Author: Amy Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound, #2
Captain Jubilee “Lee” Chase is known for two things, the efficiency of her platoon and her no-nonsense attitude. On the planet Avon, the military is tasked with maintaining order and keeping the Fianna, the rebels fighting for Avon’s independence, under control. Flynn Cormac, unspoken leader to the Fianna, struggles to keep the frustration of his people at bay. While some are more than willing to take their independence from the military by force, Flynn is determined to seek a peaceful agreement. When circumstances force Flynn to take Jubilee prisoner, the two discover they aren’t so different and the real enemy has been hiding in their midst all along.
“The soldier at the bottom of my boat will stop at nothing to kill me and escape when she wakes; and if the rest of the Fianna discover I have her, they’ll stop at nothing to kill her. Our ceasefire will be over, my people forced into a war they cannot hope to win.”
Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s This Shattered World reads more like a companion novel than a sequel to their breathtaking Starbound debut, These Broken Stars. Our two leads, Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac, come from very different worlds, one leads with military finesse and the other through diplomatic means. Both sides of this conflict have flawed perspectives and are prone to make mistakes because of it, which inevitably elongates the war between them.
While I admired both Jubilee and Flynn as individual characters, it was difficult for me to buy into their romantic relationship, at least in the beginning. Both characters develop feelings rather quickly and despite both resisting the relationship, I felt that the romance’s pacing was a bit quick. It was only toward the end of the book that I felt that their relationship had been earned.
The narrative had more focus when told from Jubilee’s perspective. Much of the story takes place on Jubilee’s own territory, we see her relationships with several other characters, and we are privy to her dreams. Flynn spends less time with his own people, so it was difficult to get a complete picture of him and the Fianna. His cousin, Sean, is in several scenes and if allowed more depth would have made both Flynn and the Fianna more well-rounded. Despite the book’s flaws, I loved seeing both Tarver and Lilac make cameo appearances and seeing the Starbound universe expanded upon.