Title: “These Broken Stars”
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Genre(s): sci fi, romance, young adult
Part of a Series: Yes, book 1 of 3
Why I read it: Because it looked interesting
Summary: Set in a distant future where space travel has greatly advanced and humans have started colonizing other planets, LaRoux Industries owns most of the universe. Lilac LaRoux has then grown up surrounded by luxury but with a great burden because of who her father is. On a voyage aboard her father’s luxury spaceliner Icarus, Lilac meets soldier Tarver Merendsen, already war hero despite his youth. When she rejects him, he figures that’s the last he’ll ever see of her. The Icarus, though, is pulled out of hyperdrive and Lilac and Tarver are thrown together in their attempt to escape the ship. Their escape pod crash lands on an alien planet and they realize they are the only survivors from the Icarus. Lilac and Tarver have to band together to survive the planet—which may be holding more secrets than they know.
Review: I haven’t really branched out much into sci fi. I’ve stuck mostly to history and fantasy. And there is a bit of fantasy in this story. But that isn’t what drew me in. It was the relationship Kaufman and Spooner created between Tarver and Lilac.
One of the things I liked about the book was the chapters alternated between Lilac and Tarver as our narrator. It took some adjustment because the entire book is written in first person, but I picked it up easily. And I didn’t mind it because we got insights into both characters, which worked better than infodumps.
Both Tarver and Lilac felt like real people. They reacted accordingly in the face of the situation. Tarver took control and relied on his military training. Lilac wanted to stay, confident in her father’s organization and their ability to find her. But she had her own secret talents that she revealed—she was a master with electronics. Her father would rather her a damsel in distress but she never seems satisfied with it. She grows throughout the book, becoming the strong woman she was meant to be.
Tarvar also changes throughout the course of the book, learning more about himself and Lilac. He realizes that she isn’t everything she seemed at first and there was a reason why she had to be so cold to him. Slowly, he starts to respect her and then finds himself drawn to her more and more.
The science fiction part was well handled, at least as far as my limited experience says. It was believable, like a glimpse into our future. Space travel, colonizing other worlds and the like all seem possible. It seemed very well researched and believable.
We’ll move onto something I’m more comfortable discussing—romance! The romance between Lilac and Tarvar was well done. It was a slow burn and I’m a big fan of those, as I’m sure most readers of this blog are aware by now. Both were able to open to the other and put a lot of trust in each other. They showed each other sides they had long kept hidden. The reader roots for them to get together.
“These Broken Stars” contains a good mystery as well. Tarvar and Lilac have to solve it to save themselves, Lilac especially. I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll leave it at that.
Kaufman and Spooner are talented writers. And they collaborated well—everything flowed seamlessly. Sometimes it was easy to forget there were two authors. Their description was spot on and created a great picture in my mind.
Bottom line: A good read, even if you don’t usually read sci fi.
What would you do if you ended up on an uninhabited alien planet?