wow, i'm exhausted but so happy! edited to add:The Scarabaeus duology wraps up with an impressive finish that had me breathless with anticipation all the way to the end. Edie and her stalwart protector Finn are trapped and recaptured by the Crib after their attempt to buy the neurotoxin that is essential to Edie’s survival on the black market. Natesa, Edie’s former mentor, wants her to recommit to the world building project Ardra which she needs to succeed in order to preserve her reputation and insure her continued value to the autocratic Crib. As leverage to guarantee Edie’s cooperation, Natesa agrees to leave Finn alive and unharmed. As Edie gets more immersed in the project, which she thinks she can somehow use to further her own mission to free the Fringe planets, she realizes that the experiment’s failures have set up the eventual wholesale destruction of the many planets previously terraformed for eventual human settlement, backsliding them into permanently uninhabitable wastelands. Now Edie is not the kind of gal to let this sort of thing pass, and for that I love her. She is always trying to do the right thing and when she discovers that Natesa has also co-opted a team of children from Edie’s home planet because of their genetic predisposition to cypherteck, she will not quit until she foils the Crib’s exploitation and rescues and restores these children to families that will care for them. Now despite enjoying all the fantastic sci fi and tense drama underpinning the story, I absolutely loved the relationship between Edie and Finn. What I love most of all is that they are equally strong and capable and that they protect each other. Their loyalty to each other show their feelings more strongly than the more obvious forms of love and devotion and in this 'live or die setting' it totally fits. Despite having only known each other a few short weeks, Edie is willing to die for Finn and even though it’s obvious he will probably die because of her, Finn sticks with her as he risks it all. A unique combination of rich characters, an incredible story of loyalty and self fulfillment, and kick butt, cool tech I’m not sure I will find anything that will satisfy like these two books. I can’t wait to see what Sara Creasy writes next.