Author: Amy Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound, #1
I usually use a smaller image for my reviews, but I simply could not resist showing you how lovely this cover is. Let’s take a moment and acknowledge its beauty. In person, the colors are even more vibrant. Okay, enough gushing over the book cover.
Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux come from two very different worlds. Tarver, a young decorated soldier, is being paraded around for his heroic acts. He would like nothing more than be away from the privileged passengers aboard the spaceliner Icarus. Lilac LaRoux is the heiress of LaRoux Industries and her father’s pride and joy. She knows better than to mix with the likes of Major Merendsen, but can’t seem to help herself. When the ship is thrown catastrophically out of hyberspace, the two end up in the same escape pod that’s hurting into the unknown. Tarver and Lilac must learn to overcome their differences because despite their reluctance, they will need each other to survive the strange planet on which they find themselves.
“I brush the two wires together, and instantly the rockets ignite, catapulting the pod away from the ship. I have only the briefest glimpse of the wall in front of me careening at my face before the universe goes utterly blank.”
These Broken Stars alternates first-person between Tarver and Lilac. Often times books needlessly switch perspectives and the story either loses its consistency or feels redundant. Not so with this novel, both characters are fully realized and as a reader, the shifts feel natural and necessary.
Lilac develops the most as a character while stranded on the mysterious planet. Completely unwilling to succumb to her circumstances, she clings to what she knows, but eventually the harsh reality of their situation strips her of her prideful facade. Her strengths emerge, and though she grows as a character, she never loses the stubbornness that once held her back, the same stubbornness that now helps her survive. From the very beginning we know that Tarver is a strong character and though we never learn the circumstances that have promoted him to Major, we understand his bravery. What we find while reading These Broken Stars is that it’s the relationships in his life that drive his determination. People are incredibly important to him and he’s driven by his love for them, and he’s strong and brave because of them.
My favorite part of the book came when Tarver and Lilac realize that the planet they find themselves on is no ordinary planet. I don’t want to give too much away, but I found the build-up to be eerie and the trepidation I felt goosebumps-inducing. My only criticism is that I wished the accumulation of these strange occurrences happened a little sooner because it was this aspect of These Broken Stars that had me turning page after page.