Review: Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen

ScardustScardust by Suzanne van Rooyen
Genre: NA M/M Sci-Fi
Publication Date: February 8th, 2016
Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Dead Rock, Texas, 2037

Raleigh Williams made a promise to his brother before he died, that he’d scatter his ashes on Mars. Desperate to leave a life of bad memories behind and start over in the Martian colony, Raleigh fully intends to keep that promise. But his plans are thwarted when a meteor near-misses him in the desert, and Raleigh finds in its crater not debris or even a spacecraft, but a man covered in swirling scars and with no memory of who he is. At least he looks like a man—a man Raleigh can’t seem to keep his eyes off of—but whenever they touch it ignites a memory swap between them.

Raleigh agrees to help Meteor Man piece together his life through their cosmic connection. But the memory share goes both ways, and Raleigh becomes inexplicably entangled with a guy who is everything he needs—everything good that Raleigh is not—but might not even be human. As their minds and worlds collide, reality unravels and Raleigh must face a painful truth, one that could shatter his dreams of finding love, reaching Mars, and fulfilling his brother’s last wish.

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Wendy’s Review

Scardust had a very interesting plot.  I read it pretty quickly, and I was fully engaged the entire time.  It’s just odd because all the reasons I have for liking the story are also all the same reasons I had for not liking the story.  It feels like some strange paradox.  The other interesting thing about Scardust is how to review it without discussing key aspects of the story, which are exactly what I need to discuss!  They are the reasons I both liked and disliked the book in the first place.

Basically the story is about Raleigh, or Raw as his friends call him, and the messed up life he’s had.  His life long dream is to work as an astronaut on Mars, getting away from his past.  He finds Crow (Meteor Man) in the desert, devoid of any memories prior to Raleigh finding him, and their two lives become intertwined.

Scardust works hard to remind you that it’s very likely Crow isn’t even human.  From the indigo hair that grows that way from the root, to the swirly scars covering his body, you’re never able to forget there’s just something not right about him.  It doesn’t stop you from liking him, or liking the way that Crow is with Raleigh.  It gets even harder to keep your emotional distance after they begin sharing memories.  Through those flashbacks not only do you get the sordid history of Raw’s life in Dead Rock, you also get glimpses of what we believe is likely Crow’s prior life.

I liked that!  I liked that we can’t forget.  These weird things keep happening to Crow and you’re so worried as you read, wondering how in the world this is going to work out for everyone.  It’s not just Crow either, it’s all the trauma that happens after Raleigh and Crow are united.  So, I liked it, but at the same time I didn’t like it.  It felt real, and then it also didn’t feel real.  Sometimes it was just too perfect, their relationship worked out too well.  I don’t know, it’s very hard to describe.

And the end, that was even more of a mindf*ck.  On one hand, I actually really liked the twist toward the end.  It was one answer that, maybe it’s just me, I totally didn’t see it coming.  It wasn’t anything at all that I would have guessed.  It was intriguing, and clever.  I liked the resolution after the twist too.  It was sweet.  Yet, underneath all that I was also really sad because of what was lost.  It was the sacrifice of something sweet, for the possibility of something sweet.  A paradox.

See, this is so hard to review without giving anything away.  There’s a mystery at the core of the story, and overall I’m very glad I read it.

Rating: 3.5 Stars = C+

Thank you to Entangled Publishing and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

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