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THESE BROKEN STARS
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi
Publication: December 10, 2013Pages: 374
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.
I was surprisingly captivated by "These Broken Stars." I had read snippets of reviews in which this book was hailed as an "intergalactic Titanic." Such a proclamation seemed enticing to a science-fiction geek such as myself. Add a little romance, some sweet iced tea, and I had the makings of a wonderful afternoon in store for myself.
Oddly enough, all references to the RMS Titanic seemed to rapidly sink once I got past the first few chapters. The book takes the reader aboard the Icarus, a colossal luxury spaceship passing through dimensional hyperspace and carrying some fifty thousand souls. When the ship is wrenched off track, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux end up thrown together in a single safety pod. Their pod, along with all the wreckage of the Icarus, crashes on an unknown planet leaving the two stranded together.
Normally if a book is written from two different viewpoints, I would find myself nearly jarred out of the story every time a new chapter started. But with Lilac and Tarver, I found it to be a nearly seamless transition from one mind to the other. I don't know if that is due to the fact that this book was co-written by Kaufman and Spooner or just that it was written so well. Either way, I very much so enjoyed the tag-along with both characters.
Lilac is the daughter of the wealthiest man in the entire universe. I was expecting to have to trudge along through the tantrums of a spoiled rich girl. At first, I was correct in my assessment. She was infuriating and difficult for the first few chapters. Once her icy demeanor began to thaw, I was content to watch her evolve throughout the book. I came to find that I admired her resilient attitude and her quick tongue. Tarver is the backbone to the beginning of the book. He keeps the plot from wobbling off track and you know that he is the character that will keep you moving. When Lilac starts hearing chilling whispers and having strange visions, it's her sanity that Tarver is trying to protect.
Their romance is the stitching among the chapters that held me firmly rooted to their story. The concept of needing someone takes on a whole new meaning when two people are conceivably alone on a planet together. It made me anxious for every touch. This book is not a fast-paced read. It's a slow journey of survival and a love that society and Lilac's father would condemn.
At first, I perceived the writing to be a bit dawdling. But it didn't take me long to figure out that therein was the beauty of the piece. You are pulled along through every bit of their exhaustion and desperation. I found paragraphs so beautifully written that I was wrenched down into the dirt right along with them. Blinking back sudden tears and having to widen my gaze to keep from missing a moment of the emotion that was so wrenchingly raw on the page.
I give this book 4 quills. I wanted a little more from the ending, which is what kept me from giving it that extra quill. But as this is the first in the Starbound Trilogy, I suppose I can't expect the world. Take the afternoon and meet Lilac and Tarver. You can never quite tell how characters will surprise you.