By: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publication: December 23rd, 2014
Genre(s): Science fiction
My rating: 4.5 stars
The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war. Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should have never met. Lee is captain of forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents. Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion. Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelenting war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape to the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.
“The girl is standing on a battlefield, and it’s the street she grew up on. The people here don’t know a war’s coming, and every time she opens her mouth to warn them, the city called November drowns her out. A car screeches past, a siren wails, children laugh, a holoboard starts playing its looped ad high above. The girl screams, but only the pigeons at her feet notice. Startled, they fly upward and disappear into the bright patchwork maze of laundry lines and lanterns crisscrossing overhead.
No one hears her.”
That is the opening line of This Shattered World, sequel to These Broken Stars. It made a huge impact on me and let me know that I would ultimately find it okay that This Shattered World is not about Tarver and Lilac, the characters I came to love from the first book. No, this is about a new couple, as each book in the Starbound Trilogy is. The second I started reading from Jubilee’s perspective, though, no thoughts about Tarver or Lilac cropped up, which shows the talent both of these authors have: they can create separate characters, with separate goals and situations, but in the same world, without making me love the old characters more or less.
Though, I do approve of the Tarver and Lilac cameo. 100% approve.
Here’s a funny story: I was on a plane when the cameo happened unexpectedly. So, that left me with a bunch of random passengers, my mouth wide open, grinning idiotically, without anyone to talk to and share the excitement with. My mom was trying to sleep and she shushed me every time I began to squeal to myself. I had to keep it in and make myself read past the glorious Tarver & Lilac cameo, without giving myself a complete chance to process what I had just read. Funny story, but not at the time.
This was me at that unfunny time.
Anyway, with the cameo done for the moment, I continued reading and found myself swept up once again in the descriptive and beautiful world, in the characters and their journeys, in the whole book itself. Just like These Broken Stars, This Shattered World is written with a dual perspective, so I was the reader, both of my feet hovering on a white line that separated Jubilee and Flynn, the line that separated both of their peoples, both of their worlds, both of their sides on the bloody war they’ve been participating in for years. That line was slowly erased as Jubilee and Flynn found each other, and I didn’t root for either side any more; I rooted for Jubilee and Flynn, both as people and as lovers. The banter between them is addictive to read, and watching them go from enemies to friends to falling in love with one another was amazing.
“Are you in love with this vess-this person?”
I gape at him, caught off guard. The absurdity of the question here, in the bowels of a secret research facility, conversing with a creature from another universe, is so striking that I have to fight the hysterical impulse to laugh. But his eyes are so grave, so serious, that the urge fades and I’m looking left at him, my heart tight and painful.
“I-I don’t know,” I whisper. I remember the shape of his heart and mine, and his kiss at the water’s edge. “But I wanted the chance to find out.”
Speaking of the secret research facility and the other creature from another universe, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner have seriously upped their game in the departments of all things paranormal and creepy. I was on the edge of my seat during the ending, tense and worried about my favorite Captain, Jubilee Chase, and my favorite rebel, Flynn Cormac. Expect a mind-blowing ending if you pick up this book. Expect it. Love it. I did.
Final thoughts: this is a must read. Kaufman and Spooner put so much time into developing likeable characters, expanding their already creative and cool world, and setting up for what I’m sure is going to be an epic conclusion to the Starbound Trilogy. Who else hopes that the last book will be about Sophia Quinn? *fingers crossed*
HAVE YOU READ ANY BOOKS IN THE STARBOUND TRILOGY? WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THEM? IF NOT, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SCIENCE FICTION BOOK?
Review by Mary Claire, Indy PL Teen
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