alone and just talk to each other, which, naturally, was a rare occurrence indeed, what with everyone and their dog hell bent on destroying whatever Edie holds dear and any hope of freedom Finn ever had. I admire restraint in storytelling, and this series is an excellent example of such. It could so easily have shoved over into melodrama and pure spectacle, but it never does. One scene, in particular, struck me as marvelously well done. The reader expects a certain outcome, and is instead handed a much more subtler version of the truth. It served to enhance the connection between characters, rather than exploit the moment. I loved it. I felt I knew them based on their choices, which were always dire. But they made the decisions, they didn't waver, and the ending offered up hope and resolution in an effortless package. Color me satisfied. I can't wait to see what Ms. Creasy has to offer us next.

Children of Scarabaeus is due out March 29th.


Linkage
Janicu's Book Blog Review
Owlcat Mountain Review
My Bookish Ways Interview + Giveaway

Comments

  1. :D I find myself nodding all through this review. Yup. Even though I read this on my nook, I have ordered a hard copy so I can hug it.

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  2. I added the first book to my Amazon cart after reading your review. I’m glad to hear the second book is just as good.

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  3. Oh it's a duology? Exciting. Can't wait to get started on SONG.

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  4. So excited for this one!!

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  5. Janice, exactly. I will be purchasing my hard copy the day it comes out. Must be able to stroke the pages lovingly.

    Christie, I'm glad to say so! It really is as good.

    Holly, yup. Two-book deal.

    Cait, yay! I'm so happy you got a hold of the first one so fast and enjoyed it.

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  6. I decided to read the first book after reading a review after a long stretch of passing on the first book in a series because of general series fatigue. I enjoyed the first Creasy so much and was reluctantly looking forward to the next entry. I had no idea this was a planned duology until I read this review. I am so ecstatic to learn that duologies are not a thing of the past. Great stories arcs can be handled in one (or two) books. One of my favs is Patricia Briggs' Dragon Bones/Dragon Blood duology.

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