It’s really hard to find the blend I like in fiction: just enough action, just enough sci-fi/fantasy, just enough of a love story. Most of the time, the action is too unrealistic, the science is too hard/fantasy is too campy, or the love story is too mushy and focused on sex.
Song of Scarabaeus is one of the few novels I’ve found with that perfect blend. Toss in a captivating plot, great characterization, realistic dialogue, and several fresh story ideas that I wake up in the morning pondering, and I’m disappointed I can’t erase my memory of this book just so I can read it again. Maybe slower this time, so it can sink in more. It’s been a long time since I’ve carried a book around with me during the day, hoping for a minute in the elevator, a minute in the line at lunchtime, eager to read more more more. It’s been even longer (years?) since I’ve stayed up late to finish a book. Sleep becomes more precious after caring for two babies. Often it’s not worth the sacrifice. For this book, it was.
One of my favorite elements was the masterful male/female interaction. One example–the hero’s trigger finger is a bit eager even though the gunshots seem to do nothing to scare off a threat. The heroine says, “Save the bullets, Finn. There are hundreds of tons of biomass up there. Clearly it doesn’t want to have a hole carved through it.”
The hero reminds me of the hero in my WIP, so of course I have a bias to like him. But the end of Chapter 28? I actually put down the book and said aloud, “Oh my god. Awesome.”
I don’t expect to find this blend again soon. Well done, Sara Creasy. I can’t wait to read the sequel.