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I have not read a book in awhile that has made me want to gush about it like this one does. I have not read a book in awhile that has taken me on such an extreme emotional rollercoaster ride. Or read one that is so creative and unique all at the same time. They knocked it out of the park with the first book, and the second book in the Starbound series just keeps the spectacular theme going. I love anything that has to do with space and new planets. The infinite possibilites available and the ability to have your characters discover whatever you can imagine really draws me in. The swampy world with the bog, caves, and constant cloud cover really make for a unique enviroment to set this story in. The love story is unique and real. It's slightly Romeo and Juliet, but so much better than anything that I have read in awhile. Because it is down-to-earth, patient, and deep. Not flighty, insta-love like some stories can be. And the twists in this book. They took my breath away. The major turning point in this book had my chest tight and my mind screaming "I hope this is a dream scene. I hope this is a dream scene. I hope this is a dream scene." I read for pages hoping it was a long elaborate imagining because the sorrows couldn't possibly be real. And then they were. And my heart hit the floor again. Everything after that built upon that initial shock. The twists continued to be excellent. The kind that keep you guessing. I loved every minute of the ride. Then the ending. What a beautiful and peaceful scene they created. In the end my heart was left full and satisfied with the wonderful story I was privileged to witness. Needless to say I cannot wait for the third installment.
5.0 out of 5 starsAmazing Sci-Fi and Romance Novel That I Couldn't Put Down
Reviewed in the United States on December 2, 2015
This time I am reviewing This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.
Captain Jubilee Chase is known by many as Stone Faced Chase. Her soldiers respect her and she watches out for them, but she refuses to show too much emotion so the nickname doesn’t bother her, too much. Flynn Cormac leads the rebels on Avon and fights on the opposite side of Jubilee. An unfortunate encounter forces Flynn to kidnap Jubilee in the hopes of getting information about a secret base. As they learn more about each other, they find their views aren’t so different and they might be forced to find a side of their own, between the rebels and the military.
Having enjoyed the first book in this series, I really wanted to read this one and I am so glad that I did. I thought this one was even better than the first book.
Jubilee’s wit sucked me in from the moment I started reading. She’s tough as nails and knows how to read people. She’s a strategist. She’s strong on the inside and outside, but she has a trauma from her past that clings to her. I loved seeing her come out of her shell throughout the course of the story.
Flynn was also a great character. Throughout this book, I had times where I wondered how he managed to be the leader of the rebels and then he would open his mouth. He’s a skilled speaker. I really loved that he wanted to find a non-violent way to go about the rebellion.
I didn’t care for the snippets between chapters nearly as much as I did in the first book. They felt a bit too random. Once I got to the end of the book and they tied in closer to the story, I understood why the authors choose this. I still wished it had almost been something else, but they didn’t take away from the book at all.
Lilac and Tarver make an appearance in this book and I really appreciated that the authors didn’t just forget about them. I almost wished they could have had a larger role, but, then again, it wasn’t what this book needed.
The ending was satisfying and just made me want to jump into the next book. Once again, there was the sweet relief that there wasn’t a cliff hanger. Overall, I loved this book.
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat sequel to an adventurous, intriguing series!
Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2015
In a little twist of serendipity, friends, my first review of 2015 is for a book in Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s Starbound series, THIS SHATTERED WORLD. This is serendipitous, or maybe this is something else that I can’t think of the word for, because my first review of 2014 was also a book from this series, THESE BROKEN STARS. These two books have more in common than appears on the surface though, because they are both engaging, fast-paced, dramatic, and intriguing. I was already a big fan of this series just based on book 1, but THIS SHATTERED WORLD really drew me in and made me even more curious about WTF is exactly going on in these books. THIS IS THE BEST.
In THIS SHATTERED WORLD, we are on the planet Avon, basically this universe’s equivalent of a backwater, a perpetual, hopeless slum where the soldiers stationed there never last long and the local population is likely harboring rebels. The soldiers and the rebels on Avon are locked in what sounds kind of like a guerilla siege: The soldiers are at a disadvantage, not knowing the swamps of Avon as well, and the rebels like poking at them. Constantly. It’s a back and forth with no winners, and no end in sight. Jubilee Chase is an officer of great renown on Avon, having lasted there longer than any other. Flynn Cormac is one of the only resistance fighters who sees the benefit of peace. When Lee and Flynn become an unwitting duo in the fight to discover what is really happening on Avon that has prevented successful terraforming for decades, everything gets tossed around.
It’s hard for me to read these books and not be completely taken with the world. I don’t read much science fiction, but when I read books like THIS SHATTERED WORLD, I’m not ever sure why. Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner make outerspace seem dangerous and exotic and familiar all at once. And even though the characters are living in a very different world and dealing with very specific, different things, they seem just as real with easily recognizable traits as any young person I know.
Jubilee and Flynn are perhaps not as gripping romance as Tarver and Lilac in THESE BROKEN STARS, but they are certainly nothing to sniff at. As individuals, they have a lot going on: Lee must contend with her soldiers coming down with this mysterious almost berserker illness. After an episode, the soldiers are unable to remember anything. It’s a problem. Plus she has a childhood riddled with tragedy that, in the end, binds her even more to Flynn, who’s own life is marred by death and loss. I liked Lee A LOT. She’s smart, strong, well-respected as a leader, and ballsy. But she’s also not afraid of calling in the reserves when she knows she’s in over her head. I’ll get to this again in a second.
Flynn is also struggling in his own life. The rebels on Avon, called the Fianna, are divided; some want to find a way to bring about peace like Flynn, while others want to get angry and shoot things like the leader, McBride. Life with the rebels is, for Flynn, all he knows and yet not all he wants. His struggles with loyalty and his desire to discover what’s keeping Avon in the Dark Ages of evolution really endeared him to me.
Like I mentioned before, though, the steamy romance that Lilac and Tarver experienced in THESE BROKEN STARS doesn’t necessarily manifest itself with Lee and Flynn. They have too much ingrained baggage keeping them apart. But their growing closeness and feelings gives the story even more emotional heft than it already has from Lee and Flynn’s own stories, which were plenty sad on their own. They are two very wounded young people, and I was glad for them to have found one another.
What ties THIS SHATTERED WORLD to THESE BROKEN STARS is the continuation of the mystery and conspiracy and general WTF-ery of LaRoux Industries. Whatever monkey business they were up to in book 1 is still going on here, and so when Lee gets in over her head and needs some back up, she calls the only person whom she can count on: Tarver, who was her superior officer on Avon before he was transferred. Seeing Tarver again was excellent and it reminded me how much I love him. Getting some small glimpses into his and Lilac’s life made me so happy. I just love them. Plus I love that it brings the story together. Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner are tying everything together in neat, uncomplicated ways that don’t seem forced at all.
In Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s Acknowledgements they mention the setting of book 3 and I’m STOKED. It’s the HOTBED of this world, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to go on there and how these stories are going to wrap up. I would read books about this world forever. It’s so compelling. THIS SHATTERED WORLD kept my interest, got me emotionally invested, confounded me with mysteries, and has me ready for more. A very solid sequel, friends.
5.0 out of 5 starsEntertaining and vastly original
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 14, 2015
This Shattered World, like the previous book, These Broken Stars, takes place on a world that is being 'terraformed', or, in other worlds, various scientific processes are under way to make the planet habitable for human beings and all the things we need - clean water, plant and insect life, etc. In Avon's case, it's not doing so well and is still an insect-less bog - and no one knows why.
The planet is settled by two groups: a military bunch who are off-worlders; and the 'natives' who were born on Avon from distant Irish ancestors. (Jubi)Lee is a soldier, and Flynn is a local.
Lee is very hostile to the natives as she thinks they are pointlessly violent - as she as seen on other terraformed planets - and Flynn's tribe is hostile to the military because, well, they're outsiders who don't have their interests at heart.
As the story develops, both Lee and Flynn realise that things are far less straightforward than they think and more to the point, Someone, Somewhere is manipulating them. More and more soldiers - and now natives - are succumbing to a temporary mental rage wherein they shoot people before heading east towards - well, towards what? This is the central mystery in the story.
This Shattered World, like its predecessor, is interestingly structured as its chapters are interspersed with occasional mini-chapters that are quite surreal, until you approach the end of the story and realise what they're about. The writing style is deft. I'd say, much improved on These Broken Stars, but I wouldn't like to imply that there are any deficiencies at all in the writing style and characterisation this time around, because there aren't.
Tarver and Lilac from These Broken Stars both make guest appearances in This Shattered World, but they are not central characters. This Shattered World has romance, but it is more hard-won and for that, more realistic if less romantic (despite the Romeo and Juliet references!).
My only criticism is an after-I've-read-the-book thought, and that is that we still don't know *why* the company behind the terraforming acts the way it does. They are a bit one-dimensional Uber Baddie. Whilst both books have been entertaining and vastly original in their own right, it would be good to get to the heart of the underlying problem in this fictional universe. I pondered whether this should make me knock a star off, but decided that the story flows so well even without this, that it's still a 5* recommendation to other readers.
This Shattered World was an exhilarating and thrilling sequel to
These Broken Stars
that felt solely unique while still holding an air of familiarity.
Reading companion novels can be a daunting and scary task, especially when it’s to a book as stunning as These Broken Stars. This Shattered World was a spectacular follow-up, even if it didn’t reach the same mark as its predecessor. I loved Jubilee and Flynn, they’re both strong characters together and apart. (Even if Jubilee did take a little getting used to.) Their romance was developed slowly, with tension building over time instead of all at once. Unlike Lilac and Tarver, who were alone and free to develop their romance at their own pace, Jubilee and Flynn are enemies in a dangerous situation. They’re both leaders who owe their loyalty to their own people first, not each other, and this makes their growing feelings for each other a serious and deadly risk. I loved the two of them together and I felt that, as a team, they worked spectacularly well.
While the plot of This Shattered World didn’t blow me away quite like These Broken Stars, I still found it to be enjoyable and entertaining. Although developed slowly, the plot weaved itself into something marvellous, and the rewarding ending was worth the slightly slow beginning. The story itself felt almost like a filler novel, bridging plot points from the first book towards the final book. The conspiracy we’re introduced to in book one surrounding LaRoux Industries is finally expanded upon and we can see that it’s the undercurrent connecting all of the books in the series together.
Of course, the highlight of all of this for me was seeing Lilac and Tarver again, even if it was only briefly. (Although I did thoroughly enjoy our intergalactic star-crossed lovers!) All in all, this was an interesting and captivating read and I can’t wait to see how the series wraps up in the final instalment of the trilogy,
Their Fractured Light (Starbound)
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 9, 2015
I'm half way through this book now and I love it. I won't give any spoilers, but I beamed halfway through. The change of characters were nice, but please don't be dissapointed readers. Keep on going and you'll soon see why I had myself smiling like an idiot on the bus.