Just about everyone I know has been gushing about this for ages, no doubt helped along by the beautiful cover. I adored nearly everything about this book. Space ships and mysterious planet full of whispers, visions, ghosts, and other bizarre happenings HELL YES !! It has been described as a mash up story of the "Titanic in space" and Beth Revis’s Across the Universe trilogy. But it was more complex that I could have ever expected, the story completely transported me. It is a beautifully written space opera, with elements of the paranormal, with a heavy survival focus. These Broken Stars is set in a more or less distant future, when space travel is quite common, and several other planets are colonized. We are given glimpses of war and the division of class, but I still have a lot of questions. Hopefully they will be answered further into the trilogy.
Tarver is a decorated military hero who was on board the Icarus as a special guest. Lilac is a high-society space princess and daughter of the richest man in the galaxy, who happened to own the Icarus. They never should have crossed paths under ordinary circumstances. But when the spaceliner they are both traveling on is torn from hyperspace and crash lands on the nearest planet, everything changes. The planet they end up on has been set up as a colony, but there is no sign of human life, the plants and animals are a little different from what Tarver expects, and there is a strange moon in the sky. Tarver and Lilac crawl through the forest and across a mountain, with dangers lurking everywhere, to get to the crash site of the Icarus so rescuers can find them more easily. Their skills complemented each other once they learn to work together in order to survive. The romance aspect was well done. No insta-love here. But don’t worry! Once the romance hits, it hits! There is a nice slow build, even though you know it’s coming, and given the setting it’s completely realistic.
I didn’t like Lilac in the beginning because she really acted like a spoiled brat, but she eventually grew on me once we see she's just so much more than she appears to be. Despite the way she looks, despite her upbringing this girl's willing to go against the tide. Lilac is not another empty-headed puppet - plus she has some surprising engineering and demolitions skills. Tarver was just as amazing. When he's in his element, surviving on a strange planet, he also proves to be incredibly strong, capable, and confident. Plus, he’s the Major in the military, so that automatically makes him even more hotter, right?
What happens on the planet is...weird. I won't say much because I don't want to spoil anything. All I can say is that the whispers added a chilling edge to the story and I was a little creeped out by the things happening to Lilac or Tarver. This story does not really end on a cliff hanger. It ends well enough to totally satisfy me as a reader. The Starbound trilogy is a set of three companion novels. Tarver and Lilac's story is finished. The second book will star a new set of characters set in the same world.
I now have a major book hangover after reading this. Whether you love sci-fi and dystopian stories or not it really doesn't matter, this book is SENSATIONAL! It's the must read story of 2013!!! The next installment can’t come too soon. Congratulations to Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman on what is sure to be a fantastic series!