Song of Scarabaeus, Sara Creasy, Eos books, ISBN 978-0-06-193473-5, 5/10, $7.99, 354 pgs.

Song of Scarabaeus is Sara Creasy’s first published novel. Edie, who has some interesting and unique skills when it comes to data manipulation (meaning she can do it in her head) gets kidnapped by a group of mercenaries who hope she will be able to help them scavenge some technology that they’ll then sell to the outlaw fringe worlds. Finn, a mercenary in the recent wars and now a criminal slave, is also grabbed and tasked with keeping Edie alive. To ensure this they’ve connected a chip in Finn’s head to Edie so if she dies he goes with her. In fact, if he gets too far away from her she dies so it’s in Finn’s best interest to stick close and protect. the pair of them, along with their kidnappers, are soon heading to the planet of Scarabaeus where the Crib government tried one of their first terraforming experiments only to have it fail. Edie was part of that team and carries a piece of the planet with her, along with a secret. As Edie and Finn try to figure out if escape is possible, especially with the Crib government chasing them, they are forced to come to any number of harsh realities–the major one being that things may not be just as they seem.

As first published novels go, this one is pretty good. Sure, Creasy stumbles once or twice, mostly in the pacing and one or two areas of somewhat staged and predictable plotting, but overall this is a very readable book. I think there were some missed opportunities in developing more of the back story around the mercenaries, but that’s easy to say after the fact. The reality is that Creasy manages a fairly complex series of movements and places and does it pretty well.

I’d have to say that I recommend this book, but with some conditions. First, you really have to like character driven SciFi. Second, you have to be a fan of story and not surprise. There’s plenty of the first and not much of the second here. And third, you have to want to have a bit of romance injected into your plotting. If you’re okay with those things then you’ll no doubt like this book. For sure it will be interesting to see what Creasy comes up with next. Conditionally recommended.

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About damnaliens
Writer, reviewer, home provider to the Damnaliens

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