Thursday, November 28, 2013

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publisher- Disney Hyperion
Released- Dec 10th 2013
Pre-Order- Amazon / B & N

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.
My Thoughts:
Wow, I wasn't sure what to expect going into this book, but I didn't think I'd come out of it loving it the way I did.  These Broken Stars is a fantasy sci-fi survival story that has just about everything I look for an escape. The story line is complex and compelling, the characters are genuinely heartfelt and intriguing and the writing is simply fantastic.

The story begins at a party on board the grandest starship in the galaxy, the Icarus, when three days later the unthinkable happens. The Icarus has been torn out of hyperspace and everyone is scrabbling to get into a escape pod. Only Major Tarver Merendsen, an honored war hero and Lilac LaRoux, the richest girl in the galaxy, make it out alive, but they aren't safe yet. The were pulled into an unknown planets gravity and crash land the pod on the earths forest floor. Shocked and shaken, Tarver and Lilac have to work together if they want to survive and find a way to signal a rescue ship and get off the planet, but they have to do it without killing each other first and try to keep from going crazy when the planet seems to be much more then it seems.

First off, the writing. I never realized this was written by two different authors till I finished this book and started to review it. Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner are a strong team. The flow of the book is pitch perfect and completely even. The pace was constantly moving at a steady stream of intrigue and anticipation. Form the first chapter till it's breathless conclusion, I couldn't wait to see what happened next. I loved the witty style and the setting and atmosphere was spectacularly rich and vivid. I also enjoyed the interrogation questions before every new chapter. It gave us something to speculate and gave us a hint of what to expect next in a round about way. 

The story starts out innocently enough. Boy and girl meet and have a general fondness for the other but are light-years away when it comes to being in the same social class. She drops her glove, he smiles, they flirt, she kindly but painfully dismisses him away and he sulks licking his wounds. A few days later the Icarus is going down and Tarver and Lilac unexpectedly find each other and escape and crash into a planet that seems to have sustainable life qualities. Our duo is faced with many difficult obstacles and challenges that comes with being stranded; looking for shelter, food, water and trying not to get killed, but as the story moves on it begins to turn in a new strange and unnerving direction. I loved the twist in the plot but it was a little mind boggling to wrap my head around certain aspects of the how's and why's, especially come the end. I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it. The sci-fi part of the story is more of a futuristic feel overall, complete with high-tech gadgets and monstrous spaceships, but I think this book mostly focuses on the survival aspect, which was fine by me since I love nothing more then a really good survival story. This however was very different compared to other books I've read. It was more fresh, thought provoking and outstanding.

There aren't really any other characters here besides Tarver and Lilac, but their story was so interesting you really didn't need anyone else to feel the gaps. Tarver is your mans man. He's a war hero so he's been through this kind of terraform before. He's exactly the kind of guy I'd want if I was ever stranded on a unknown charted planet. He's brave, confident and resourceful.
I love that Lilac isn't portrayed as another mindless heiress. She's intelligent, capable and held up remarkable well given the circumstances. Together, Tarver and Lilac find themselves on unfamiliar ground. Tarver is from the wrong side of the planet and Lilac might as well be royalty. There is a lot of pride coming off in waves on both ends, neither wanting to give the other the satisfaction and admit they need each other. This isn't the kind of story that has instant love, but there is an instant connection, even if they're to stubborn and hide it throughout most of the novel. My favorite part of the story was watching these two try to get along while mucking through the forest, up hills and mountains and trying to find shelters for the nights. It's those little moments that I found myself holding on to a little longer. The snarks and remarks were also priceless and hilarious. It kept it light and entertainment when things became to serious. I didn't find the romance overly romantic, or at least not in the traditional ways. It was more touching, tender, meaningful and very sweet. It's the stuff that pulls on your heart strings and makes you smile one of those big stupid smiles. But one thing is for certain, they are a stunning pair and you will hope against hope that they find it to safety. 

Bottom line, I really had a great time with this book. It's the kind of story that was extremely easy to loss myself within the pages. The sci-fi was brilliantly imaginative and the survive parts had me on the verge of my seat. But what impressed me the most was Tarver and Lilac. They completely owned this book. I was instantly invested with them from start to finish. There is nothing you want more then to see these two hearts safe and sound. I know that this is already set as a companion trilogy, but I love that the ending was well resolved and satisfying, so I'm mighty curious to see where Kaufman and Spooner take this adventure next. Extraordinary, gripping and entertaining! Loved!

Find the authors:
Goodreads / Website - Amie Kaufman
Goodreds / Website- Meagan Spooner                    
                                                                  4.5 Snowflakes

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