Series: Starbound #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on 2013 December 10
Genres: Science Fiction
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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.
These Broken Stars has just occupied a permanent space in my heart. It’s one of those things in life that you could never let go even if it died a bajillion of years ago… something that you would cherish forever because life wouldn’t be the same without it… that something has just broken inside of you after realizing that you’re on the last page and you just want to turn back time to experience the awesomeness again…
I am rendered incoherent by this book and I just don’t know where to begin. Should I start by saying that I was biting my nails when I started reading this book because I’ve read a lot of reviews saying that it’s like Titanic? And god knows how everyone hated the ending of Titanic! I mean, no one wants another dead Jack Dawson, right? But I soldiered on thinking that I could get through this book with my whole being intact. I survived Allegiant with barely a scratch so why should I worry?
I was wrong. Kaufman and Spooner bring us to a world of living and cruising around the galaxy. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen, two individuals from two very different worlds, were thrown into each other’s path when Icarus—a luxury spaceship—went down onto a nearby planet. With no else to turn to, they must rely on each other to make it alive on a planet full of untamed beasts and a mystery that almost rendered them mad.
These Broken Stars has been marketed as a sci-fi book but I don’t think so. It’s more of a romance and survival story with the galaxy as a backdrop. While I was disappointed that the sci-fi element of this book wasn’t fully probed, I am still happy that everything about it compensated that weak aspect. Let’s start with the characters. Tarver and Lilac are such wonderful characters that it was hard not to give them a piece of your heart. Tarver is boyfriend material that I wouldn’t hesitate to seduce. I would even point a gun to his head just to marry me. Yes. He’s that awesome. All throughout the book, he kept a sensible mind keeping Lilac out of harm’s way whilst respecting her strength as a female. Never for once did I see Tarver offered to carry her despite that she’s struggling and in a territory very alien to her. Instead, he just let her be and gave her strength through his words and grim determination.
Lilac is also praise worthy. Beneath the cold and snobbish façade is a compassionate, very-determined-bordering-on-craziness, and proud soul. She immediately caught my attention during the early chapters because she was a natural at being untouchable…like she was born for the role of the bratty socialite.
In addition, the romance between Lilac and Tarver was just mindblowing. It was very poignant that it was almost painful. Yes, it was pretty clear that they would fall in love in the end but it’s not the destination that counts, it’s the journey. Everything just clicked into the right place with them that I will move heaven and earth just to see them get married in the near future. It’s a romance worth dying for. It’s a romance that should be the role model of those crappy YA love stories. It is the kind of good ol’ romance that would restore your faith in humanity.
While others were quite annoyed with the slow pacing of the plot, I wasn’t because 1. The beautiful prose is highly entertaining and 2. I am a very patient person (as long as the book deserves it). I quite enjoyed accompanying Lilac and Tarver conquering the obstacles laid out by the strange planet. It even got more exciting when the characters were spooked by strange voices and mirages. Clearly, the plot of These Broken Stars is driven by the survival, mystery and relationship aspects of this book. As for sci-fi, I am sorry to say that there’s not so much in this book apart from the fact that the story took place on the galaxy and that there are ethereal alien beings on the new planet whose existence were not fully explained.
Lastly, that additional twist near the ending was heart stopping yet annoying. I just hated the authors for scaring the living daylights out of me. I was like, “No! No! Please anyone but…” Good lord, I just want to drink a memory serum so as not to be reminded of that nightmare.
To conclude, These Broken Stars is an outstanding storytelling of a timeless romance in the outerspace. It’s more than what I expected for a sci-fi book despite that its sci-fi aspect is its strongest flaw. Giving your heart to this book is definitely worth it. I am just sad that the sequel wouldn’t focus on Tarver and Lilac anymore. I just hope that the authors will still give us glimpses of them though because I want them to be really okay. That ending didn’t quite give an assurance that Lilac and Tarver will get their happy ever after.