These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars

by Claire Kyllonen, Staff Writer

The last thing Major Tarver Merendsen wants is to be subjected to the stifling company of the synthesized upper class aboard the luxury spaceship Icarus, yet that is exactly where his heroic militarism has landed him. The last thing he expects is to be catapulted into a life or death survival situation with the beautiful, albeit spoiled, heiress Lilac LaRoux, daughter of the richest man in the universe, yet that is exactly where a calamitous, unheard of accident has gotten him.

With little food, no plans or information as to their whereabouts, Tarver and Lilac are forced to abandon the thought of civilization in order to survive. Together they brave the terrain of an uncharted, unknown, and completely abandoned planet… or so they think. With inconceivable dangers threatening their lives at every turn, Tarver and Lilac are brought together and console each other in the midst of insurmountable odds, as hope for rescue continues to diminish.

May I take a moment to just swoon ? Admittingly, the first thing I heard about this book was “Just think Titanic in space!,” and that kind of made me cringe. While this story does have similar plot lines to Titanic (including ball gowns and on-deck meetings), this is ANYTHING but. This book is not just another “copycat,” and it’s not just another YA romance. (Don’t let the pretty cover art trick you into thinking otherwise.) This intricately woven tale stands alone. You could categorize it as survival science fiction or romance fiction, and it still would.

The authors go back and forth from Tarver to Lilac’s point of view, allowing for excellent characterization, while using a very strong sense of purpose in their writing. They show you that Lilac is a complex person with her own inner demons and fears, while showing Tarver to have a quiet sensitivity that his outward militaristic lifestyle hides from plain sight. You watch the stunning transformation these two make as they try to survive; the growth and change of their personalities is done in a steady, realistic fashion that “trends into a beautiful arc.”

If you love science or romance fiction, this book is a work of art that appeals to both genres. Warning: you might have a very hard time putting it down.

(4.8 out of 5 stars)