Rating: 4 / 5
After reading THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO by Alexandre Dumas last year, I was excited to learn that there was a YA retelling coming out. I was even more excited when the retelling came in an Owlcrate Box!
SCAVENGE THE STARS by Tara Sim follows Amaya. Amaya was sold off to a labor ship to do hard labor to pay off her father’s debts. After seven years, the end of her sentence is finally in sight. When she spots a man in the water, she decides to rescue him in the hopes that he has enough money to reward her.
As it turns out the man she rescued is less than an upstanding citizen and rather than an outright reward, he draws her into his schemes to get revenge against the family up the chain of command for the ship she has been laboring on. Posing as a Countess, she works her way into society keeping her true identity hidden. She meets Cayo, the son of the man she has vowed to take down and their relationship becomes a complicated one as loyalties are tested.
This book was marketed as a gender swapped retelling of the Dumas classic, and I can see elements of the original. Certainly the theme of revenge is at the center of both, along with complicated relationships and hidden identities and other links to the classic. Even so, I am not sure that I would have necessarily picked up on the similarities if I hadn’t been prepped to look for them going in.
I did really enjoy reading this fun adventure story. Amaya is a fun central character to follow. She is strong resilient and smart. Though she is drawn into the plot for revenge, she is able to change her mind and adapt as she learns more about Cayo and his family. Cayo is a complex character as well. He has been known to be frivolous, gambling away his family’s money. Still, he is loyal to his sister who is ill and willing to do whatever it takes to get her better.
I thought this was a good start to a new series and will be looking forward to the next installment.
#PopsugarReadingChallenge – a favorite prompt from a past Popsugar Reading Challenge