Children of Scarabaeus
by Sara Creasy
Cover Artist: Chris McGrath
Review by Steve Sawicki
Eos Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061934742
Date: 01 April 2011 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Edie Sha'nim has fled the Crib empire, trying to hide in the outer worlds. But she does not get away for long before being recaptured. Her ability to manipulate the systems that work changes to the ecology of evolving planets makes her much too valuable to be running around loose. And so, Edie finds herself enslaved once again, by the very woman who created her. This woman has new creations, newer versions of Edie, children who can also manipulate environments.
Edie is both, repulsed and drawn to the work of changing planets. But something is wrong, the worlds are failing, and Edie believes the answer lies on Scarabaeus, the first world she tried to change back. Now she is returning there, as it appears an intelligence is evolving there, and it may provide the answer the Crib needs to stay in power and keep all of it's people alive.
This is the sequel to Creasy's Song of Scarabaeus, and it picks up immediately after the first book and continues the story. As with the first book, Creasy focuses on the relationships between the characters--between Edie and Finn, Edie and Natesa, Edie and the children, and Edie and Scarabaeus. This is not to say the science behind the story is not solid, just that it is more the setting for the interpersonal dynamics to unfold. These dynamics are complex, bringing forth issues of child hood, parenting, loyalty, and trust, and expanding those themes between the characters and into the economics and ethics of the situation driving the story as well.
The book is interesting, especially if you are looking for something that goes beyond the typical supernatural romance. While the book has many of those trappings, it is definitely more aligned with SF than Romance. Creasy writes with a clear style and manages to keep all of the issues in line with a good amount of forward movement in terms of plotting. There are a few surprises, some interesting developments and enough action to keep things interesting. A well done novel and an interesting sequel. Definitely recommended.