Monday, August 11, 2014

Mini Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Title: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication date: December 10, 2013
Rating: ★★★★½

Summary (via Goodreads):

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.

Two words. Character. Development. These Broken Stars is chock full of it. It's glorious and magnificent, watching Lilac and Tarver slowly change their minds about each other. Their relationship is the most compelling part of the story, and its development is so well-paced that when you reach the end of the book you just want it to continue on for another 50 pages because their time together feels so hard-earned.

The story is written from two perspectives, but it feels cohesive – kudos to Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I didn't realize the book was co-authored until maybe halfway through; it was written that seamlessly. It must be the magic of Aussie lit – delicious, intense prose that makes your heart beat a little bit faster.

I'm somewhat disappointed that the next book in the Starbound series is about a different set of characters, because I don't feel that Lilac and Tarver's story is complete, and I don't know how much it can develop if it's told through someone else's point of view. At the same time, I'm glad that Amie and Meagan (yes, we're on a first name basis now, I've just decided) don't seem to be forcing them into a tired, played out, dystopian novel cliche. I'm happy to let them rest, so to speak. To me, Lilac and Tarver's relationship and personal growth are really the core of the story; everything else falls by the wayside.


  1. I love that this book is so character-driven, too! I think some readers had trouble with its more thoughtful tone, but I think that's a really nice change for scifi. I'm glad you liked it! And I loved the dual perspectives, too.

    I actually like that this series is companion books--so often these romantic arcs get dragged out so much that it becomes really tedious by the time it's all over. I hear we haven't seen the last of Lilac and Tarver anyway. ;)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    1. I think you're right that a lot of science fiction isn't quite as introspective as this book was – I'm a big fan of character-driven novels but don't read much sci-fi, so These Broken Stars bridged that gap for me in an interesting way.