Outcasts eke out a living in the deadly Culver Waste digging for lost treasure until an earth-shattering chamber is found, setting in motion a post-apocalyptic epic reaching to the stars.
SAND AND SCRAP is the first book in the Dregs of the Culver Waste series. Nearly a century after a war ravaged the land and shattered the unsteady peace, scavengers and outcasts trawl the deadly sands of the Culver Waste searching for weapons or other goods they can swap for coins. Michael Carter, an orphan dreg, discovers a chamber buried deep in the sands and sets off a trap unleashing a life force that gloms onto his essence. As Michael attempts to free himself, other dregs race to claim the chamber for themselves. Unbeknownst to all, disturbing the chamber sends a signal and begins the countdown to a new war.
Sendrowski’s new series is ambitious and unique. The world is vivid, dark, and dynamic. Most of the characters, even secondary ones, have fully fleshed out backstories and motivations separate from the main plot. This lends the story a worn-in feeling, perfect for the start of a series. The staggering variety of locations and character dynamics sets the stage nicely for future books, especially considering the concluding events of this book. However, the cast of characters veers on the unwieldy despite being strongly written. It’s often difficult to keep track of the strangely named characters, and many share common attributes. Some polish is needed too, as the novel progresses, the number of editing mistakes mounts and reflects poorly on an otherwise fascinating story.
The strange and deadly world of SAND AND SCRAP marks an ambitious and engaging first entry in a dark fantasy set in a post-apocalyptic world featuring a unique story and colorful cast of outcasts.