Authors: Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound, #1
Published: December 10th 2013
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository
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.
At any given moment, my feelings for Lilac and Tarver perfectly reflected their feelings for each other at that point in the story. When they liked each other, I had warm feelings towards them both; when they felt nothing but contempt towards each other, I genuinely disliked them and resented them for how they treated each other. Needless to say I grew to love them both in time, just like they grew to love each other. This in itself is pretty impressive – a clear sign that Kaufman and Spooner are extremely competent authors who manipulate their readers’ feelings with ease. What makes it even more impressive is that they managed to portray a relationship that progresses slowly and naturally. Lilac and Tarver’s feelings for each other are always affected by their circumstances. This is not an empty, unbelievable, formulaic love story. It’s as real as it gets.
I find it interesting that a great number of authors who envision a futuristic society of any kind see us going back to old, almost Victorian values. It’s almost like they see that as a natural progression of our cultural and societal development, or better yet, something that occurs after the society reaches a breaking point. No matter how it comes about, it seems that the stiff Victorian societal rules are still considered to be superior to ours, which is, to say the least, fascinating. There is a certain Victorian prudishness in Lilac’s behavior, as well as that of her friends. Although they were certainly forced upon her, mostly by her father, Lilac often used these rules and ideas of what is proper as a shield.
The sci-fi elements were incorporated seamlessly. A lot happens in These Broken Stars and there’s a lot of information to take in, but Kaufman and Spooner found the right balance between worldbuilding, plot and character development. Their idea was brilliant, yes, but we see many great ideas utterly ruined every day. What matters is that they didn’t take a single wrong step in their execution, making These Broken Stars a read to remember.
The next book in this series will be more a companion novel, with different protagonists. Although Lilac and Tarver’s story has a nice, well-rounded ending, I still see so much potential and I hope the authors will go back to them at some point. I am quite fond of them both and I’m finding it extremely hard to let go.
A copy of this book was kindly provided yby the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.