There has always been a little part of me that has wanted to go sailing. Not like on a sailboat but on a real ship. One where the sails are so tall it seems like you have clouds pushing you along instead of a canvas blowing in the wind. The sounds of seagulls and the creaking of the wood surround you as you are swaying on deck. You hear the calls of directions and positions towards the men of the crew from the captain. And the waves slapping against the hull of the ship is the only true thing telling you that you are moving forward through the sea. Then after weeks at sea, you head into port at one of the random island towns scattered across the ocean’s islands. The opportunity to go exploring a brand new town and try out the local cuisine is at every new port you land at. The things you would see or experience would be unending!
I know that the entire process of sailing is difficult and never as clean cut as we see or read about and making it to the next port is even harder, but it is still fun to thing about! In Tara Sim’s Scavenge The Stars, the characters we meet get to sail on ships and live on the same island towns I’ve thought about before. The difference is, I would be doing these for fun, these characters do this for survival.
So here’s the story:
As one of the older children bound to the debtors ship, Brackish, Silverfish, knows there’s really two things that you should do: keep your head down and don’t make it worse for yourself. No one wants to add more to their debt than they already have. Silverfish, formally known as Amaya, knows these rules the best especially since she is only a few days away from paying off the debt that was pegged to her name. She has spent the last seven years of her life working aboard this ship and has watched her total dwindle towards zero slowly.
Then one day her world gets turned all around and she is left to the sea and a group of Landless. Now she begins to watch, not how much she still owes but how many people owe her a debt in blood. Fitted with a perfect cover, Amaya heads back to Moray to find out what really happened seven years ago. Those who have done her wrong had better beware because the point of her blade is getting closer to her revenge.
Being the heir to the Mercado legacy, Cayo has a lot on his shoulders. Not too long ago he was seen as a rich, drunkard who was obsessed with gambling in the Vice Sector of Moray. Now he is trying to clean up his act and finally acting like the man his father wants him to be – starting by swearing off gambling and drinking.
All of a sudden, Cayo’s sister falls ill with the dreaded Ash Fever and his family’s money has run out leaving nothing left to help his sister’s medical treatment. Cayo is willing to do anything in his power to help get her the medicine she needs to survive. Even to go back on his word and willingly join back up in his bad habits. On other the other hand, marrying and gaining their wealth and status is far safer than gambling away everything you own. Cayo has a decision to make, follow his gambling habits and try to strike big? Or try to catch the eye of the young and wealthy Countess Yamaa who is new in Moray? Which to chose when you are gambling with your sister’s life and family’s name no matter which one you pick?
Tara Sim’s book Scavenge The Stars was fascinating! I already have a draw towards anything sea related, so I was really excited to start reading this book. Sim does an amazing job at giving you beautiful details and fantastic scenes that capture her world and the characters within it. I was also curious about how this book would be able to portray a gender-swapped version of The Count of Monte Cristo. And I say she did a wonderful job at it!
I wanted to keep reading and barely put the book down once I got started. Mostly because I was never sure what was going to happen next. I would think I had something figured out and would feel quite proud of myself, but then the story would have a fast twist and everything I thought I had figured out would be completely wrong. From who the countess was all the way to the Widow Vaults, you never knew the truth until it surprised you just as much as it surprised the characters. I know none of that makes a lot of sense, but I don’t want to spoil the story for you! If you want to know more you should definitely go check it out yourselves.
My Favorite Quote:
“I come from a place where happiness was more important than money. Where spiders are revered and myths were eaten up like candy.” (252)