Raleigh made a promise to his brother, one that he intends to keep. He also desperately wants to join the group headed to Mars. But when a stranger falls from the sky, landing in the dirt in Texas, Raleigh feels himself being pulled in all directions. Can he still fall in love, or will he have to choose between the mysterious stranger and his promise to his brother?

I really enjoyed the futuristic aspect of this novel, which made the world seem even more interesting. I also loved the romantic plot, which was a slow burn, a steady ratcheting up of emotions. The feelings that Crow and Raleigh develop for each other pays off, for when they do become a couple, it’s a relationship formed on friendship coupled with figuring out who Crow really is over time.

Sharing memories, Crow and Raleigh only become closer as friends, strengthening their bond before they admit their feelings for one another. I’d be nervous for someone to enter my mind at random intervals, for I wouldn’t know what he would see. Raleigh and Crow are both apprehensive when it comes to unexpectedly swapping memories, which goes back as far as childhood in some cases. Raleigh finds himself struggling with achieving his dream of becoming a member of Mars Life, and thus completing his promise to his brother–all while falling in love with Crow. He finds Crow attractive, and lingers on how he looks several times throughout the novel. But he finds himself at a crossroads, unsure whether he can have the best of both worlds–love and Mars? Or must he choose between the two? He wants to go to Mars more than anything, and straight up tells Crow this, despite his budding feelings for the guy.

Crow is struggling, too, because he has no memory of who he is. Piecing together his life via shared memories with Raleigh–which happens whenever they touch (like if they were to bump shoulders)–helps him re-discover his identity. Upon learning that he has the hots for Raleigh, he doesn’t reject his feelings. Instead, he calmly agrees with the notion that he is gay. I really liked this. It’s only a few sentences in the book, but it makes all the difference. It helps dissuade any feelings of self doubt.

The mysterious behind Crow’s existence, as well as his past, keeps the ball rolling when it comes down to plot. The ricocheting romance between the two guys also kept me interested as a reader. I was determined to find out if they ended up together, and whether it would all turn out for the better.

I won’t spoil the ending, or the crazy reveal towards the end of the book, but I will say that this is a fresh romance, and a fun read. I highly recommend Scardust to anyone who loves futuristic science fiction.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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