These Broken Stars
by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Expected Publishing Date: December 1o, 2013
Length: 384 pages
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Obtained Via: I received an electronic advanced reader’s copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for honest review via NetGalley
Format Read In: E-arc
View from the Traffic Light:
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.
Friends, if you like science fiction and romance and this book isn’t already on your Christmas list, please add immediately. It’s GOOD. Describing These Broken Stars is a bit difficult but think of taking Doctor Who, The Titanic, and your favorite YA contemporary romance, putting them all in a huge bottle, and shaking it like there’s no tomorrow. The result of that experiment would be similar to the final outcome of These Broken Stars.
I will admit that this book started a little slow for me. At the beginning, we’re introduced to Tarver, the soldier, and Lilac, the high society girl and daughter of the biggest corporation’s front man. Their encounters together do not go well, to say the least. The story starts aboard the Icarus, a luxury spaceship(this is the Titanic part). When the ship is pulled out of hyperspace, Lilac and Tarver are the ones who survive in an utility escape pod and land upon an unknown planet, where they have to survive and attempt to find a way to be rescued. The opening of this book was a little lackluster for me, but once Tarver and Lilac landed on the planet, I was hooked.
These Broken Stars has some of the best world-building I’ve ever seen in a science fiction book. World-building in sci-fi can be hit-or-miss for me. It’s generally not a big focus to begin with, to be completely honest, but if it’s too technical I get overwhelmed, and if there’s gaping logic flaws it pulls me out of the story. I loved finding out about Tarver and Lilac’s world though, and I looked forward to it the way I seldom do in stories like this. Hyperspace, flora and fauna growth. . . it’s all my FAVORITE things about the genre.
The characters are what make this story for me, though. I LOVE, love romances from two different social classes. I think it might be my favorite trope ever as far as love stories go, and this one was no exception. Even though Lilac begins as the rich girl who has no survival skills and is quite rude to Tarver, I really liked her from the beginning. And the reason for that is even when she was being whiny and cruel, she was determined. She was never the type of character to give up, and I really admired her. And while she might not have been survival-savvy, she proved over and over again she was smart–really intelligent, not just the daughter of an intelligent man.
Tarver is your ultimate no-nonsense soldier. I would say that even though at the beginning he’s a much more likable character, he’s also more mysterious. As their journey continued, though, and there were glimpses of Tarver’s past, I really began to feel for his past and what he had been through. The same with Lilac. I LOVED the romance in this because yes, part of it was because they were together with no one else, but through the glimpses of their past I felt I really got to SEE how compatible they were together. It was the perfect slow burn with their back stories being revealed slowly but steadily.
Spooner & Kaufman KILL the way they write reveals. Upon first landing on the planet, of course there’s tons of questions about if there’s other life forms and the history of the planet and such. I have to say the way the mystery is built and then slowly revealed just goes to show how good the writing actually is. One of my pet peeves, which I feel happens most often in science fiction, is when authors build up all these mysteries and just hold off plot reveals to build suspense. That works for awhile, but there comes a tipping point where it’s frustrating, not exciting. That never happened here. From about 20% in, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.
And of course, I won’t give anything away, but THAT ENDING!!! This book has one of my favorite endings I’ve read since Parallel(which I declared my favorite ending ever). I’m not sure if These Broken Stars quite lives up to that, but it’s close. I loved how everything came together in the end and the way the story wrapped up.
Final Impression: Other than a slow start, this book was flawless. One of my favorite romances, using one of my favorite romantic tropes, really stole the show. Even so, it didn’t make the rest of the book suffer by any means. The world building, the writing, the slow burn, ALL were fabulous. I’m putting a finished copy on my wishlist STAT. 4/5 cupcakes.