Series: Scavenge the Stars #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on January 7, 2020
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy
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.
My Rating: 4 stars
The only thing I needed to hear for this book to catch my attention was gender-bent retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo.
Quite frankly, I tend to avoid retellings because I rarely enjoy them — it’s hard to not be critical in comparing the spin to the original. That being said, I found the idea of putting a twist on the French classic to be intriguing and decided to approach Scavenge the Stars as a book inspired by The Count of Monte Cristo rather than a retelling. That might sound weird, but it ultimately allowed me to enjoy this book in its own right!
Scavenge the Stars is the first book in a YA Fantasy duology. Told in the alternating POVs of Amaya and Cayo, this is a story of revenge and political intrigue.
As I was reading, I could certainly see the parallels to The Count of Monte Cristo. Most of the story is fast paced and, for those unfamiliar with the original, full of twists. I did find the world-building to be a bit generic and the ending fell a little flat for me, regardless of it being a lead into book 2.
As for the characters, I loved Cayo and felt indifferent towards Amaya. They both had a lot of growth throughout the story while battling their inner turmoil. I thought the “bugs” made a great addition to the narrative, and the villains were perfectly nefarious!
Overall, I really enjoyed Scavenge the Stars. I fully recommend trying to read it without being hypercritical of how much of a likeliness it bears to the classic tome.
*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy of this book. Please note that it, in no way, had an effect on my opinion or review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tara Sim is the author of SCAVENGE THE STARS (Disney-Hyperion) and the TIMEKEEPER trilogy (Sky Pony Press) and writer of all things magic. She can often be found in the wilds of the Bay Area, California.
When she’s not writing about mischievous boys in clock towers, Tara spends her time drinking tea, wrangling cats, and occasionally singing opera. Despite her bio-luminescent skin, she is half-Indian and eats way too many samosas.
Tara is represented by Victoria Marini at Irene Goodman Literary Agency.
Source: Author Website