|Free ♢ Scavenge the Stars ♎ eBooks or Kindle ePUB free

I want the girl on the cover of this to stab me so in 2012 I watched Revenge, a reimagining of the count of monte christo, and ever since then apparently ive been awaiting this shit Many thanks to Disney Press for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest reviewThis is another one of those quite frequent times where it s not the book it s me I went into this expecting science fiction I don t know why The cover pretty clearly shouts fantasy and did not get that Scavenge the Stars is a steampunk fantasy which is fine for people who like that I just down In generally, fantasy and I just don t get along If it s too hard to understand or the world building takes too long, I get bored and stop caring and that is what happened with Scavenge the Stars Actually, no In this, the world building wasn t slow enough I felt confused from page one I think the author could have made the story better by slowing some things down At the same time, it didn t feel like anything interesting was happening I kept skimming page after page, waiting for something bad or exciting to happen but nothing ever did Overall, I still think readers should give this a try Maybe there will be someone out there who will enjoy this than I did DNF at 39% I am bored so bored so bored that I chose to stare at the wall rather than try to muddle my way through Sorry, Disney Books Sorry, Tara Sim My first 2020 ARC Buddy read with Chelsea Goodreads Blog Pinterest Reddit LinkedIn YouTube Disney Book Group You bless me ARC received in exchange for an honest review thank you This is the earliest I ve ever gotten an ARC it doesn t come out until next January so I was pretty excited to start reading it Plus, it was pitched as a diverse, gender bent retelling of Dumas s The Count of Monte Cristowhich I haven t read, but I know is all about revenge and justice A vengeful heroine I was SO HERE for that.Unfortunately, this book while good was missing the spark that would have raised it above three stars Most of that is down to its surprisingly shoddy worldbuilding Scavenge the Stars opens with Silverfish or, as she was known in her previous life, Amaya gutting fish on the Brackish, a debtor ship where children are sold to work off their parents debts She s very, very close to the seven year point at which the cruel Captain Zharo intends to set her free But when she rescues a man she sees drowning, Zharo does not react positively Amaya and the man a charming guy named Boon are forced to escape the ship once they re out, Boon offers her the chance to get revenge against Zharo as long as she brings down his personal enemy, a man named Kamon Mercado.Meanwhile, we get into the head of his son Cayo Mercado Cayo used to epitomise the stereotype of drunken playboy heir , but he s turned over a new leaf Unfortunately, he turned it a little too late His gambling addiction has emptied the family coffers, so when a mysterious and wealthy nobleman known as Countess Yamaa enters his city state of Moray, his father orders him to get closer to her This soon leads him to the discovery that his family is shattering apart.Okay, it does get a little complex and there s a huge cast, so I m going to break this down into only the most important characters Amaya Chandra one of our two protagonists, and my favourite character Her father committed suicide after the loss of his business but she can t believe he would go into debt She s angry and bitter, hardened by the cruelties she s been subjected to in her short life She doesn t even save Boon out of the goodness of her heart she was hoping he d be a rich nobleman Her trust is hard to win and easy to lose This made her a little frustrating at times, since she was ready to believe the worst of almost everyone, but I could see where she was coming fromRevenge It was a word of fire and blood, of a knife s whisper and the priming of a pistolCaptain Zharo of the Brackish is the slave master who doesn t care overmuch if his charges die under his care He s 1 on Amaya s hit list Boon is the mysterious middle aged man Amaya rescues Once they escape the Brackish, he offers her incredible wealth and the scope to exact her revenge There s something in it for him too he was made Landless, a man exiled from his home, and he s just as interested in vengeance as Amaya is Cayo Mercado, aged seventeen, is our second protagonist He was once a flirtatious wastrel addicted to gambling, but his sister Soria dragged him out of the gutter literally He s now sober and determined to help his family however he can I did appreciate Cayo s flaws, and objectively he s the kind of character I should have liked, but somehow I never fully connected with him Kamon Mercado is one of the most ruthless businessmen in Moray He s connected to Boon, and Amaya soon discovers that he s somehow connected to her past as well We don t really get to see much of him, but what we do see emphasises that he s basically evil By far my biggest problem with this book was the worldbuilding We get bombarded with a bunch of place names Moray, the Lede Islands, the Sun Empire, the Rain Empire, the Republic of Rehan with no knowledge of how these places differ from each other What s their culture What gods do those other places believe in What are their traditions How do they dress What s their history Why do the Rain Empire and Sun Empire hate each other, beyond the simplistic opposition of their names Who are the rulers of these places When and why did Rehan gain independence I could go on, but this is what I mean the world felt incredibly generic There were passing references to brown skin BUT THAT S IT The author would often describe something, e.g clothes, as in the style of the Rehanese Republic but I had no clue what that meant Or how it differed from the Moray style We didn t even learn much about the topography of Moray, where all the action takes place We know there s a jungle somewhere on its borders, and we know there s a Vice Sector in it where the gambling happens, but like Is there a Food Sector A Fashion Sector Is the weather there usually hot Sim was good at the small details but not the bigger ones For instance, we got lavish descriptions of food and tea houses, but we don t even learn the name of the Prince of Moray.Linked to this is the problem with jarring language The characters use modern terms like asshole , yeah , or hey, which once again pulled me out of immersion in the fantasy world It kept reminding me that the world felt in no way real to me and was difficult to visualise.It doesn t help that we don t even properly learn what the characters look like until well into the book And, one thing there was no nuance to the bad guys No Snape or Malfoy esque redemptive alternative viewpoints here all the bad guys were made out to be evil to the max Like, a guy who did business with debtors ship was also shown as being willing to let his own child die Maybe I m being na ve, but it seems to me that there s something of a gulf between those two What I did like The good guys were very flawed and nuanced Amaya is a vengeful would be killer, and Cayo s gambling is presented as a real problem Sexual diversity Cayo is bisexual, and another character is asexual Also the racial diversity Almost everyone seemed to be brown The romance Or rather, lack thereof Both Amaya and Cayo are emotionally wounded people, and that was reflected in the progression of their relationship, which is even slower than slow burn But, unexpectedly despite being a romance junkie I was fine with it It was well written and had a couple of cool twists OVERALL While I wasn t wowed to the extent I was hoping to be, it was a solid novel Blog Bookstagram I d love to hug this cover if I could for always, but I couldn t get into this one I m going to come back to it in the future and try once , though |Free ♍ Scavenge the Stars ♴ 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 CollideAmaya Wants One Thing Revenge Against The Man Who Ruined Her Family And Stole The Life She Once Had But The 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 She Uncovers About The Truth Of Her Past And The 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 I might be biased.You see, since I was young, The Count of Monte Cristo has been one of my favorite stories That probably says a lot about me in ways that aren t all great, but the point is, I know this tale I know everything Tara Sim takes from it in this update, how she revamps it and how she uses it as a base.And as a Count of Monte Cristo storyit just doesn t really work.I don t think it works all that well as a standard YA, either.The thing I have realized about The Count of Monte Cristo is that it s not actually that easy of a tale to recreate It s complex, and there are several factors that are absolutely necessary to exploit if you want to pull off the same level of emotional depth and suspense.First of all, the revenge needs to be personal And when I say personal, I mean personal.Edmond Dantes is betrayed by close friends and associates, people who he truly believed, and had for many years, were his friends And they betrayed him from possibly the worst place their own greed, and jealousy You could say that Dantes was naive to trust them, that he should have been able to see their baser natures taking over But you can clearly also say that this sort of baser nature is one that should never in a good, true society take the place of loyalty and friendship You can easily see where each of these people turned to their worst selves when they had every opportunity not to, and therefore they can deserve what they get In Sim s book, yes, the men are terrible But what they ve done to Amaya isn t exactly personal She was a child sold to a debtor ship as a slave Yes, they ruined her life But they didn t ruin her life, specifically They ruined dozens, hundreds of people s lives She didn t even know their names before she was taken to her Chateau d If They deserve what they get, of course, but in such a generic way that really she might as well just become Dany, take down all the slaver nations, and be done with it.So, strike one Revenge is a good idea in this one, but not any than it is in really just about any standard YA girl takes back her kingdom city family life from a bad regime story Of which there are many.The second factor is, bizarrely, redeemability.Yeah you wouldn t think in a story about utter revenge and Yeah, F ING KILL HIM EDMOND YOU GREAT AVENGING ANGEL OF DEATH that the make them dead characters in question should be redeemable.But, they are And it s important.You see, in The Count of Monte Cristo, Dantes doesn t return to France until many, many years have passed He s aged enough to be unrecognizable, and every person on his hit list has had a long time to grow families and careers of their own They ve become in many ways new people, though their vices remain the same And most importantly, they ve become unquestionably important to and often loved by others They mean something to others, and often they themselves have grown enough to, if not fully realize their crimes, at least be capable of moving on from them It s truly possible in every case to question, by the end, whether these men truly should die, whether the crimes they committed, however awful, were really enough to damn them entirely so many years after the fact.Sim s book touches on this a little She involves the children of the main needs to die guy, and has her Countess feel badly about screwing things up for them if she does get her revenge But her villains are only that villains They have literally no redeeming characteristics at all And when Amaya becomes the Countess, it has only been about a year, perhaps two years at most, since she was on her debtor ship So everyone on her hit list committed many of their crimes recently, and in fact are still in the midst of committing them, and yet crimes on top of that There s no question as to whether these men should be taken out of commission the son even comes to the conclusion himself, before even meeting Amaya, that his dad is no good.So, strike two Where s the ethical drama If the villains are just villains, what makes this any different from any other YA story out there of girl gets back at evil men Third, and I could probably go on but this will be the last, the timeframe I have just mentioned It s really quite crucial.In The Count of Monte Cristo, Dantes has many, many years to perfect his visage as the Count He is proven, several times, to be a master actor, and has built and used his wealth very independently since gaining it initially from the island He does not attempt to strike until he knows, for certain, that he is capable of winning, and exactly how he will go about it He has ironclad plans We don t even see his perspective directly most of the time that s how important it is for the reader to believe he has it all in the bag It s only a matter of should, rarely ever could In Sim s book, as I ve mentioned earliernot so much.Amaya is still young She s being put up to everything by the Abbe Faria character, who pulls her strings at every turn We see from her perspective that she s afraid of failing, that she feels out of place, that she questions her own capabilities constantly She s been trained to be a Countess, rather briefly She hasn t come into it on her own, hasn t created her own character and owned it She doesn t know exactly how to leverage her own gained wealth and status.So, strike three How can Amaya be any different than a standard YA protagonist if she isn t given the chance to really flourish If she constantly needs to question herself, constantly feels like a failure, instead of being allowed to be the absolutely chilling badass that is the basis of the Count s character Ultimately, as a Count of Monte Cristo novel, Scavenge the Stars fails on every truly important level.And because it fails at being a true reboot of The Count of Monte Cristo, it also happens to fail at being a unique YA.There s nothing much new here, from any of the other girl gets revenge stories we ve had in the past 5 10 years or so Just the basic homage to Dumas s template And what little there is that s new isNot the most interesting.I m not sure if anyone here has ever heard of an anime light novel called Spice and Wolf But it s the best analog I can think of.In Spice and Wolf, we have a wolf deity hanging around with a merchant Fun But it rapidly devolves into a story about, of all things, currency How it s spent The different kinds Trade.I stopped watching the thing at about episode 3, because it bored me to tears.Now a lot of people LOVE Spice and Wolf, partly because of that sort of granular detail, and partly for the characters, etc It just wasn t for me It wasn t exciting, the way a wolf deity tends to promise an anime will be Scavenge the Stars turns out to be mostly about counterfeit coin Who s making it, what it is, where it s going, how it s going to destabilize the relations between the three major countries, yadda yadda yadda.The Count of Monte Cristo stuff really seems to be here mostly to carry the dullness of that background plot But because all of the most crucial, dramatic parts of The Count of Monte Cristo aren t here, it s not able to do that So we re left with another Spice and Wolf situation, where maybe currency is your thing But if it s notBoy, are you not going to be interested in this at all.I ll give this one two stars because I didn t really hate it Maybe someone less acquainted with The Count of Monte Cristo wouldn t see what it s missing, and would like it But the main thing is, it made very little impression on me What wasn t dull was just okay I m pretty sure I will have forgotten I ever read this one in about a month.And I ll go back to enjoying my ethically questionable Angel of Death story in peace. I am so, so grateful to Disney Hyperion for sending me a free ARC of Scavenge the Stars Okay, I ll admit it I was drawn in by the cover. I knooooooow authors usually have no say in the cover and the story is written far before a cover is chosen, so it has nothing to do with the quality of the content, BUT LOOK HOW PRETTY Just look Honestly, I was incredibly excited and a little nervous to start this book YA fantasy and I have a long and complicated history We don t always get along.But I knew pretty early on that this book was one I could get behind I love a good, fast paced YA book full of plot twists in any subgenre, and that s exactly what this is When I say fast paced, I mean WHIRLWIND SWEEPING THROUGH fast paced Every single chapter moves the story along no sitting around demurely here It s a pretty complex setup for YA, but we don t have to wait to get to the interesting bits I was really impressed by how much of the unnecessary stuff Tara Sim cut out as a writer, I know it is HARD to do that.And the story itself Pure, unadulterated FUN Amaya and Cayo were both fantastic characters Both of their perspectives were enjoyable and they have a lot of chemistry I loved learning about their respective pasts and seeing them both trying so hard to do their best with the hands they were dealt I loved the plot twists, of which there are plenty And the setup for book two is quite promising This is the kind of book to read when you re in the mood for binging When you re feeling impatient and other books can t seem to keep your attention When you re in a slump and want something that ll pull you out It s the kind of book that ll so packed with plot, it ll keep you riveted Don t blink or you ll miss something.I can t wait for the next installment