Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars Series #1)

Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars Series #1)

by Tara Sim


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Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars Series #1) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
FadedPages 7 days ago
3/5 stars A decent start to a new series and female spun retelling of 'The Count of Monte Cristo'. Amaya and Cayo equally had their share of demons to deal with throughout this story including a few mysteries along the way. I really connected with Amaya in the beginning of the story, but then the story quickly stalled. When Cayo, his family, and several other characters came on the scene, it really bogged down the story. There was almost too much drama. The mystery of the characters past and the parts with Cayo and Amaya are what honestly kept me reading. Overall, I liked this retelling, however I felt I could put it down at anytime. There was so much going on inside the character's heads and plot wise that the romance felt ignored. The drama really took a lot of time away from the characters getting to know one another. I felt this story didn't capture my attention as much as it could have. I do plan on reading the next in the series in hopes that there will be more world building and character development. Thank you so much to Disney Hyperion and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
metalheadreader 20 days ago
Scavenge the Stars is a gender-swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo. Which, incidentally, I have never read. But I think most people at least know the premise of the story, and you really don't need any knowledge of it to read this book. Amaya, or Silverfish, has spent seven long years indentured on a debtor ship. Captained by the cruel Captain Zharo, the Brackish is a debtor ship where children are forced to work off their family's debts. Approaching her freedom, Amaya makes the split second decision to rescue a mysterious stranger floating in the sea. This angers Zharo, leading to Amaya and the mystery man forced to escape overboard. Amaya finds herself stuck with mystery man Boon. Boon promises her revenge on the cruel Captain Zharo, if she also helps him take down his own enemy, Kamon Mercado. Through Boon's plotting and seemingly endless riches, Amaya finds herself taking on a new identity, worming her way into the heart of Moray's noble circle. Our other point of view is from Cayo Mercado, a semi-reformed gambling playboy, and son of Kamon Mercado. Cayo's gambling addiction has lead to the draining of his family's coffers. When Cayo's beloved sister Soria comes down with deadly Ash Fever, Cayo will do everything in his power to get the money for the medicine that can save her. Soon Amaya finds her path entangled with Cayo's. But Amaya is quickly learning that what she's believed about her past may not be the whole story, and she must discover the truth before it's too late. Can you tell it's a bit hard to write a concise summary of this book? Anyway, I really enjoyed this one! It starts a bit slow, and I was a bit confused at the start with the jump between POVs. But it quickly grabbed me and held me captive. I liked having both POVs of Amaya and Cayo. They're both well fleshed out characters and I cared about them both. I liked their chemistry and the slow burn romance. But don't think this book is romance heavy, because it's not. It's much more focused on the adventure and revenge plot. Also, we're definitely setting up for some big drama and climax in the next book. Which I am for sure excited to read. The writing style is really good. You get such a feel of the characters and their world. I could picture the city streets or docks very easily. I think the world will be more fleshed out and understandable in the next book too. Another thing I enjoyed was the casual diversity in this book! It didn't seem shoved in there just to be in there; it was just part of the world. We had a bisexual (although it's never explicitly stated, it is implied) male MC, which is rare. And we got some small non-binary rep too! And it was just presented in a really casual and normal way, and shown to be accepted in their society. I would like to see more of that in book two. Overall, if you're a fan of high stakes adventure and a good fantasy retelling, this book is a great choice. It's slow to start, but will hook you in and get action packed quickly. There's lots of twists and layers of deception, and a little side of romance. It's a good first book in a series, and I think book two will be even better.
onemused 22 days ago
SCAVENGE THE STARS is an engaging YA fantasy that gripped me from the start. Amaya, or Silverfish, is a girl who was sold onto a debt collector's ship, where she must work to pay off her family's debt. Amaya has put her memories into the back of her mind, while she toils under the cruel hand of Captain Zharo, who has named each child after a bug and treats them as such. If they survive to pay off their debt, a difficult feat, they may return to their families at that time. Silverfish is close to the end. As she reaches the end, her humanity begins to return, and so she rescues a man who was drowning that the captain had told them to let die. This sets off a series of events that leads to Amaya seeking revenge on the people who destroyed her family and her own life. As Amaya infiltrates the city she once called home, she learns of far bigger and more dangerous games which are being played with people's lives. The book is written from her and Cayo's point-of-view. Cayo is a wealthy son of a merchant, Mercado, and Amaya's target. Cayo has recovered from a gambling addiction and is worried over his sister, who is dying from Ash fever. He would do anything to protect her, including squandering his family name and marrying someone he detests. He finds himself intrigued by the mysterious new countess. This is a book of trust and revenge, with many lessons about each within. The plot is woven so beautifully that I could not find any flaws. The writing is captivating and sweeps the reader away into this engaging other world of piracy, sword fights, and danger. I adored Amaya, and I love her passion and confidence. She is a fantastic character, full of love for the other children who surround her. I cannot wait for the sequel to this captivating read. Highly recommend for people who love YA fantasy and high seas adventure. This is a new series that does not disappoint. Please note that I received a review copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Sarahb 3 months ago
This was a fun, fast read for me and I really enjoyed the way the author recreated the Count of Monte Christo though the story of Amaya. Living on the seas, Amaya (Silverfish) is counting the days till her debt is paid. As the time comes closer, circumstances negatively impact her plan for escape and she finds herself in a battle to survive. But, as is the case in all good stories, things aren't exactly what they seem as she moves forward in her plot for revenge. With her survival comes an opportunity for revenge on those who have wronged her and put her into her situation. This story has passion, intrigue, revenge, mystery, strong characters and a plot that left me waiting for more of these characters. I really enjoyed the world that Tara Sim created and I can't wait to see what is in store for Amaya, Cayo and the rest of these characters! Thank you netgalley for this arc in exchange for my honest opinion.
JillJemmett 3 months ago
This story is a gender swapped retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo. I’ve never read that book, but I really enjoyed this story. The narrative switches between Amaya, a prisoner on a ship, and Cayo, the son of a businessman in the main city. Amaya escapes her captivity, and she tries to take down the men who were keeping her prisoner. Cayo also does his own investigation to figure out who is making counterfeit money in their city. I liked the pacing of this book. There were some small reveals every couple of chapters. I was surprised at the twists that happened. I also liked the main characters. They had good chemistry with each other. I’m curious to see where the story goes next. Thank you Disney Book Group for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I absolutely loved this book! The story took some twists and turns that I didn't expect, and that made it so much better. AND I'm so excited that it's only the first book, because wow do I need more. With the opening chapters, I wasn't sure what to think about the book, but once the character's stories connected I devoured it! The characters were so interesting, their individual backgrounds creating such a great tapestry that I couldn't wait to see what happened next. Silverfish--Amaya--was a really great, complex character. I love seeing characters grapple with morality as their lives change and the person they thought they are changes as well. Cayo is a great foil for her, and their alternating chapters really showcases that. I'm a bug fan of dual POV, and I really liked how each chapter began with a snippet of a story or myth from the world Sim created. This really helped, not only to set up the chapter coming, but also made the world really come to life and become concrete to readers. As much as I loved it, there were some things that made me give it 4 stars instead of 5. The ending felt quite rushed, and a lot of information was dumped on us in a short amount of time. It answered a lot of questions, but also introduced some more things that I think would have been just as good being introduced in the next book. Overall, I really enjoyed this debut and can't wait for the next one!
WordsLikeStars 3 months ago
A retelling is one of my favorite tropes. A retelling of a classic novel is an extra boon. A retelling of a classic novel where the lead will be a female—for obvious reasons here—has even more potential. It still worries me, because I cringe at the possibility of said female being the type of badass that is completely unbelievable given her past low experience and current high abilities. But Amaya pulls it off nicely—she gives you just enough kick without being overwhelming. If you've read the original The Count of Monte Cristo or seen any of the film versions, then you know the general story: the lead spends a certain amount of time unjustly jailed by someone who screwed them over and has been benefiting on their behalf all this time, soon to be the source of the lead's revenge once they are freed. The same thing is done here, but with a few fun and entertaining twists. I loved the setting, first of all, which is familiar enough to be close to the original story, but different enough to be enjoyable to explore. That sense of being in a land owned by the ocean, with its sailors, its bright weather, its vices and virtues is great fun. I do wish that more detail would have been put into the type of people who live there, the architecture, the flora and fauna. You still get the general idea and can easily fill in the blanks from imagination, which is fine; but it just falls slightly short of painting a full picture. The main set of characters that live and interact are, for the most part, quite nicely fleshed out, made up of Amaya and Cayo. But secondary characters can't be overlooked. Yes, we get a vibe of what motivates Romara, Liesl, Deadshot, even Boon. But sometimes, when you leave so much hidden, waiting for that moment to reveal it but not doing it—at least in the first book—or wanting to keep too many things close to your chest, the story tends to suffer a bit, and those characters feel slightly like props. I found myself feeling like certain moments in the story moved a little too fast, where more dialogue would've been beneficial, where things that happened did not develop and I was left wanting. I would've loved to actually be there to see Boon train Amaya rather than getting snippets here and there when she reminisced, for one. Yes, it's good to stay in the moment, to move the story along, to not lag too much. But that bit of story helps you connect with the characters even more. And though Boon is not who he appears to be at the beginning, or even after he rescues Amaya—to an extent—that part of him that I missed as developed, might have still grown on me because I would've gained a connection with the character despite eventually knowing what his end goal was. His role in the scheme of the story was a nice twist, however. I wasn't expecting, at all, the dealings that he, Mercado, and the Slum King all had together. Nor Amaya's father for that matter. That drama was excellently executed, was so fun to read, and I hope that more comes of it in the future book(s). That, to me, was the best part of the book: the simple storytelling, and what made me enjoy it so much. Whenever something else might have been deficient, the story more than made up for it. It's an intriguing and fun tale to follow, with a strong and determined lead who goes after what she wants without losing track of what's important to her. All in all, this one was a diverting good time.
ShesGoingBookCrazy 3 months ago
Thanks so much to The Fantastic Flying Book Club for having me be a part of this blog tour! I received a copy of this book via Disney-Hyperion via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review. All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication. Content Warning: Child labor, Child abuse, Starvation, Indentured Servitude, Gambling Addiction, On page death, Murder, Profanity, Gore :People were not designed to be trusted". I’ve never read The Count of Monte Cristo. It’s a Classic that I have every intention of reading someday, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Maybe it’s due to the fact that it’s over 1,000 pages long. I’ll just have to set aside half of a year to finish that. Scavenge The Stars is a gender-swap Young Adult retelling of the classical tome. The point-of-view transitions between characters Amaya (aka Silverfish) and Cayo. The two couldn’t originate from more varying lives, which immediately sets the tone with the obvious division between people. Amaya, sold into indentured servitude for years to pay off her parent’s debt, has known a tough life of hard labor with regular beatings. When the reader meets her, she is on the cusp of freedom, and looks forward to reuniting with her mother. Cayo, on the other hand, has nestled in the lap of luxury, squandering his fortune, and making a reputation for himself. Somewhere in-between them sit a landless castaway--a man Amaya saves when she’s still aboard the Brackish. As the story unfolds, Amaya learns the truth about how she ended up being sold into servitude, and that people aren’t trustworthy. When the stranger that she saved from drowning out at sea offers her a new life of wealth and position, she takes it. Now, with resources acquired that she needs to take down those that have affected her family so, Amaya turns all of her focus towards getting revenge. With the life that she has lived, it is understandable why she would resort to revenge. Unfortunately, this is where the novel lost me. I’m not one for revenge stories. Forgiveness, although painful, is always the better solution, in my opinion. For me, a story centered around revenge and the scandals that follow in its tyrannical wake just didn’t, and doesn’t interest me. This is no fault of the book, it is just a personal preference. Scavenge The Stars is well-written, thought out, and complex. Seeing how political maneuvering is the basis of everything, one must enjoy a presence of politics to some degree to really experience this story to its fullest. I think that Scavenge The Stars has much to offer the right reader. Unfortunately, that reader wasn’t me due to the focus surrounding the plot. This is a perfect example of “it’s me, not you.” If you are one for pirate-esque or port-city vibes, revenge stories, diverse sexual orientation, conspiracy and political reads, this one may be for you! Vulgarity: Some. Sexual content: Kissing only. Violence: Moderate. My Rating: ★★★
ruthsic 3 months ago
Retellings are like catnip to me, and when it is a retelling with diversity, I am always excited. This story is a genderbent version of Count of Monte Cristo, where one of our protagonist, Amaya, having returned from a long indenture at sea is planning revenge on the people that caused her to be there. Given at a very young age to a ship to pay off family debts, she and other children like her, called Bugs, are mistreated by the captain and have lived a mostly lonely life. At nearly the end of her term of service, she rescues a rich-looking man from the sea, partially hoping for a reward that would hasten her debt resolution, but instead has her life shattered. The other protagonist, Cayo, the son of the merchant who is the target of her revenge, is recovering from a gambling addiction after nearly bankrupting himself, and trying to prove to his father that he can be responsible. When his sister falls ill with a disease that has been spreading in their city-state of Moray, he is pulled by his desires to fix things quickly the only way he knows how. The story starts off with different timelines for the leads, and merges it soon enough, as Amaya returns to Moray as a mysterious Countess who is taking high society by storm. Cayo, intrigued by her, and also encouraged by his father to seek favors with her, crosses paths with her often. While they both are holding secrets close to their heart, they both find a kinship in each other. Their story arcs do play separately, as Cayo, desperate for money to buy medicine for the sister his father refuses to spend money, makes a deal with the Slum King, while also trying to investigate the latter for the Port Authority. He is also fighting his addiction when it is everywhere in his life, whether is wandering the streets of a city known for its casinos, or with his 'friends' at parties. Amaya who has been subtly pushing Cayo towards hints of his father's misdeeds, and hoping to use him for the destruction of the Mercado family, starts realizing that she cannot punish him, too, for his father's crimes. She is also starting to think beyond the red-tinged haze of revenge, to find 'Amaya' in between trying to leave behind 'Silverish' and keeping her 'Countess' facade, when that is an identity she had left 7 years ago. Finding the person who orchestrated her father's fall and her being sold becomes a mission for her, while her mentor, Boon is trying to direct her towards revenge against the Mercados. The emotional landscape of both their stories is well-done. I liked the world-building in the book, with its rich imagining of the cultures, the dressing, the mythology that appeared in snippets as chapter headings; I wish, though, it was more clear about which kingdom belongs to which empire (I really hope there are maps in the final version, because I couldn't figure out). The plot was flowing smoothly, building up the tension between the two main characters and how their threads would twist as the story was reaching its end, but I felt the ending was a bit messy. Between the fact that Boon's plan made no sense, and finding out mid-way during the book that Amaya didn't actually orchestrate the Mercado's financial ruin (I honestly thought they had done something, but nope I was left being 'wait you didn't do that?'), what exactly was the revenge plan is a big question. Also the ash fever that permeated the city made no sense from the start - the Port Authority was checking incoming people for signs of disea
NovelKnight 3 months ago
I wasn’t really sure how I’d feel about Scavenge the Stars, knowing it’s a re-telling of a book I never read (The Count of Monte Cristo). I’m a re-telling “purist” — I like to read the source material first. But instead I read a synopsis of Monte Cristo, dove into this book, and ended up really loving it. I do love a good revenge story, after all. What initially hooked me wasn’t either of the characters but the way they’re presented. We’re given alternating points-of-view each chapter but also alternating timelines for the first third of the book and while I had my guesses, I couldn’t confirm if what I thought was happening was true if I stopped reading. So I kept going. Scavenge the Stars was an easy world to fall into. It’s not overly complicated with a vast world and all the details and descriptions that come with it. Instead, it centers on a ship and, for most of the book, in the city-state of Moray. And it worked in its favor. I felt like I could walk the streets and see the gambling dens, the docks, the manor houses, everything. I didn’t feel lost in this world. Rather, a visitor and witness to one of the biggest cons Moray has likely ever seen. Because oh, this isn’t just a story about revenge. It’s about all the plotting and scheming that comes with it… but also about trust. How it isn’t easily earned but quickly broken. I really felt for Amaya. Sold to a debtor’s ship for her father’s supposed crimes, she’s worked day and night so she can return to Moray and her mother. And then she’s forced to place her trust in a stranger and everything seems great with the world. But stories have a habit of twisting and turning when you least expect it. She’s a strong protagonist, though. Amaya will do anything for the other children who were part of the debtor ship crew she was with, and she’s also prepared to do what it takes to bring down the man responsible for putting her there (even if she doesn’t know yet how far that will take her). Amaya is a survivor, and her bravery and resilience help her more than a few times. Counter to her is Cayo, son of a noble and relatively recently clean of a gambling addiction that nearly bankrupted his family. I admired that he was working to stay away from it all, his sister playing an important role in his life as a voice of reason, but he still struggled. if anything, it made him human. Cayo is forced to face uncomfortable truths much like Amaya and it’s what he does about them that really says something of his character. Also there’s very little romance in Scavenge the Stars (for those who would rather avoid it) and for those like me who live for it, let me just say this is a seriously slow burn but if it’s endgame in the next/final book, it’s going to be perfect. My only real issue was the pacing at times. There was a while there in the middle that dragged a bit and I didn’t feel the urgency that I did at the beginning or end, enough that I won’t rate this as high as possible, but it’s still good. Really good. As in, you should definitely have Scavenge the Stars on your TBR right now good. I am very much looking forward to the sequel.
marongm8 3 months ago
This book was received as an ARC from Disney Book Group - Disney-Hyperion in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own. I am familiar with Tara Sim's work and have read a lot of her books and this one was definitely a winner. A twisted story with so much drama that it will leave your eyes glued to the pages that you will read it in one sitting. A rescue mission turned opportunity for a new life and clearing of your name so you can go on your quest to seek vengeance of the man that ruined your family. Then not only does she run in with the son she is trying to take down but she develops a trust and friendship with him that will be hard for her to break. So packed with drama that made it more enticing by the minute. Edge of your seat thrill ride that you'll want to read again and again. I can't wait to share this title with our teen book club and I know they will love it just as I do. We will consider adding this title to our YFiction collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.