Title: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: December 10th, 2013
Standalone/Series: First book in the Starbound companion series
Genre: Sci-Fi – Romance – Young Adult
My rating in stars: 4 stars
My rating in words: I really liked it
What it’s about:
Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.
The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.
“But who names a starship the Icarus? What kind of man possesses that much hubris, that he dares it to fall?”
This book was so completely not what I expected it to be, but I don’t mind one bit because it was great! I was expecting some sort of survivors-on-alien-planet-love-story. Which it was, but then it became so much more. It became a mystery, it became creepy and it became weird. But in doing so it also became very, very good.
I really liked the way this was written. We have chapters in each of the characters’ POV which really helps in getting to know them. Both POV’s were also really different so it was always clear exactly from whose point of view you were reading at any given time. Perhaps the two writers each focused on a different character? Either way, it was very well done.
But what made the writing stand out even more were the little interview parts in between the chapters, taking place after the events. Yes, it means that you already know from the beginning that at least Tarver survives. But even so, they still provide more questions than answers and make you even more anxious to get to the end of the book so you know what’s going on. Also, I really liked Tarver’s sassy comebacks in them. You go, Tarver!
But honestly, I started this book because of the romance and I was not disappointed. Separate, Tarver and Lilac are 2 great characters (even if Lilac annoyed me in the beginning), but together they were romance gold and I enjoyed watching them grow closer together. Even if maybe it was a little cliché in some points but honestly, who cares because they are adorable!
I also appreciated how the writers took what could have been a standard survivor/romance story and added all those mysterious elements to it. I was thoroughly creeped out at specific parts and it made me all the more eager to keep reading just to find out what the heck was going on!
But then came the ending and with it came disappointment. It feels like there were not sufficient answers and I was honestly just confused about the whole thing. Suddenly the realisation also struck me that there was actually not that much worldbuilding (which I did not notice before because I was too swept up in the romance and the mystery) and everything is just left very vague. Though it is the first book in the series, so perhaps the next books will clarify some things some more. And even though I’m not sure how they will do it because the sequels feature different characters, I’m eager to find out. But also not that eager that I need to have the next book in my hands right now…
Overall a lovely story, great if you want some sci-fi romance and mystery. I’ll definitely continue with the rest of the series, just not right away.
“I know a thousand different smiles, each with its own nuanced shade of meaning, but I don’t know how to reach the few feet away to touch this person next to me. I don’t know how to talk to him. Not when it’s real.”
“Major, to what extent did you act upon your feelings for Miss LaRoux?”
“How am I supposed to answer that question?”
“You don’t mention death when it’s hovering near someone you love. You don’t want to attract the reaper’s attention.”
“And there it is, against all hope, like the sun peeking out from behind the clouds. The smallest hint of a smile.”