Published: August 26th, 2016, self-published | Series: #1 of The Investigative Privateers | Length: 145 pages | Genre: Fantasy | Source: I received a copy from the author. | Possible Triggers: Violence
Summary from Goodreads:
Ghorad-Gha, once magnificent city of clay and bronze, crumbles. Those prosperous few burden the shoulders of the downtrodden. In a city of forgotten glory, the lawless thrive.
A monk turns up dead, and Arn is determined to find out why. Along with his stone skinned companion, Rohqim, they’ll be dragged deep into Ghorad-Gha’s underbelly, where the Horned Scarab reigns.
At first, I wasn’t really sure whether or not I would enjoy this. But since it was such a short book, I decided to give it a chance and I’m glad I did. Although it wasn’t perfect, The Horned Scarab still managed to keep me entertained and I’m looking forward to seeing where the series goes.
I’ll admit that, at times, I felt that some things were a bit lacking. But I really think this is because of the length, rather than being due to poor writing. I found that some of the characters blended together, making it a bit hard at times for me to differentiate between them. Particularly the two main characters, Arn and Rohqim, often mixed together in my mind. The only way I was able to remember who was who was by paying attention their weapons. I think if their personalities had been a bit more developed, this wouldn’t have been as much of an issue. But I also realize that with a book this short, it becomes difficult to allow for a lot of character development.
However, the rest of the book was really enjoyable. The plot was quite intriguing and I was often interested to see where things were going. In the beginning of the book it was pretty slow and I had a bit of trouble getting into it, but once it picked up, I really liked it. Towards the end, this became especially true. A lot happened in the end and I really want to see what happens following the end of this book.
The world The Horned Scarab takes place in was another part of the book I enjoyed. Ghorad-Gha is a pretty dark place with a lot of conflict. Combine this with all of the fantasy elements and you’re left with a really interesting setting. I was impressed with how much world-building Marchitto was able to pack into this book without it seeming dense or overly descriptive.
I’m not sure what else to say. The book was pretty short so there’s not a lot to comment on that I haven’t already talked about. All in all, The Horned Scarab was an intriguing story and I’m definitely interested to see where Marchitto takes the rest of the story.
I’d like to thank the author, Matthew Marchitto, for providing me with a copy of the book for an honest review.