Review 7. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Title: These Broken Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Published: December 10th 2013
378 pages

"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."

These Broken Stars begins in the spaceship Icarus where Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen first meet. Tarver is a decorated war hero who is at Icarus to be paraded around - which he extremely dislikes. Lilac is the daughter of the galaxy's wealthiest man and due to his over-protective behavior towards her, Lilac knows she can't allow any man to get closer - she has to keep Traver away. Humiliated in front of Lilac's friends, Tarver doesn't want nothing more to do with her. However, Icarus crashes and Tarver and Lilac find themselves stranded in a strange and mysterious planet with only the company of each other.

Writing: If I didn't know, I would have never guessed that These Broken Stars was co-written. Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner's writing creates a brilliant cohesive and complex world. The strange planet where the main characters crash is described to the smallest detail. And there are so many poetic moments throughout the narrative.
“For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space. Then it's gone, the view swallowed by the hyperspace winds streaming past, blue-green auroras wiping the after-images away. Until all that's left is us”
However, I must confess, I found the writing a bit repetitive. The plot was dragged on - how many more days will the characters spend traveling until they reach Icarus' cemetery? It is the only reason why I didn't give to These Broken Stars five stars.

Characters: As I wrote previously, the main characters are Lila LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen. While Tarver is instantly likable, Lilac made me want to slap her for one third of the story. Her bitchy and futile attitude plus the way she treated Tarver angered me. But after the crash, day-by-day, Lilac started changing and showed there is more inside her than a girl who only cares about dresses, balls and gossip. This is how character growth is done.
  • Relationship: I loved how Lila and Tarver's relationship was built. There was always an attraction between them, but Tarver being who he was and Lilac being who she was in a prejudiced society, for a moment, it didn't seem they could/would ever be together. I really enjoyed how they went from "enemies" to friends and then lovers. How many love stories are so well-written? It's a lovely slow-burn romance. 
World Building: There isn't much world building. I mean, it's a survival story (Lilac and Tarver fighting against harsh weather conditions and trying to survive with little to none suplies) and there's a new planet to explore. But apart from the first chapters where the society Tarver and Lilac are part of is represented, we don't know much more about it. Nevertheless, I didn't find it a downside - even though  I wanted to know more about the society! - because I wanted to know more about the mysteries from the strange planet where they had crashed.

These Broken Stars is the stunning beginning of The Starbound Trilogy.

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