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Day of the Scarab    by Catherine Fisher order for
Day of the Scarab
by Catherine Fisher
Order:  USA  Can
Greenwillow, 2006 (2006)

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* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

The long-awaited (at least by me) final book in Catherine Fisher's The Oracle Prophecies trilogy is finally out! But while I was ecstatic to find out how the story finished and was satisfied with the ending, I was slightly less enthusiastic about Day of the Scarab as a whole.

Mirany and the Archon are living outside the city in hiding. Argelin has captured most of the nine and is holding them on the Island. Seth has gone undercover in Argelin's palace in an attempt to enlist the help of the captured Prince. The Jackal is leading a band of thieves in resistance against the new regime. Everything has fallen into disarray, including Argelin's senses - he is determined to venture into the Rain Queen's garden to bring back his beloved who was murdered by his own hand. Mirany and the Archon find themselves enlisted to help Argelin on his quest - he must pass through the Nine Gates of the underworld and then return from the dead. Many perils await before Mirany's world can return to almost normal.

While everything that made the first two books (The Oracle Betrayed and The Sphere of Secrets) great is still there the well-rounded, likeable characters, the intense adventure, the mystery Fisher's writing style has changed a little in Day of the Scarab making for a more confusing read. A lot of action happens in this book, but unfortunately not all of the action is covered and often the reader is plopped down in the middle of some commotion with no idea of what is happening until further into the passage. Constantly having to flip back to see if something important was missed lowers the enjoyment of what should be a fast-paced, adventurous read.

Another disappointing aspect was that the quest part is very similar to the plot of another of Fisher's books from earlier this year, Darkhenge. The nine gates Mirany must pass through this time are similar to the levels of the Unworld in Darkhenge. However, what makes Day of the Scarab less appealing is that the nine gates are not explored and explained as fully as in Darkhenge. Despite these flaws, Day of the Scarab does create a nice, satisfying conclusion to The Oracle Prophecies and should not be missed by the many enthusiastic followers of Mirany's adventures.

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