A copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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.
I think everyone can agree that the cover for These Broken Stars is beyond beautiful. Thankfully the story, characters and writing match perfectly with the cover boosting this into my top favorites of 2013.
I was impressed and really enjoyed the different atmospheres Kaufman and Spooner were able to provide throughout the book. We start on a grand spacecraft, like the Titanic. This section of the book felt romantic and historical to me. I loved all the details and found it very easy to imagine this giant ship traveling through space. Of course, it reminded me of the Doctor Who episode Voyage of the Damned. Anytime I’m reminded of The Doctor we are on the right path.
Once I was fully immersed (and fondly comparing aspect to Voyage of the Damned and Titanic) things changed. Panic ensued and tragedy struck. It was done beautifully, I was able to feel the stress of the passengers and our main characters. I swear I was holding my breath at times and eager to see what would happen next. I read this with my reading group (Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings, Krys from Bibliopunkk and Jon from Scott Reads It) so we had a certain amount to read each night. I am typically right on track or a tad behind. With this book it was a struggle to not keep reading. This feeling is a great and wonderful thing for a book blogger.
After the spaceliner crashed we get to read vivid and lush descriptions of the alien planet making it very easy to imagine what life would be like there. The book’s atmosphere changes again, thrusting the reader into a survivalist tale filled with mystery, romance, science fiction and even a touch of paranormal. I wasn’t expecting for there to be any aspects of this story that would creep me out but to my happy surprise there were. Lilac hears voices, murmurs and sees things that should not be there. This element really added to the story to me and was so happy to see it explored.
Told in dual first person point of views, These Broken Stars allows its readers to get to see the story unfold from both the main characters eyes. Lilac and Tarver are exquisitely crafted, each with a unique personality and distinct point of view. I loved them apart as much as together and felt that we were able to really grasp their strengths and weaknesses.
Tarver was what I look for in a love interest and main character. He was well rounded, self assured but not cocky. I loved that he wasn’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but a character with motivations and desires. If all that wasn’t good enough he even had a sense of humor.
Lilac was easy to relate to once she is stranded on the planet. Her lifestyle prior was easily something we’ve all seen before (rich girl pampered and given all that she could possibly wish for). Though she fits a very typical trope she was still able to become real and not stereotypical because of little details, like her mechanical skills. I felt that Lilac really shone once we got to see into her insecurities and I loved seeing her internal struggles and debates. I sadly think I might cope with an alien world much like she did.
These Broken Stars is written seamlessly and is full of vivid descriptions, wonderful characters and a fast paced plot. I loved the eerie yet romantic atmosphere Kaufman and Spooner so expertly crafted and can’t wait to see what they do next.