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Heart Scarab (Taking Shield Book 2) by [Butler, Anna]
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Heart Scarab (Taking Shield Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Length: 300 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 796 KB
  • Print Length: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Wilde City Press (July 31, 2015)
  • Publication Date: July 31, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B012O1C2DA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #671,120 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I still really like this author's writing style, but this book reminds me of the dog from "Up." It chases every shiny object on the way to nowhere.

The point of view shifts between several characters, including Joss, Flynn, and Bennett. It also switches randomly into second person, in short chapters that add nothing.

But the entire plot seems to be about beating the dead horse that is Bennet and Joss's relationship. That horse is dead because she killed it in the last book, which wasn't hard because she never gave it much life. And the fact that she killed it means she has to pull out the overwrought stops to try to revive it so we can be crushed anew that it didn't work out. Poor Joss, who was sleeping with someone else anyway!

But Joss still isn't a sympathetic character, we still don't care about him, and so why am I reading so many chapters about him? He also has little role in the plot of this book (in which Bennett gets killed off and resurrected- that's not really a spoiler, the reader knows he's alive) other than just being the guy who is sad because Bennet isn't around. So his chapters are skimming material at best, and detract from the story at worst. And overall the lack of movement of that plot line ruins the pacing of the book overall (oh look, weeks have passed and Joss and Bennet still don't like each other that much!). This book is basically 200 pages of this, a few pages of nasty break-up, and an instant shift over to true love with Flynn. There was absolutely zero transition time.

This is where I think the lack of professional genre editors really comes into play, because it wouldn't have taken much to rearrange this into a really good book. Instead I keep getting bored and checking Facebook.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I've been looking forward to story ever since I read book one in the series, Gyrfalcon. What can I say? I love a good military sci-fi story, and once again, Anna Butler delivers.

This is epic space opera at its finest, in the tradition of such writers as David Weber or Eric Flint. More than any other genre, convincing sci-fi needs a strong foundation of characterization, plot, and world-building. Many authors shine at one or two elements: it's rare that you get stellar treatment of all three in one story. I bet if you asked the author for details about the ships and the structure of the political organizations--things that aren't related in the story--she could tell you about them without hesitation. I certainly hope that future stories include specs on some ships--the geek in me really wants to see them! The different branches of the military: Fleet and Shield, and the rotational system designed to keep Shield officers from burning out makes sense from a logistical standpoint, but man, is it hell on relationships! Add to that the political machinations behind the military, and it is small wonder that the idealistic Bennet has a hard time knowing where he stands sometimes.

Then we have the characters themselves. What I love most about them is that they are complicated people with the kinds of motives and failings that make them so very real, so very human. I love too that even the secondary characters are fully fleshed out; to the point that if something happens to them, I feel a strong sense of loss for them. Bennet is not very likeable when he hurt, which keeps him from being too, too perfect. Bisexuality is more common in this universe, but there are still sects that disapprove of same-sex relationships.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Review by Jaycee for BOOKS 'N COZY SPOTS BOOK REVIEWS, www. Talon-ps.com
*copy provided by author for honest review.

Heart Scarab picks up where Gyrfalcon left off in the toxic relationship between Bennet and the truly unlikable Joss, despite the passage of nearly two years. Bennet is still the understated Shield Captain, dedicated to and flourishing in his role in the fight against the cyborg enemy, The Maess, and Joss…is still a big tool.

There is nothing like the fundamental changes the psyche bears when one comes back from two back-to-back near-death experiences, literally battered and torn, to recognize what your heart has been telling you for a long time about what is really important to you. Or more accurately, telling you that you are worth more than you have been receiving, despite giving it your all.

Of course, Heart Scarab is actually a Science Fiction tale which first delves into that near-death experience at the hands of the Maess on a remote and unforgiving planet that brings to mind The Bog of Eternal Stench for all the “Labyrinth” lovers out there. All to save some ill-guided “colonists” who probably don’t deserve to live anyway, if one approaches it from a consideration of a healthy gene pool, but alas, I editorialize. Apologies. It is an exciting first half of the book which covers the massively destructive attack, a miraculous survival, feats of humanity as well as derring-do and an heroic, if unexpected rescue.

But such experiences have a way of changing people and the latter half of the book deals with Bennet’s lengthy and painful recovery period, while his failing relationship with Joss dies its unnatural death. Good riddance I say. A more self involved, egotistical and disingenuous character I have never read.
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