Rating: I REALLY LIKED IT
Series: Scavenger #1
Publication Date: 2014-06-06
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Book Blurb: Hugh Howey's novel, SAND, introduced us to a future America covered in sand and the terrorists who will stop at nothing to unearth the fabled city of Danvar.
"Scavenger" centers on the story of Divemaster Rush, a bereaved father and estranged husband who is offered a job he can't refuse. Rush can either harden his heart and survive or risk his life for what already seems lost.
"Scavenger" can be read without having read SAND. Written and sold with permission from Hugh Howey. While this novelette has a firm ending, it could be expanded to a novel length series if readers demand it.
I picked up this short story because I had read Cornhusker by the same author and enjoyed it immensely. I’d peg Cornhusker more in the horror genre while Scavenger falls into sci-fi. Now, if you’ve followed my reviews, you’ll know sci-fi and I don’t really get along. I generally have a hard time grounding myself into a sci-fi setting. Scavenger was no different. I admit I’ve never read Hugh Howey and therefore am at a complete loss as to the world Scavenger is based in. And while I don’t need to read Hugh Howey’s Sand to grasp a general understanding of the story, I think I’d need to read it to get a full picture in my head.
Scavenger starts us out in a tavern. When there, I was completely and utterly immersed in this story. I could see and feel everything. It was brilliant. But when we left, I got lost. I’d have liked—and I can’t believe I’m going to say this—a bit more description of the surroundings, maybe dumbed down for someone who hasn’t read Sand. However, I firmly believe my lack of sci-fi experience might have put me at a disadvantage while those who read sci-fi with some semblance of regularity probably cruised right along, even if they hadn’t read Sand.
Like I said, when grounded, I really was there, and Rush was a character I could easily get behind and come to love. The writing was smooth and I enjoyed Ward’s voice. I’ve read that if people are interested, Ward might write more stories. I hope they would include Rush. There were moments when I would grasp something, get a nice visual in my head, and I loved it. I was just on the brink of understanding what a diver could do when the story ended. It sounded incredibly fun and something I’d love to read more about.
So in the end, I’d definitely read another short story written by Ward about this world and Rush. It’s a short read, and I’d recommend anyone who likes sci-fi to give this a go.