Review: Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen

Posted November 7, 2016 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 12 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Genres: M/M Romance, Sci-Fi Romance
Published by Entangled Embrace
Released on February 8, 2016
Pages: 266
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Scardust offers a blend of back-water Texas, a future involving Mars as the new frontier, an up against some big odds hero, and a mysterious stranger that may be from a whole lot further away than at first thought.  The sci-fi future tech blended with dusty, small town Texas with a beaten down hero about to break and the mysterious stranger worked well and I devoured this one in one sitting.

Raleigh Williams wants out of his town- his life- and dreams of being chosen for the Mars astronaut program as a way to do it.  His brother’s dying wish was for Raleigh to make it happen so regardless of his past that is what he is set on doing even if it means doing whatever is necessary to make it happen.  He is soul-weary and on his last ounce of hope when he witnesses something phenomenal.

There is a burst of light one night out on his walk in the desert and suddenly a buck-naked man is there and Raleigh has his memories assaulting him.  The mysterious man has no memories of who he is or how he got there, but now, he, too, is experiencing Raleigh’s memories.

Crow and Raleigh try to piece together what has happened even while hiding the truth from Raleigh’s older sister and her husband, others, and those new arrivals in the black SUVs.

I wasn’t sure what to expect other than a vague idea of a sci-fi mystery with the stranger guy and life in the future, but this was so different- and I didn’t mind once I adjusted.  Other than some future objects and the memory swaps, much of this story is about the person of Raleigh.

Raleigh’s life would break the average person- abusive home, brother committing suicide, bullying, a stint in Juvie, mother fallen to pieces, and no future prospects other than a pipe-dream of going to Mars as one of the elite astronauts.

And then no sooner had I adjusted to this story about Raleigh then a switch happens and wowsers, was that something brilliant and impressive taking things right back deep into sci-fi territory.  Though, I will say that it wasn’t an utter shock since the clues were sort of there all along.

The romance is an interesting and more of a background element since ‘Crow’ is a blank slate and Raleigh has the issues from his past.  I liked what ultimately came in the end, but the surprise twist did take some mental adjustments for me and does affect the romance.

All in all, this was a bit of something different even by my usual sci-fi romance standards.  I was broken-hearted over Raleigh’s situation and there were a few points when I teared up.  I do think many people will love this story as long as they can agilely make the adjustments as the story shows its surprise elements.  This will be for the M/M Sci-Fi Romance lovers.

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #354 NA
New to Me #136 author
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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Alyssa Susanna
4 years ago

Woah. This book sounds deep! Memory loss, abusive home — all in a science fiction mystery novel. What an intriguing concept! I bet I would want to see more romance, but sometimes it’s nice when it’s more of a background element and doesn’t overtake the plot. SOMETIMES. 😉

Great review, Sophia!

Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Alyssa Susanna

Yes, it had everything going on Alyssa. 🙂 And, it was neat how she wrote the romance. I liked how it slowly built in the background and then came to the forefront when everything got intense and crazy. Thanks, Alyssa!

Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

This sounds like a good read…better than whet the blurb would have led me to think. And I love the cover!

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

I’ve stared at that cover and appreciated that it fits the story well now that I’ve read it. Yes, this was one that went well and beyond what the blurb led me to expect.

Keionda Hearts Books
4 years ago

I LOVE the title of the book for some reason?? And I really need to get this book in my life in a BAD way!! It sounds like a real tough but worthwhile book to read and I’m glad you enjoyed all of the many twists!♡♡

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

It it neat when a title is unique and then is revealed to have a strong connection with the story. I agree, it’s one that drew my attention, too. This story was a tough one emotionally when I don’t usually expect that from sci-fi.

Lover Of Romance
4 years ago

Oh wow… You have piqued my interest with this one. I do love it when an author surprises you

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

Yeah, Renee, this one was a sleeper for sure. I was cruising along thinking I knew what to expect and then wham, big surprises. 🙂

4 years ago

I’ve read one of the books by this author, had to look up the title, The Other Me is the one I read. I enjoyed that one. But didn’t get around to reading any of her other books. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one. It does sound like an original sci-fi read. You make me curious about the surprise elements in the story. Great review!

Sophia Rose
4 years ago
Reply to  Lola

Oh neat. I was looking at her other books after I read this one and wondering if I’d like them. Glad to know you thought the one you read was good. Oh, yes, this had a big shocker twist near the end that changed the whole perception. 🙂

Anna@herding cats&burning soup

Whoa what different elements to pull together for a setting. Poor Raleigh. Characters like that just make me want to sweep them up and hug them hard. Even if they’d resist. lol

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

Yeah, this poor guy really had a tough row to hoe and it was worse than what I put into the review. Ha, yeah, he was a bit bristly about tender affection so he probably wouldn’t sit still for a hug though, yeah, he really needed one.