Wednesday, January 21, 2015

these broken stars (starbound #1) by amie kaufman & meagan spooner: review

Goodreads rating: 3.98
Hardcover, 374 pages
Published December 10th 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Series: Starbound #1
Source: bought, signed
Genre: YA sci-fi romance

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive -- alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

INITIAL REACTION: A very interesting and... unique sci-fi. I stumble on unique because not only is it sort of a Titanic retelling (though it's more of a survivalist story than a James Cameron production) but it also seems to be taking a big page from a sci-fi novel called Solaris (though Solaris isn't nearly as good in my mind). Overall, though, I loved this book and appreciate the fact that there were literally only two characters for most of the novel. Really, just genius!

When I read this book, I'd just finished a book in a sci-fi class that I'd been taking called Solaris. I wish I could tell you why These Broken Stars suddenly becomes very similar to Solaris because that would ruin the mystery of the planet we find our main characters on. I don't think many people will make this connection, mostly because Solaris is a very strange book that I didn't really enjoy, and These Broken Stars was far superior to me. While Solaris keeps most of its characters from the beginning to the end, we quickly lose all but two of the characters in the main storyline. So while this appears to at first be an epic Titanic-like love story, it's so not. In fact, Lilac and Tarver, despite being superficially attracted to each other, also seriously hate each other at first. Lilac is pretty stuck up and clearly has no clue how to survive without all her finery (which she actually hates, but realizes gave her a comfortable life), and Tarver only sees the stuck up part of her so he treats her like a child that he constantly wants to put in a timeout, especially since he's a soldier and doesn't know how to survive with someone that isn't also a soldier. I loved that this was how the authors decided to begin their relationship, because it made the transition that much more wanted.

I mean, really, this novel is pretty much all about the romance. Like I said, the only people we see and hear from for most of the novel are Lilac and Tarver. It's about surviving, yes, but also about building a friendship and eventually something more (someone they could trust completely). It's about not losing your humanity while there are no other humans around to assure you of it. What they discover on the planet was totally mind-blowing and a very interesting way at looking at the world that we live in now. I really wish I could explain more, but it's definitely something you have to read on your own. The authors paint a fantastic picture of this world, and how the two of them fit into it. While this novel didn't totally meet the very high standards that I had for this novel (and I had extremely high standards from all that I'd heard about it), but it was definitely one of the best sci-fi's I've ever read, and certainly one of the best romances I've ever read. Definitely recommended (and you don't even have to be into sci-fi; it really is more of a survival story).

Lovers of sci-fi and survival stories, and romance of course!

Across the Universe trilogy by Beth Revis
The Host by Stephanie Meyer
Enclave by Ann Aguirre

1 comment:

  1. I LOVED THIS, mostly because of the relationships! I was expecting a glitz and glam romance a la Titanic (but like you said, the similarities stop there), and I got so so much more. I wasn't aware of any of the hype around this one, which is why I think I enjoyed it more than you. Sometimes it better to enter a book without idea how the public has received it. :) I Hope you continue the series!


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