Book Review: These Broken Stars (A Starboard Novel) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Posted June 16, 2016 by @Angelized_1st in 2016 Dystopia Reading Challenge, Books, Entertainment, Reading Challenges / 5 Comments

Book Review: These Broken Stars (A Starboard Novel) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan SpoonerThese Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on December 10th 2013
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Action & Adventure, General, Horror & Ghost Stories
Pages: 384
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
ISBN: 9781423171027
Buy on: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks

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.

The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.

“For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space. Then it’s gone, the view swallowed by the hyperspace winds streaming past, blue-green auroras wiping the after-images away. Until all that’s left is us”

I didn’t learn about these novels until last winter, but as soon as I saw the covers I wanted to check them out. However, I didn’t run out and by them, until I read Illuminae. That novel was so unique, and I enjoyed it so much that I knew I had to check out more of Amie Kaufman’s books. I wasn’t disappointed. These Broken Stars is another science fiction story that takes place on a space ship, but unlike Illuminae, the antagonist of this story wasn’t as clear-cut.

Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive a deadly event when the luxury spaceliner they were traveling on gets yanked out of hyperspace. Before the ship plummets, the two board an escape pod and land on a nearby planet. While this planet is lush and green, there’s something off about it. The two must find a way to survive being stranded alone, as they make their way towards the crash site with the hope of being rescued.

I loved the suspense of the novel. Everything about this new planet felt off, and danger lurked around every corner. On top of all that, the mystery of how and why their ship was yanked out of hyperspace weighs heavily on Tarver and Lilac’s mind, as do the strange whispers that speak to them in the night. What was so suspenseful to me, was whether or not the whispers were friends or foe. Plus, being the only two people on this planet, cabin fever begins to set in a bit which reminded me a bit of The Shining. 

Beautifully written, engrossing, and suspenseful, These Broken Stars was a lovely read from beginning to end. This is partly to do with the world building as much as the characterization of Tarver and Lilac. Both of these characters were complex people, and the authors peeled back layers of their personalities, histories, and secrets with each passing chapter. This helped add to the suspense, and also allowed you to get sucked into the romance. Readers get to know them as they get to know each other, adding credence to their budding romance.

Another aspect of the story I loved were the addition of the snippets of Tarver’s interrogation. Not only did this remind me of Illuminae, but it kind of gave you some insight into how the story ends, without revealing anything. Readers learn Tarver’s fate off the bat, but are left to wonder about what really happened on the distant planet, and what became of Lilac. As you read the story, readers get to see the differences between Tarver’s interrogation to what we actually read. This level of mystery made me thing of classic detective movies, making this novel different from anything I’ve read in a long time.

About Amie Kaufman

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

About Meagan Spooner

New York Times bestselling author Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there. She’s the author of the award-winning Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, Their Fractured Light) and the Skylark Trilogy (Skylark, Shadowlark, Lark Ascending) as well as the upcoming Beauty and the Beast retelling Hunted.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.


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5 responses to “Book Review: These Broken Stars (A Starboard Novel) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

    • @Angelized_1st

      I hadn’t heard about it either until last fall. The cover caught my attention, but it wasn’t until I read Illuminae that I really became interested. I hope you get to check it out. Thanks for stopping by!

    • @Angelized_1st

      I hope to read the sequel soon. The covers are absolutely beautiful!I know it’ll star different characters, but I hope there will be crossovers. I can’t wait to read your review of it.

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