This review does not contain spoilers.
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 torturous journey across 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 her forever?
I expected These Broken Stars to be a fluffy space romance with no substance. Or maybe, like the Under the Never Sky trilogy, a society brimming with conflict where two star-crossed lovers tried to knit their worlds back together. I was wrong on both counts.
Well, we do have some fluffy space romance and star-crossed lovers but I was wrong about most other things. First of all, though this is part of the Starbound trilogy, These Broken Stars tells a whole story in one book and I feel like it packs more punch that way. It’s satisfying to sit back with an entire world in your hands and not have to wait on a cliffhanger.
Both Lilac and Tarver are multifaceted characters and uncovering their hidden complexities is almost as interesting as the strange world they’re trapped on. Some elements of their backstories are predictable but somehow I still find it intriguing. I think that’s partly because they’re smart enough to talk through their insecurities instead of keeping all their angst bottled up.
I’m not going to talk about the most exciting part of the plot because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone but I will say this: I freaking loved it. I was so worried it would fall flat but it turned out better than I imagined.
I loved These Broken Stars and, despite its size, finished it in a few hours. Before I was halfway through I started negotiating loopholes in my book buying ban so I could get my hands on This Shattered World. I’m staying strong for now but it’s a near thing.