In anticipation of the December 1st release of Their Fractured Light, we are re-reading The Starbound Trilogy beginning with These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. From the author’s site, here is a summary of this novel.
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. The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.
Overall: At its core, These Broken Stars is a love story. Lilac and Tarver spend the majority of the novel traipsing around the planet they crash on alone. There are many opportunities for them to be alone in various states of undress and duress. And while this may sound like the recipe for a grand love story (no spoilers), Lilac and Tarver are faced with the third main character of this book, the unnamed, uninhabited planet they land on. Upon landing, they must fight for survival and to find help while trying to understand what happened to the Icarus.
While I loved this novel and voraciously tore through it, I felt strangely detached from the characters and their stories. I’m not sure if this was Kauffman’s intent or not, but I would say that it was a bit strange for me as a reader not to engage emotionally with each character. Nonetheless, I finished it and immediately started on “This Shattered World.”
Cover Art: The cover was one of the most prized and coveted of 2013. It is gorgeous and sumptuous and captures the contrast of Lilac and Tarver’s socio-economic backgrounds.
Prose Style: This book is told in alternating points of view, from Tarver and Lilac. Tarver’s chapters are often prefaced with his interrogation after the crash, in an indeterminate point in the future. There is a mystery that these two must resolve without letting the planet get the best of them. There is lots of intrigue that comes as a result of Tarver & Lilac’s time spent on the planet, in addition to their story together.
Audiobook Narration: The audiobook narration is beautiful. There are 3 narrators, one for Tarver, one for Lilac and one who interrogates Tarver at some point in the future. All readers are perfectly cast and the interludes of cosmic symphonies add just the level of spooky, intergalactic creepiness that begins to settle into your bones as you listen to the events of this novel unfold.
Get your copy of These Broken Stars here.
We post about how to get a special giveaway when you order Their Fractured Light.