Friday, February 14, 2014

[Late ARC Review] These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

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Goodreads Summary

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.


I know, I know. This book came out back in December. And I'm reviewing the ARC. I won it in a contest and didn't get it until the release date was already upon me. So I kind of kept pushing it aside, hoping I would get the finished copy soon. But since that didn't happen soon enough, I just went ahead and read the ARC. And now I'm reviewing it, because I'm too impatient to share my feelings.

This is easily one of my new favorite books. I'm not even kidding. Sci-fi has to be my favorite genre, both reading and writing. Not sure if I love it because I write it or I write it because I love it. But I do know that I think of each sci-fi I read as a lesson: this is how you world build, this is how you character build, this is how you get the plot moving, and this is how everything moves along naturally, without seeming forced.

My lessons here: 

1. World building
I mean, it's incredible. They are stuck on this unknown planet the whole time. This is beyond world building. It's freaking universe building. Which is incredible in and of itself. Yes, they got the setting down, and that was cool. But somehow, these two women managed to get every important fact about the rest of the universe. Notice that I don't say every single detail. They don't give us that. But what they do is this: we're stuck on this planet, so let us reminisce in a way that is totally natural.

2. Character interaction and point of view
One of my favorite things to write is scenes from different points of view. Same scene, different eyes seeing it. Or an overlap of some sort. And that's exactly what happened here. Every chapter alternated between Tarver and Lilac. Sometimes the scene overlapped, or at least their trains of thought. So it never seemed disjointed and random. It picked up where it left off, even if it wasn't necessarily the next second. If that makes sense. It was really pretty cool, looking back on it.
And that dialogue. Seriously, I fear I can never be a good writer because my dialogue can be pretty crappy. This puts me to shame. Everything seemed so natural, so believable.

3. Plot development/twist
So lately I've been saying how I predicted this and that and I totally saw that coming.
This was not one of those. Sure, I predicted the romance. But the whispers? Why the planet seemed to be terraformed but was abandoned? I was stumped. And I loved it, because it kept me reading. I could not put it down.

4. Get the reader emotionally invovled
So something happened at the end that is USUALLY UNACCEPTABLE. I'll admit it: it's a bit of a sellout move. Like, oh shit we didn't actually mean that *magically fixes the situation*. But all I have to say was: I was freaked out. I literally had to skip ahead and make sure what had just happened really didn't happen. I was almost in tears. Seriously. This is why sci-fi is great. You can DO this, if you do it right. I want to do that to people - do something almost unacceptable but not have them care because THANK GOD THAT WORKED OUT.

If I can't follow through with shocking them completely and leaving them torn apart because dammit that really happened (Jennifer Sadera - Flawless), then I at least want to pull this off.

Rating: 5 stars

Recommendation: sci-fi lovers. Even if you don't appreciate the character/romance aspect, focus on the fact that humans are colonizing on other planets. And what's inhabiting their deserted planet


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