Thursday, November 14, 2013

Title: These Broken Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound, book #1
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Source: ARC from publisher via The Midnight Garden
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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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.


A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

When I started These Broken Stars, I think I was expecting something along the lines of Beth Revis' Across the Universe series.  I liked the first two books in that series, but I haven't been compelled to complete the trilogy, though that may have something to do with the cover re-design mid-series and my ownership of the first two books with the old cover.  But I digress.  These Broken Stars far surpassed any previous held notions about the book, and if I had the next two companion novels in my possession, I wouldn't be talking to you right now because I'd be glued to those pages, just as I was with These Broken Stars.

These Broken Stars does include mystery and intrigue reminiscent of that in Across the Universe, and the setting does begin on a spaceship far from Earth, but that's honestly where the similarities ended for me.  This space opera is unlike any science fiction piece I've ever read.  The prose is rife with beautiful imagery and sentiments, and the story itself possesses an otherworldliness that I find it challenging to express in words, though the authors had no such difficulties.

I've been a fan of sci-fi since I was a wee thing, thanks to my Star Trek-loving father, and yet I don't think I've ever experienced a sci-fi story that touched me as much as this one, that had me thinking about it weeks later.  Because though this story begins on a spaceship with a girl who's nearly royalty and a boy who's anything but, it quickly morphs into a story of survival, of love and loss and everything in between.

There's so much I want to say about this story, but I fear revealing too much, so I'll just focus on the things I can talk about, like the characters.  Lilac is that girl who is just so much more than she appears to be.  She puts on a front for everyone, but inside, she's dying a little bit every day, having to pretend to be the perfect daughter of the universe's most powerful man.  Lilac has suffered losses in her life, and though outwardly she appears fine, it's obvious from the chapters told from her point-of-view that those losses still weigh heavily on her.

Tarver is handsome and stoic and immediately captivated by the beautiful Lilac.  He's a military hero who wouldn't have even been on the Icarus, had he been given a choice in the matter, but it's lucky for Lilac that he was.  Tarver, too, knows loss, and in their efforts to survive after the crash, the two bond and forge a connection that neither one is sure will survive their rescue.  I enjoyed watching these two characters, who normally keep so much inside, come out of their shells with each other, and their subsequent reactions to each other were even more interesting.  As Lilac proved there was more to her than pretty dresses and galas, Tarver showed that he had a softer side.  They each brought out the best in each other.  (You can read my interview with Tarver tomorrow as part of the blog tour!)

That cover is just so stunning and full of elements I find so romantic, so I did have some lofty expectations for the romance in this story.  I was not disappointed.  I was, however, surprised again and again at the direction the story took and where it left the characters, but I was never once disappointed.  It's actually quite refreshing that the authors were so daring and dramatic with this story, and the proof is in the fact that I spilled tears for these characters and what they were going through.  Not only is the story full of the swoons, but I felt ALL THE FEELS.

And even knowing how it ends, I'm already itching to experience all of it again.  These Broken Stars is such an impressive debut, the story so compelling and breathtaking.  The novel is a collaborative effort and is told from dual perspectives, and each voice is unique to the character, proving that this co-author team is a force to be reckoned with.  Even the brief bits of Tarver's interrogation preceding each chapter were masterfully done, bringing the reader into the story and cluing us into the end game piece by piece.

These Broken Stars is gorgeous and cinematic while remaining suspenseful and inimitable, and I highly recommend it, not just to sci-fi fans but to everyone.  This book was just so readable and I breezed through it, wishing I'd paced myself when the story was over.  I can't wait to see what the authors have in store for us next, and I hope that though the next story is a companion to this one, maybe we'll get another glimpse of Tarver and Lilac and what became of them.  A girl can hope, right?

These Broken Stars Tour

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for my interview with Tarver as part of the blog tour hosted by The Midnight Garden!

About the Authors:

Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner are longtime friends and sometime flatmates who have traveled the world (but not yet the galaxy), covering every continent between them. They are sure outer space is only a matter of time. Meagan, who is also the author of the Skylark trilogy, currently lives in Asheville, NC, while Amie lives in Melbourne, Australia. Although they currently live apart, they are united by their love of space opera, road trips, and second breakfasts.

Visit the These Broken Stars website for the latest news on the series and follow the authors on Twitter at @AmieKaufman and @MeaganSpooner. You may also sign up for their newsletter as well! These Broken Stars will be available in North America on December 10, 2013.


  1. I just loved these two! And yes, so many feels and swoons! I hope they are in the companion quite a bit too. I kinda need them to be. lol Glad you loved it!

  2. I LOVED These Broken of my very favorites of the year. Perfectly done imo. I am so happy you loved it too :-) I can't wait to see where they go with the companion novels. I hope the covers are as pretty as TBS' cover.

  3. I'm so glad that it was awesome. I can't wait to read this one. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh, I absolutely agree with your review! I just had SUCH a good time reading this book!! It's every bit as good as the hype. :) What I had no idea about, though, was that it was so much a survival book. And I LOVE that! I think it should be talked about more how they do lots of planet/space survival things. Their relationship at the beginning is just adorable too. So snarky. Love it. :)

  5. Awesome review! I am so excited to read this. I was getting a little apprehensive though because I'd seen a few negative reviews popping up. I can't wait to read this book.

  6. I agree with pretty much everything you said. This was simply a great book and it totally lived up to the hype. Great review!


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