Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

December 15, 2013 Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner, Reviews, Science Fiction 11 ★★★★½

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound # 1
Published by Disney Hyperion on December 10, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 374
Format: ARC
Source: BEA 2013
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.

These Broken Stars is one of those books that seemingly every blogger I know has read and loved.  This kind of praise sometimes makes me approach a book more critically.  The story didn’t bring out a major flood of emotions in me as it seemed to do with a lot of other readers, but I still found it greatly enjoyable.

Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux are an unlikely pair to be stranded together on an uninhabited planet after their spacecraft falls out of the sky.  Lilac’s the daughter of a man of great wealth and power.  Tarver is one of the youngest Majors in the military, and while he is respected, his low-born status prevents him from mixing with the likes of Lilac.  That’s fine by Tarver, because he has no patience for the shallowness and pettiness exhibited by Lilac and her friends.

But when the spacecraft is catastrophically damaged, Tarver and Lilac find themselves alone in an escape pod.  Fifty thousand people were living onboard the Icarus, and it’s possible that everyone but Tarver and Lilac died.  They crash land on a strange planet, and any reservations the two had about each other must be set aside as they attempt to find food, survive the cold, and search for other survivors.  Tarver’s military training has provided him with survival skills, and he also makes it his duty to help keep Lilac alive.  But Lilac, with her pampered life, might not be as helpless as she seems.  She begins to hear voices and see visions, and while Tarver initially chalks it up to the stress of the situation, it soon becomes clear that there is something (or someone) behind the voices and visions.  Are they human?  Are they alien?  Are they trying to help or hurt?  When this part of the mystery was solved, it was so moving and heart-breaking, and not at all what I expected.

The relationship between Tarver and Lilac grows slowly, even though they experienced a little burst of mutual attraction aboard the Icarus.  Tarver will eventually learn that Lilac wears her personality like a shield, and Lilac will learn that Tarver is much more than a robotic soldier.

Each chapter alternates with a scene depicting Tarver in the midst of a tense interrogation about the events that occurred on the planet.  So, it’s no mystery that he will be rescued, but the tone of these scenes, along with the defensiveness exhibited by Tarver, makes it clear that something extraordinary happened.

Before I finished These Borken Stars, I learned that the next books in the series would be companion novels, rather than sequels.  I’m glad I knew this before reaching the end, because it allowed me to more fully appreciate the beauty of Lilac’s and Tarver’s story.


11 Responses to “Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner”

  1. Pili

    Every wonderful review I read for this book leaves me dying here a bit more!

    Glad to hear that even if it didn’t seem to make you such an emotional wreck as with other bloggers, you still managed to enjoy the book a lot!

    I’m still waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail!
    Pili recently posted…Showcase Sunday #17!!My Profile

    • Stephanie

      I actually appreciate it when a book makes me feel emotional, but for whatever reason, even though I liked the big swings in the story, I don’t think it had the same impact on me as it did on a lot of people. That said, this is still a wonderful book.

    • Stephanie

      LOL – That’s pressure! I’m ready to move on to new characters, but I can’t imagine who it might be!

  2. Cait D

    I SO loved this book. It was one of my favourite reads of the year! (Plus the cover is awesome. *happy sigh*) I liked those little snippets of Tarver’s interrogations between chapters. They really packed a punch! Except…well, sometimes, I thought they were a bit repetitious. And then at the end, it didn’t seem such a big deal. I still love this book to pieces though. 🙂

  3. Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens

    I am happy and a tad disappointed that the sequels will be companion novels.I still want to read about Lilac and Tarver more. On the other hand, I am happy because I am assured that Lilac and Tarver have a happy ever after now.

    I hope this book will be turned into a movie. Bahahaha.

    Great review.
    Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens recently posted…Book Review: Lives Of MagicMy Profile

  4. Brea

    I understand what you mean about not having a huge emotional response to These Broken Stars. I’m about 3 quarters into it, and I’m loving the story – it’s well thought out and intriguing – but I’m only just starting to feel a connection with the characters.
    I didn’t know the other books are going to be companions! I sure hope there is a good ending, because I don’t know how much I’ll like it if it were bad. (
    Brea recently posted…Simply Sunday (#2)My Profile

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