Series: Scavenge the Stars #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on January 7, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Cover Artist: Marci Senders, Tom Corbett
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing; Violence; Gambling addiction)
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.
Ever pick up a new series from an author you LOVE and feel both excited and afraid? You have such high expectations, but what if the new book doesn’t live up to your hopes? What if you’re … gulp … disappointed?
That’s how I felt when I started reading Scavenge the Stars. Fortunately, it took me all of ten pages to fall in love with Amaya and realize I was going to be just as invested in this new series as I was in the last.
I’ll confess that I don’t know the story that the book is derived from, so I can’t comment on how well it works as a Count of Monte Cristo retelling. But I can say that I found myself wrapped up in Amaya’s journey toward revenge right from the start. It’s hard not to root for her once you see how the kids aboard The Brackish are treated. I hoped she would find those responsible and make sure they could never hurt anyone again. Of course, unsurprisingly, that gets… complicated.
Sim’s writing is gorgeous, as always. Her descriptions and worldbuilding are vivid without being overwhelming, and it makes you feel like you could be right there on the ship with Amaya at the beginning of the book. I did feel like I missed a bit of the relationship being built between Amaya and Boon, the man who sets her on her path toward revenge, but her complicated feelings toward him were clear enough. And there were definitely some tropes used in the book (some of them might have come from the original story), but there were plenty of twists and turns too. Every time I thought I knew where the story was headed, something would happen that would make me doubt it (I ended up guessing some of the twists, but definitely not all of them). And the romance between Caro and Amaya felt authentic—I found myself looking forward to their moments together, even when I knew things were bound to eventually go very wrong.
The ending of the book gives us a bit of closure but definitely leaves you eager to find out where the story will go—I, for one, can’t wait for book two to find out!
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley and Fantastic Flying Book Club Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
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.
Name pronunciation: “tar-ah” (not “terr-ah”).
Original 9×12 Art piece from Alex Castellanos (@alexisc_art)
3 exclusive SCAVENGE THE STARS character cards
Exclusive SCAVENGE THE STARS book mark
Signed Bookplate from author Tara Sim
Win a finished copy of SCAVENGE THE STARS by Tara Sim (US Only)