Title: These Broken Stars (The Starboard Trilogy #1)
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: December 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
These Broken Stars is an enticing and thrilling story set in space in the future. In this first instalment of the Starbound Trilogy, we follow the lives of Tarver Merendson, a renowned war hero, and Lilac LaRoux, the daughter of the richest man in the universe. They are aboard the Icarus, a luxury spaceliner, when they are suddenly pulled out of hyperspace and crash into the nearest planet. Tarver and Lilac are the only survivors and we follow their story as they seek rescue. However, strange events occur on the planet and the two embark on a journey to unravel it’s mysteries.
I rated this book 4/5 stars based on it’s theme of survival, character development, world-building, and overall enjoyability. Even though it lacked in some areas, the story definitely made up for it enough to get a high rating! Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate it’s gorgeous cover!
To be honest, I’ve never enjoyed survival stories. I often find them slow-paced and boring after a couple of chapters and, considering that survival is the main theme in These Broken Stars, I was pretty worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it at all. But I was pretty surprised! The survival elements aren’t overbearing like they usually are in survival stories. Rather, the dynamics between the characters and the mysteries on the planet kept me SO interested. I just really appreciated the toned-down survival story in this novel and how survival wasn’t the main focus.
As for the characters, I expected them to be predictable and pretty annoying, because Young Adult fiction does have this problem sometimes. But again, I was surprised! Tarver starts out as being distant and down-to-earth and isn’t interested in entertaining the idea that he is this “war hero” that everybody looks up to. He opens up more as the story goes on and you get to see a much more likeable Tarver come out. Lilac is a far more complex character than Tarver and, because of this, I was really interested in reading more chapters from her point-of-view. As the story progresses she undergoes some serious character development. I really liked the character development because it made it more interesting and realistic, and the characters became more relatable as well. Overall, the characters were interesting and made great development by the end of the story.
There were many things that I enjoyed about this book, but, of course, no book is perfect, and so I did have one issue that stopped me from giving this a full 5/5 stars – THE WORLD-BUILDING (or should I say lack thereof?). The key to any atmospheric story is most definitely world-building, especially if the story is going to be set in some land I’ve never encountered. I had high expectations for the world-building, but those expectations weren’t met. It is emphasised that the planet Lilac and Tarver crash on is different to their home planets, but how? All I got was that there was a mountain and a lot of open plain, which was pretty bland compared to the epic adventure they have on this planet. The world-building was a huge issue for me and if there was more detail here then it would have definitely improved the atmospheric element of the story.
Despite These Broken Stars being disappointing in it’s world-building, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The survival theme is used in a different way and the characters are interesting and develop well. This story is not cliché or predictable and I would recommend it to anybody interested in YA sci-fi or thrillers. It’s not a typical insta-love YA sci-fi filled with irritating characters and a basic plot. This book is in a whole new league of YA!
HAVE YOU READ THESE BROKEN STARS? WHAT DID YOU THINK? COMMENT DOWN BELOW AND LET’S TALK ABOUT IT! 🙂