Ever since Timekeeper I’ve been such a fan of Tara Sim, so you know I would do anything to track down Scavenge the Stars. Then I found out it’s a Count of Monte Cristo re-telling and I was sold. Although I haven’t read the original….English major fail.
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…
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: gambling addiction
Scavenge the Stars is a story about revenge. Were you surprised? But even more than that, Scavenge the Stars is also a story about trust and deciding just what kind of person we want to be. I adored that we are able to witness character growth and evolution not only from Amaya, but also from Cayo. We think we are defined by all these things – the cruel conditions of our life, the family we are thrown into, or the deeds of the ones we love – but is that truly who we are?
Having experienced the underbelly of the society on the debtor ship, Scavenge the Stars constantly examines the contrast between the decadence of the elite society and the decay of the foundations. Amaya’s entrance into society introduces a conflict within her, who is Amaya truly? On the debtor ship she was Silverfish, in the elite society a countess, but who is she in her heart? Therefore, Scavenge the Stars is also about Amaya’s character development – getting down to the roots of who she truly is, in the dark of the night and the shadows of the dawn.
Amaya is demisexual and she has an ace best friend. What you immediately learn about Amaya is that not only is she highly motivated, but her fire burns like an inferno. Motivated by her revenge, she wants to burn the entire system down and I couldn’t help but be carried away. But the danger of standing close to the flames, is that we never know who we can truly trust. Who has our best intentions in mind, or just their own. At the same time, Scavenge the Stars is about Amaya taking back her name, finding the pieces of herself she left on land, and figuring out how her time on the sea changed her.
Revenge and Motivation
But what Count of Monte Cristo retelling would be complete without revenge? At least that’s what they tell me. Naturally, Scavenge the Stars is a story about motivation. What will they sacrifice for family or revenge? When the people we idolize and trust are not who they are supposed to be, how does that change who we are? Betrayal doesn’t only sting, but it can turn us cold. Harden our ability to trust. In a world where everyone seems to be only looking out for themselves, what happens when we are being turned into weapons – by our own making or not?
Do we allow ourselves to be sharpened by other people’s ambition or do we hone our own edges? What is the heart of our motivation and who is truly to blame? There can be other people pulling the strings, the corruption running deep within the soil, and where does it stop? Scavenge the Stars is an adventure that only brushes the surface of the world. It has an explosive ending that will make you crave book two immediately.