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 to 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 in this place 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.
I wasn’t going to get a copy of this book initially – I’d glanced at the blurb in my local bookstore a couple of times but sounded too similar to Beth Revis’s Across the Universe for my liking. Last week I had an hour to kill at my library volunteer job and a shiny Nexus tablet to play with. These Broken Stars was promoted in Google Play so I downloaded a sample and was sucked in by Tarver and Lilac almost immediately and bought a hard copy in my lunch break!
This is a story about survival, courage, love and fighting for what you want. I really liked the way Tarver and Lilac’s relationship developed over the narrative. When Lilac and Tarver first meet they are clearly attracted to each other but there is no instalove. Instead they are set against each other, initially because of their wildly differing positions in society and later by their own pride. As Lilac and Tarver begin to work together they each gain the other’s respect and THEN fall in love.
With that blurb you’d be forgiven for thinking that Lilac spends the whole time rocking a damsel in distress thing (and that does happen for a little while after the crash landing) but Tarver and Lilac both have strengths and weaknesses which round them out well as the novel progresses. Love me some developed protagonists! They both want to protect the other one but from different threats and it manifests in different ways in both of them.
Another bonus: Australian author! Well, Amie Kaufman specifically. She’s a Melbourne native but I can forgive her for that. 😉 I love learning that books I love are written by locals!
This probably would have been a 4.5 or 5 star rating if it hadn’t been for the ending. Explanation will be a little vague here to avoid spoilers so I’m sorry about that! I wasn’t a real fan of the last few chapters, particularly the planet’s inhabitants and how the final problem Lilac and Tarver face on the planet is solved. It’s a little bit rushed and doesn’t really make a lot of sense with the rest of what the reader knows about the world. I also wasn’t entirely happy with the Icarus crash in the first place – the book never really gives us a reason for it. I can come up with a few guesses but, again, spoilers! Wish my friends would read this so I had someone to discuss it with! Haha.
Kaufman and Spooner have a trilogy in the works for this world but it looks like they’ll be companion novels rather than direct sequels. You can check out the info on the upcoming novel This Shattered World here. It introduces two new characters: Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac and is due in November.
Rating: 4 stars
Similar Reads: Across the Universe by Beth Revis, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.
These Broken Stars was published in 2013 by Allen & Unwin. ISBN: 978-1-74331-852-2.