"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies...The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R Martin

13 November 2013

Review: These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

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.

My Review of These Broken Stars:

These Broken Stars is a breathtaking and thrilling science fiction novel with a captivating, heart stopping and chilling premise. Without a doubt this book completely exceeded my expectations and had me gripped with its story of adventure, survival, trust, love and danger. I loved the world building and futuristic setting of a ship travelling through space and a wild and barren planet full of mystery and danger. It reminded me of Titanic but in space, with the doomed ship Icarus travelling on its maiden voyage. The book also reminded me a little of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice where both protagonists make assumptions of one another due to their social class and status. I completely adored this book and found it to be an engaging and intriguing story with realistic and relatable characters in a wonderfully vivid setting.

The opening scene was a beautiful spectacle; rich, privileged people mingling with one another in a Victorian themed party on a famous futuristic space ship. Such a scene reminded me of Gatsby’s party’s in The Great Gatsby where self important, pompous people mingle aimlessly in a false and detached environment. The writing was just so rich and effortless with its beautiful descriptions; I was immediately transported into the world of the novel, viewing space through the gleaming windows of the Icarus or trudging through dense and damp forest with Tarver and Lilac. The world building was superb. Despite the novels alien and futuristic setting everything seemed so vivid, identifiable and familiar. The descriptive passages that impressed me the most was the juxtaposing descriptions of the Icarus; at first bright and alive, filled to the brim with people and later a skeleton of its former glory, full of decay and death.

The narrative itself was a mixture of fast paced action and adventure scenes along with more tranquil, thoughtful and touching scenes. One moment the narrative is full of suspense and on the edge of your seat action and then in the next moment it’s focusing on the characters emotions and blossoming relationship. Despite being on the one hand a story of survival in the face of danger and death, it is also a story of self discovery. What captivated me the most was the snippets of interrogation at the end of each chapter as it kept me glued to the pages, reading in suspense. There was also a completely unexpected twist to the story that added an eerie, psychological and thriller-esque edge to the novel. It definitely added nail biting tension making the reader constantly question the sanity of the characters and wondering about the secrets shrouding the mysterious planet.

Both Lilac and Tarver were fantastic protagonists who turned out to be not who they seemed. They are initially attracted to one another aboard the Icarus but both pride and prejudice keeps them apart until they are forced to traverse the barren landscape of the planet that they crash landed on together. I loved the dynamics between the two and the character development was so realistic. They set aside their differing social classes and find solace and safety in one another. Lilac LaRoux was a complex character. The daughter of the most famous man in the universe her life is already set out for her due to her extremely high social status. At first she struck me as pompous and insanely infuriating but I grew to love her as a protagonist once it becomes clear that she isn’t the self important snob that she seems to be. Tarver was immediately likeable. Despite his tough guy, war hero status he is actually a kind, thoughtful and poetic young man who is eager to return home. At first he treats Lilac like the spoilt young rich girl that he believes she is but soon grows to like her and respect her courage despite traumatic events.

These Broken Stars is a fantastic space and adventure story filled with action, love, tragedy and suspense. It is a wonderful tale of two individuals traversing space, a dangerous barren planet and rigid social classes together. It had me completely captivated with its engaging plot, vivid world building and complex, realistic characters. I definitely recommend this novel over and over again and impatiently await the next installment. 

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic review!

    I just can't wait to get my hands on this book and with reviews like yours even more!


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