Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner


These Broken Stars (#1 of 3) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Published Year: 2013
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Subtitle: Great

Starbound Trilogy
Book 2: This Shattered World
Book 3: Their Fractured Light

"Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive -- alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth. "

Tell me that synopsis isn't freaking intriguing! I picked this one up at a local bookstore for that cover and that synopsis (I mean, can you really blame me?) and have zero regrets. Negative regrets actually because I just purchased the second book in the series!

Also, a spaceliner named Icarus? Yes, please. If you don't know the myth of Icarus, he's the son of Daedalus the inventor, and they're both imprisoned on the island of Crete. Daedalus creates wings from feathers and wax that allows them to escape the island. Daedalus warns against flying too high or the wax would melt, but Icarus flies too high anyway and ultimately his wings melt and he dies in the ocean. So that was a little dark (but what Greek myth isn't?), but naming any sort of ship Icarus is like naming it the Titanic. It's just double dog daring fate.

This book was truly refreshing. I read a lot of fantasy young adult novels, and recently a trend has been substituting romance for plot. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good romance, but there does come a point when I want something else. These Broken Stars had romance (obviously), but really it was a survival story. Tarver and Lilac are the only survivors in a massive spaceliner crash, where they have to learn to trust each other to ever hope to return to their homes. There was mystery, threat of death, love, adventure, and I just really, really enjoyed this story.

The novel switched viewpoints between Tarver and Lilac, and the authors did a really great job of keeping their voices separate. Often when switching point of views, I get confused on whose perspective I’m reading and often have to go back and double check, but not so in this book! Tarver was Tarver and he did not sound like Lilac. They had different thoughts and I didn't have to read the same scene twice from two perspectives. I also appreciated that when they were thinking of each other, they were wrong as often as they were right. When Tarver was looking at Lilac and guessing what she was thinking, sometimes he would be wrong. I really appreciated this because I felt that it was realistic. You can't always predict what someone is thinking, and even if you're right some of the time, you can't always be right.

Because this was a survival story, most of the book only has the two main characters. Even though there was a lack of supporting characters (for good reason), these two characters had such character development. Truly, I loved watching these characters grow separately and eventually grow together. They were faced with some pretty crazy obstacles but I was able to follow their reasoning and understand their motivations.

AK and MS did some spectacular world building and I was ecstatic to discover this was going to be a three book series (i.e. I already bought book 2). I also love this tagline for the series: "The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy." Aw yeah. I'm going to like this -- literally my thoughts when I read it. Can't wait for the big take down that I'm projecting onto book 3.

5 out of 5 stars.

Thought you ought to know:

- Obviously that it's part one of a trilogy (I think I mentioned that, didn't I?)

- It's going to be a television show. I know that looks like a calm and mature sentence, but you'll just have to imagine the emotion and excitement associated with it, because I cannot wait. Can't. Give it to me now.

- This cover is so gorgeous.