Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: November 20, 2013 (Aus); December 10, 2013 (US)
Source: Allen&Unwin Australia. Thank you!
Goodreads rating: 4.20 out of 5.00 (700+ ratings)
Goodreads | The Reading Room
The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.Review by Nara
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 to 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 in this place 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.
The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.
Basically the two things that drew me to this book were 1. The cover. The beautiful, beautiful cover. And 2. SCI-FI!! I feel like there really aren't enough sci-fi YA novels out there (I don't consider all dystopians to be "sci-fi" per se), and I was super excited when I first heard about this book because come on! It's like Titanic in space (hopefully without the tragedy of the ending). Now having read the book, I can most definitely say that These Broken Stars does not disappoint. It's a beautifully written tale of survival against all odds, of a mystery that intrigues and haunts and of a love that was....kinda cliched. But sweet all the same.
This is something I questioned as soon as I saw the name in the synopsis (and I must add that it is brought up in the book), but SERIOUSLY?! Why the heck would you EVER name a spaceship Icarus?! For those unfamiliar with the Greek myth, basically there's this inventor named Daedalus. He's held prisoner by this king with his son Icarus. In order to escape from the king, he builds these wings with feathers held together by wax. He tells his son: don't fly to close to the sun. But of course, Icarus is a typical kid and doesn't listen to his old man. He flies close to the sun and BAM the wax melts, the wings fall apart and he falls to his death. Now WHY would you name a spaceship after that kid?? So stupid.
Okay, sorry. I'll get back to my review of These Broken Stars.
To be honest, I would have liked a bit more focus on the sci-fi aspect of things but this didn't necessarily detract from my enjoyment of the book. A warning to people wanting more world building and futuristic gadgets and such: this book is very romance focused. That's not to say there weren't any science fiction-y things at all- there was a bit, but I personally would have liked a bit more exploration of this aspect of the plot.
That being said, the romance was definitely enough for me to enjoy the book. Both characters were very well developed, and the dual perspective was done excellently- it was clear at all times who was speaking, simply due to the strong narrative voices of both characters. While admittedly, the love story was a bit cliched (and quite similar to Titanic, now that I think about), that didn't make it any less realistic or any less swoony. (Tarver, I love you.)
Also driving the plot was this element of mystery. Both characters begin to hear voices in their heads, start to see weird hallucinations and find objects everywhere that they had previously thought they'd lost. I mean, for a moment there I thought this was going to be a paranormal- but this aspect is explained through scientific means. And I must say, I don't know if I was completely convinced about the scientific validity of the explanation, but I was fine with not overthinking it.
There's this bit towards the end where an event happens that is REALLY quite shocking. I actually put the book down for a second to collect my thoughts before moving on. While kudos to the authors for managing to shock me, I feel like they moved on a bit too quickly from the event, i.e. resolved it too quickly for me to really get the full effect of the shock.
Despite a few small flaws, These Broken Stars was an incredibly well written tale with beautiful prose, distinctive narrative voices and a swoon-worthy romance. I, for one, am definitely looking forward to getting my hands on the sequels (and to seeing what the covers look like *drools*).
Really liked it