Monday, October 21, 2013

Review: These Broken Stars (Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner)

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)
Title: These Broken Stars
Series: Starbound, Book 1
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Told: First Person Duo (Tarver, Lilac), Present Tense
Content Rating: Older Teen (sensuality/sexuality, tense and scary situations, survival situations)
Format Read: ARC (trade)
Find On: Goodreads
Purchase OnAmazon | B&N | TBD

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.

*          *          *

Three Words: Space. Survival. Magnificent.

Series: While this is the first book in a trilogy, it wraps up like a standalone. This left me with really no idea what the next books could be about, but I loved this book so much that I'm curious and excited to see where Amie & Meagan are going to take me next!

Writing: Simple yet lush. The description was vivid and clear - I could picture everything effortlessly (which is a very rare thing for me) and follow everything that happened.

Setting: The future in space, where other planets have been terraformed and inhabited by humans, and travel between them is via hyperspace. Most of the book takes place in only two locations: the luxury spaceliner Icarus, and the mysterious planet they crash on. Both were effortless to imagine - the spectacular spaceliner with its levels and luxury, and the wild paradise of the planet with its dangers and discoveries.

Story: After their escape pod crash-lands on a desolate but habitable planet, young soldier Tarver must march socialite Lilac across the wild and dangerous terrain to the downed Icarus in the hopes of rescue. But what they discover when they finally reach their destination is far from a rescue - and when tragedy strikes, both must rethink life as they've always known it.

The first half of the book was mainly a survival story, with a hint of the mysterious. We followed their trek as they crossed forests and plains, dealing with hunger and thirst and injury and lurking dangers. They argued, they fought, but they persevered until they reached their destination. The second half continued their survival story (because nothing is ever as easy as reaching your destination), but the survival took a backseat as they uncovered the planet's chilling origins and discovered that the hints of mysterious from the first half were much more than they could have ever imagined. All in all, the first half was relatively simple yet completely engrossing, and the second half was full of mystery and otherworldly intrigue.

Characters: Lilac was not your typical rich girl - yes, she was privileged and a bit spoiled, but she was strong and capable, even at her most vulnerable. She was more than just a pretty face, and possessed useful skills - and if she didn't know how to do something, she wasn't afraid to learn. I admired her passion and determination, and her stubbornness. Tarver was the epitome of a skilled soldier, but so much more than just the brawn and field skills needed to keep Lilac safe. He had actual depth and emotion, the likes of which I rarely see from a male character in this type of story. Even when he and Lilac were at each other's throats he looked after her and cared about her. He was good for her, and she for him. I adored them both and connected with both, even though I had almost nothing in common with either of them. I became completely invested in them - and still am (bring on Book 2!).

Romantic Relationship: Although they were immediately attracted to each other, it wasn't an insta-love kind of attraction. Instead of ignoring the reasons they couldn't be together (which were numerous) and just going with their hormones, they struggled against them (the reasons, and their hormones) for much of the book before finally giving in to love. It felt real, and it was refreshing.

Conclusion: While I'm usually All The Flails for favorite books, my love for These Broken Stars is quiet and reverent. This book left me rather in awe, it's so beautifully written. I connected to it on an emotional level (it almost made me cry at one point), and it's a rare moment for me to ever be emotionally involved in a story. This is a magnificent book, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Scribble Rating
5 of 5 Scribbles

1 comment:

  1. Your review made me wanna read this one yesterday. Seriously it sounds so good! I love that space stories are taking over YA, cause they happen to be awesome! Also it sounds like the characters are really great! Thanks for the awesome review girl!