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.
Hardcover, 374 pages
Published December 10th 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Five stars: A highly original and imaginative sci-fi book!
Tarver tries to duck into the shadows. He is still not comfortable brushing shoulders with the rich and famous, even after all his new found fame and glory. Unfortunately, he has no choice as he is currently stationed on the Icarus, one of the largest star ships in the universe. Tarver is surrounded by luxury and decadence, and it is all mostly for show. As he attempts to blend into the crowd, he notices a man who doesn't fit in. His senses ratchet into high alert as he watches the man approach a lovely, wealthy girl. Later, he learns that that girl is no other than Lilac LaRoux, the daughter of the wealthiest man in the universe. His first attraction is squelched by her haughty attitude. Still he is drawn to this girl. When the ship suddenly drops out of hyper space, Tarver and Lilac know they are in terrible danger. Each tries to get to their own escape pods, but circumstances thrust them into the same pod. Lilac and Tarver crash land on a deserted planet. The two are in a fight to survive until they can be rescued. Will Tarver and Lilac make it home?
What I Liked:
- Wow! I was fully prepared to be disappointed by another pretty cover and exciting premise, so needless to say, I went into this one with a bit of trepidation. I picked this up late in the evening and then I couldn't put it down until I finished it well after midnight. It was thrilling, exciting, original and it was far beyond my expectations. Any book that can keep me reading without stopping earns the five star rating on my blog! However, this is so much more than a captivating read. It is a blend of sci-fi, dystopian, paranormal and romance all in one. I loved that this book was full of surprises and that it was creative and original. Definitely pick this one up. It is one book with a beautiful cover that pans out!
- I always adore watching characters grow and change and come together. That is exactly what happens with our two protagonists Lilac and Tarver. At their first couple of meetings, it is apparent that there are sparks of attraction between them, which are then quickly squelched. No worry about insta love with this one. The two are thrust in a survival situation once they crash land on a deserted planet. You would think that they would immediately develop a camaraderie due to their circumstances, but that isn't the case. Lilac continues to push Tarver away as she plays the role of the snotty heiress. I was put off by her character in the beginning. Even though she is smart and resourceful, she is also bitchy and nasty to the one person who is determined to keep her alive: Tarver. There were numerous times I wanted to reach in and throttle her, but I had this glimmer of hope that she would come around, and she definitely does. By the end, she is an entirely different girl, one whom I grew to love and appreciate. Her transformation is phenomenal. I loved seeing her grow! Tarver, on the other hand, is steadfast and true throughout. He is determined and courageous and bent on survival. I liked him from the beginning and all throughout. I loved that this book is told with dual points of view. I always love getting into each character's head and seeing how they feel as the story progresses. Both of these characters have to be strong, engaging and likable as they are the only two characters for almost the entire book. It takes skill to have only two players carry out the entire plot.
- The romance is perfect. It moves at a slow (even painstakingly slow pace). It is apparent that the two are attracted to one another, but Lilac at every turn tries to sabotage the fledgling relationship. It is frustrating, but she does have her reasons. Finally, through all the dire circumstances, the attraction finally blooms into a solid friendship and then something more. I loved watching it unfold and I was entirely satisfied with the romance.
- At first, I thought this was going to be a book all about survival as the duo moves toward rescue. However, it is so much more. The story delves into the paranormal as Lilac starts seeing ghostly visages and hearing whispers. Who or what is watching over them? I was intrigued by the mystery and blown away by the final revelation. I loved that this book ranged from sci fi to dystopian to paranormal with a bit of romance. It is a terrific blend of genres as it has a bit of something for everyone.
- Finally, I love that everything wrapped up neatly and that I got a complete and satisfying story in one volume. I am always so pleased when I am not left with unanswered questions or a cliffhanger. This is the first in the series, but it can certainly be read as a stand alone since the subsequent volumes are companion books. I cannot wait to see what these authors have in store next time out.
And The Not So Much:
- At the first introduction, Tarver is fresh off a wave of new found fame as a war hero. I was disappointed that the how and why he rose to fame wasn't revealed. This isn't a big issue, but I was curious as to what he did to merit all the attention.
- The starship Icarus is being billed as a Titanic in space. I was expecting a bit more description and detail on this massive ship. There isn't much time to learn about this gigantic ship since it crashes right away. I would love to have just a tiny bit more detail on all the decadence and wealth that make up the Icarus.
- It isn't exactly clear as to why the Icarus crashed. The reader is able to conjecture with the information provided at the end, but I was wanting to know more. I also struggled a bit with the fact that a giant starship crashes and there weren't ships our scouring the universe looking for it. It seemed that if the ship was pulled in by the planet's gravitational forces after it dropped out of hyperspace that it would have been apparent where it went. Also if a giant ship started disintegrating in space, there would have been a trail of debris floating around the planet that should have led rescuers to the remains of the ship.
- Throughout the book, there are snippets of interview sessions being conducted with Tarver after his rescue. I liked and disliked these interludes. On one hand, I was disappointed that it was revealed from the very beginning that they were rescued. This eliminates the anxiety and suspense for Lilac's and Tarver's safety during the read. On the other hand, I liked seeing what really happened and learning why Tarver isn't exactly truthful. I definitely had a love hate relationship with this aspect of the book. In one of these sections, it is revealed that Lilac's medical tests are abnormal. I desperately wanted to know what they found with the tests.
These Broken Stars is a book that absolutely lives up to all the hype. I was completely blown away by the complexity, ingenuity and excitement in this one. I loved reading this one! I highly recommend grabbing a copy for your shelf, not only because the cover is stunning, but also because it is a fantastic read. This book will definitely be on my list of favorites for 2013!
"Funny how I was old enough by sixteen to drink, fight and vote, but even two years later, I'm too young to respect."
"But just now, as we wait for the engines to kick in, all of that is far away. For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful of broken stars half lost in uncharted space."
"Best not to make promises. It's not as simple as either of us would like it to be."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.