Saturday, December 14, 2013

Book Review: These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
December 10, 2013
Disney Hyperion
374 pages
Genre: Mature Young Adult Sci-Fi
(Contains: sexual inferences)
Source: eARC from publisher for Honest review
Book Blurb:
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.


A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

My Review:

This is the kind of story that sneaks up on you, and then doesn't want to let you go. These Broken Stars is rich with fascinating characters that cannot be put in a box, a world that is intriguing and mysterious, and a plot that twists in its directions, compelling the reader to journey to the end, regardless of the indignation, suspense, heartbreak, joy, hope, and fear you'll feel along the way. I knew nothing about this book going in, except it had a beautiful cover, so each step in the story brought new info and enlightenment, and I was completely hooked. I loved that I didn't know what was going on or what to expect.

The pacing was steady yet expectant of more to come. It never quite allows you to get comfortable or complacent, in spite of the lack of action or intensity at all times. Not only is there the steady build-up in the scenes between Tarver and Lilac, but also the build-up with the major's debriefing snippets at the beginning of each chapter. I loved this combination of present and future, and I felt like it really heightened the scenes. The action isn't always blatant and in-your-face, and I liked the subtlety mixed with the more intense moments. The developing romance was a strong part of the book, but also the exploration of where they ended up and all the weird and bizarre things that kept occurring, causing them to question their sanity. Really well-played.

Though there are a few sparks in the beginning, this is not an insta-love story. This is a gradually building relationship between two people from opposite sides of the spectrum, forced together to survive and find their places in this new environment, and with all that, to explore the numerous questions that keep appearing to them in this confusing world where answers are hard to come by... and rescue is questionable. However, despite both characters having strong personalities, initially much of what goes on with them is internal, and their stubbornness or insecurity or presumptions keeps them from being completely open and honest with each other. Fortunately we get dual POVs in this novel, and that makes the reading more exciting and intriguing. If it had just been one POV, I would have been much more annoyed with these characters. But instead I really liked Tarver and Lilac, and especially how they brought out the better qualities in each other.

I will not give away how their relationship worked out or didn't, but the direction the authors took, the plot twists they threw in, and the edge-of-your-seat trepidation toward the end was a real winning combination for me. I was completely captivated and intrigued. I loved that this was not a cookie-cutter plot and I had no idea what would happen. If you are planning to read this, I would highly suggest you avoid major spoilers, because there are some great twists here you want to experience on your own.

My only negatives were that while I enjoyed the slow pace in the beginning, it got to me after a while. The book is close to 400 pages long, but felt even longer to me for some reason. And there was also a development between Tarver and Lilac that happened rather quickly in my opinion, and since so many other aspects of their relationship was slow, I question why this was so fast. Otherwise, I have no other faults. If you can handle the pacing, be prepared for a pretty fabulous read.

This is the first book in a trilogy, but the next two books are companion novels and based on other characters, but each story has a common enemy. I loved that this book was not left with a cliffhanger, but there are still unresolved questions, and I can only hope that these questions will continue to be addressed in future books, and that Tarver and Lilac will make appearances in the other books. I hope we haven't seen the last of them. But regardless, I'm excited about this series and loved this book.
4-1/2 STARS

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