These Broken Stars by Aimee Kaufman and Meagan Spooner has to be one of the most original Sci-Fi stories this year, possibly in the past couple of years. Not only was it sci-fi, but there were intense survival issues throughout the book, along with romance and social barriers being broken. I even love how the title just makes sense in the last scene. Tarver and Lilac’s little world eventually became broken stars, ones that I hope they will be able to see throughout time.
Sci-Fi: It probably looks obvious, but this is a Sci-Fi book all the way. You have a huge space ship cruising through space with rich, poor, and military. I have to agree with some responses to the book that it reminds me of the titanic, crash and all; however, this was much more electrifying (no pun intended) and at no point did I feel a sad lull, because there was too much action. By the time Tarver and Lilac descend onto the planet nearest the crash, no one is left alive. They are the sole survivors, and now on this new planet they must learn to adapt and also grieve their loss… that’s when the sadness comes on. It was easy to follow along during the space talks and the world building was phenomenal.
Lilac: Lilac LaRoux is the residential rich girl, daughter of the most powerful man in the universe. Her father is the owner of LaRoux Industry; they inhabit planets, make them into livable places and have colonies on those planets. Her father is feared, and that makes Lilac untouchable much to her chagrin. Many men fawn over her because of her status, and others steer clear of her because of fear of her father… that’s every man, except Major Merendsen.
Tarver: Major Tarver Merendsen is the new hot shot decorated soldier. Coming from a poor background, he will never fit into the rich life, however much they want to make him mingle. He knows he’s only on the upper class deck for photo ops, no one there really wants to get to know him, and it’s all a show… that is, until Lilac catches his eye.
The Planet: Holy creepiness. I think that is what made this novel the best Sci-Fi so far. Everything is creepy about the planet. It’s inhabitable, but there are no inhabitants. What there is are whispers, illusions, recreations of your thought, and rift from one dimension to the other. Something is on the planet; Lilac and Tarver are not alone. What they need to figure out is whether or not this something is a threat, or better yet what are they trying to communicate.
Bad Guy: Guess who the bad guy is… that’s right! It’s Lilac’s father. I have noticed that the upcoming books will be companion novels, following new star-crossed lovers… but the baddie is still LaRoux. He is dangerous, disturbing, and a bit controlling. Throughout the novel you never see him, or even scenes of him, it’s hard to know the man behind the villain, thus far. The closest we get is the end, when Lilac gives him a little bit of that hard earned LaRoux attitude and makes me so proud!
This was such an achingly sweet novel, with equal parts creepiness, romance, action, craziness, and heartbreak. I had to put the book down for grown up reasons like my job; however, I did wake up at 1 AM because I just had to finish the book! You will not be disappointed.
4/5 stars! Thanks NetGalley.