Thursday, 20 March 2014

Review: These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)
Title: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD

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.

“This ship isn't a maze—it's a tomb.” 

I haven’t read much about intergalactic sci-fi plots and most of what I’ve read, I can’t understand. These Broken Stars is one of them. Maybe it’s my mind’s fault for not having imagination that goes beyond the Earth’s realm. But this book, despite it being too hard to grasp, was really enjoyable to read. Once I started letting go of the usual on-guard feeling I have when reading a book, I started enjoying it. 

Maybe the lack of other characters made it different for me. I always look for action and action needs more people interacting with each other. I am always looking for a fight. But this book only focused on Lilac and Tarver. There were other characters but the adventure and most part of the book only had the two of them. 

Lilac’s character wasn’t the typical innocent most rich kids are portrayed. She is strong, has an opinion of her own and knows her strengths well. She’s not the one who’d be helpless if they’re thrust into this situation. Sure there were scenes were there seems to be no hope and their efforts were futile but Lilac still had the fire in her. The drive to discover the mystery of the planet they landed as well as to figure out Tarver. 

Tarver was as proud as I imagined. He dislikes lavish parties and interacting with the elites but he can’t escape those due to his ‘hero’ status. When I first met him, it was obvious that he wears a mask to separate him from the others but after a while, Tarver slowly came out of his shell. He is brave, caring and he loves fiercely. That scene near the end with Lilac was heartbreaking. I never thought I’d see him in that state. 

What I liked about it being Lilac and Tarver-centric was it gave more time for their relationship to be believable. I know being stranded in an unknown planet with only one person would have bigger chances of being drawn towards the other person but the planet (and the authors) didn’t make it easy for them. They went through the infamous hate-relationship before they started to admit that they feel something for each other. They had enough time to build their relationship and not jump into it right away. 

When I started letting my imagination lead me, I started to feel on edge every time they make camp or hear or see something. Every discovery made my heart skip, thinking if it’s good or bad. I started to feel a bit jumpy every time Lilac mentioned hearing voices and at first, I was so sure that they were voices of people who died there. Then my mind told me that they might also die there. There are so many things I would love to mention here but I can’t. You just have to read the book and experience the adventure these two went. 

While I’m a bit disappointed knowing that the second book is not about these two, it’s also better to imagine that they got their happiness in the end. Despite the downfall of excitement at the end, the ending certainly closed the curtain for their story. I can’t help but expect a cameo though.

This copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Amie Kaufman is the co-author of These Broken Stars, the first in the Starbound trilogy, and Illuminae, the first in a new series starting in 2015. She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping. 

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

                                    Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there. 

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.