Book reviews for Aussie teachers and their students.

These Broken Stars

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 Merendensen 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 that 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 torturous journey across 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.

These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.

It would be easy to dismiss Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s collaboration as simply being a rehashing of Titanic albeit in space.  At first glance this is what I thought I was dealing with and refreshingly I was proved wrong.   Kaufman and Spooner seem to have discovered a new Science Fiction sub-genre and one that may take the genre to an audience that it has previously struggled to connect with.  In doing so, I suspect that they may also have upset many Sci-Fi purists who, on the basis of its strong romantic elements, may disregard the book as a work of fantasy.  I don’t agree with this.  For me, the questions raised by the story place it firmly within the realm of Sci-Fi.  However, the strong feminine perspective will certainly ensure that the story will find an audience amidst the same readers that once gorged themselves on vampires, werewolves and witches.

This hefty book of some 374 pages won’t deter avid YA readers. However, its size will probably place it out of reach for shared classroom study and also beyond the appeal of the more reluctant reader.  It will serve as a great extension book for students in the middle years; particularly for those new to Science Fiction.  The book is expertly crafted and highly engaging, although it does lack the lyrical beauty that would elevate it to the realm of literary fiction.  It is a riveting tale of survival set in a delicious setting that captivates the mind.  I couldn’t put it down!

Despite being part of a trilogy, These Broken Stars works well as a stand-alone novel.  Kaufman and Spooner avoided the temptation of employing the cliffhanger ending.  Instead, they rely upon the strength of their characters and world as being enough to tempt audience back to seek out the next installment.

Reviewed by Tanya Grech Welden

**Allen & Unwin provided me with a  free review copy of this book.  I have otherwise not been paid or rewarded for a any review or endorsement of this book and the above opinions reflect my unbiased view.**


Comments on: "“These Broken Stars” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, Allen & Unwin (2013)" (1)

  1. […] buy enough anyway).  Yes, this is the second in a series, and while I loved the first installment,These Broken Stars, I was a little tentative about its sequel.  Too often they fail to meet my expectations.  […]


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