Release Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Series: Starbound #1
Review Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: (from 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.
A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that These Broken Stars is one of the most hyped books of this season. Based on the cover (holy gorgeous!) and the concept (the beginning is like Titanic in space!!), I can see why. However, in actuality this book failed to wholly captivate me.
The beginning of These Broken Stars had me totally on board (err, no pun intended, seriously). The Titanic in space feel was amazing, with the different classes in different quarters, the lifeboat-esque escape pods, watching the ship go down… all of that was very real and exciting feeling. I also enjoyed how the book turned into a survival journey, with Tarver and Lilac in this abandoned setting, scared and trying to get help. Even the trope of the misunderstood rich girl falling for the tough hero with a sensitive side worked for me. Probably my favourite element of the book is the parts in between chapters where Tarver is being interviewed (interrogated, really) about the events of the book -- you can see where he's lying or omitting things compared to their narrative, and I loved the way this was presented.
So with all these good things, where did this book go wrong for me? I’m not entirely sure. I can’t say I disliked it, but it just didn’t wow me like I expected it to. Something about the romance, even though I liked the idea, didn’t work for me. The characters seemed to have depth, based on all their hidden layers, but I just didn’t connect with them. There’s also a twist about three quarters of the way through the book and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. I didn’t like what happened, and how it was handled was interesting, but not my cup of tea. There’s an almost psychological element that comes up, and I didn’t like how suddenly I wasn’t sure of what was happening.
These Broken Stars is definitely a book that I feel most people will enjoy. Personally, I wanted more explanation for the sci-fi element, and I felt like the book dragged on, especially closer to the end. However, I’ve heard basically nothing but good things about it from fellow bloggers, and there were many great things within the book, so I think it’s one you’ll have to check out for yourself.
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