I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound #1
Published by Allen & Unwin on December 10th 2013
Amazon・ Good Books・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.
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.
Everybody is talking about this book and not without good cause. This is a really hard book for me to review, not only because Meg and Amie are friends of mine, but also because I’m about to see them on Friday. Talk about awkward. And yet this review comes in full knowledge that they might throw things at me, or tear apart my manuscript, if I can ever convince them to crit it for me, out of revenge.
See how much I love you guys? I’m ready to make ALL the things awkward for your benefit!
The problem with These Broken Stars is that it’s so adorable, I think I’m going to die.
Like, for real, I’m 99% positive this book gave me diabetes…
I kind of have the biggest lady boner for Lilac and Tarver. They are, without a doubt, the strongest aspect of this novel. People looking for complex world building, fast-paced action or a complicated plot are probably going to be disappointed. However, those ready to bask in a character-centric tale of love, growing and sacrificing need to get this book right now. To be honest, I was utterly enchanted by these two futuristic lovebirds. Enchanted all the way down to my brutish, thuggish, cold, dead heart.
The positive parts of this novel include the writing. It is, as I expected, simply stunning. But this was no big surprise, I have read Meagan Spooner’s previous works, and technical ability was never something that she lacks. I’m in love with her style, and ability to bring vivid scenes to life. She and Kaurfman are obviously very complimentary in this regard.
However, the biggest test for me was always going to be the pacing. My biggest weakness as a reader is that walking books kill me. Plot has to be happening, mysteries flying at you like metaphorical balls to your face, and the entertainment factor has to be just right, or I’m lost. I felt in this aspect, These Broken Stars walked a tight-rope that was valiantly saved by how charismatic and hilarious Tarver and Lilac’s interactions were.
For a pretty straight forward plot, they make it exciting and sweet, the character’s humour and witty dialogue creating a kind of magic that I didn’t want to stop. I kind of get the sense that the authors had a beginning and end in mind. As to everything that happens in the middle, to me it felt less tightly plotted, leaving the events seeming a little random. This may not be true, it was just my intuition as a reader. But sometimes as I was reading, I almost felt between the lines that one of them would be like, “Dude what are we doing next?” And then the other one would be like, “Add some kissing and stuff. Make something up.” And that there is this certain point in the novel where it feels like they both said to each other, “No, really, how’s this ending?” before they set about making it work.
*Disclaimer: This is all in my head, by the way, I have no idea how this book was actually written.
Ultimately this doesn’t really negate the good things in the novel. Lilac and Taver’s story is still incredibly emotionally compelling. And the most important aspects of this novel, being a highly character-driven story, are nailed so perfectly that it’s easy to bypass the rest and just soak in the feels. Of which Tarver and Lilac will give you many. Totally a Sploogefest.
And the entertainment I got from reading them together in this book is what drives my high rating more than anything else. I feel like I can forgive a lot of things, if I am ultimately entertained. And this story of hardened space marine meets bratty princess socialite utterly thrilled me.
I think if a novel can manage to be romantic, entertaining, tense, and occasionally creepy, then that means it has a lot going for it. At least in my books. Of which I have none – so trust nothing I say.
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