Scorpion Shards: The Star Shards Chronicles, Book 1

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
Scorpion Shards: The Star Shards Chronicles, Book 1 Book Poster Image
Kids use psychic powers in exciting, X-Men-like thriller.

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Scorpion Shards emphasizes the importance of empathy for people who are regarded as outcasts.

Positive Messages

Friendship can help people facing adversity. Inner strength is more important than outward appearance.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The six main characters in Scorpion Shards undergo terrible trauma, but some of them are able to find the strength to put aside the disruptive aspects of their lives and choose to help others.


Dillon feeds on violence, and his scenes tend to focus on murder and mayhem. Usually, only results -- dead or shellshocked victims -- are portrayed, A major character is shot to death at the climax. The teens fight against the other-dimensional parasites living in their bodies.


Every girl Michael meets wants to have sex with him. He indulges in a few make-out sessions but ends them before he becomes too dangerously excited. Discussion of masturbation.


Minor swearing, with a few instances of "bastard," "hell," and "damn."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Neal Shusterman's Scorpion Shards is a sci-fi/fantasy thriller about six teens with supernatural powers. Violence plays a large part in the plot, but usually only the lead-up and aftermath of the events are described. A major character is shot to death at the climax. One character is sexually irresistible, but his exploits are mostly described in retrospect and without intimate details. Swearing is minimal (a few instances of "bastard," "hell," and "damn"), and there's no substance abuse.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMaridalia May 13, 2019

Exciting and thought-inviting

It explores the "evil" urges every teenager faces and how destructive it could be for those that succumb to it. It's great to open discussions ab... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byJackie Hite May 8, 2018


I liked this book a lot. There were a couple sots that were slow and the book was quite long. It has a lot of action and it is kind of a thriller but I wouldn... Continue reading

What's the story?

As SCORPION SHARDS opens, Dillon, a boy who can cause chaos with a few words, and Deanna, a young woman terrified of nearly everything, realize that their chances of survival are greater if they team up. Four other psychically gifted teens are soon on their trail, trying to withstand the debilitating physical effects of their own superpowers. If they don't stop Dillon and Deanna in time, the entire world's population could be doomed.

Is it any good?

If its premises and plotting seems a little dated after decades of X-Men adventures, this thriller still packs a superheroic punch. With Scorpion Shards, author Neal Shusterman displays his skill at creating teen characters with awesome powers who struggle against awesome challenges. The problems they face -- super-acne, mega-obesity, reverse aging and more -- verge on the unbelievable but are made plausible through convincing character development. The novel's action sequences are exciting and clearly described, and they serve thematic purposes rather than as excuses for a punch-up. By the end of the book, readers will feel sympathy for all the characters and want to see what happens to them in the next installment.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Scorpion Shards uses elements ot superhero comics to tell its story. How is this effective?

  • Is there such a thing as "evil'? Can people be taken over by it and forced to commit bad deeds?

  • How is violence used in Scorpion Shards? Does it produce the results that characters want from it?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science fiction and fantasy

Themes & Topics

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