Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Posted May 12, 2014 by Liza in Reviews / 11 Comments

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars

by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound #1
Published on December 10th, 2013
by Disney Hyperion
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Narrator: Cynthia Holloway, Johnathan McClain
Length: 11 hours and 15 minutes
Source: Purchased for Audible
Amazon | Goodreads

Also by this author: These Broken Stars, Illuminae, Hunted, Hunted

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.

4.5 Stars

Even though I got These Broken Stars at BEA last year and I saw many promising reviews, it took me all this while to actually read it.  Finally, I got it in audiobook and I just LOVE it!  I’m kicking myself in the behind for not reading it before now.

I haven’t read anything by Amie Kaufman before, but I read Meagan Spooner’s Skylar (see my review here ), which I really enjoyed.   In a nutshell, These Broken Stars is a combination of ‘Titanic’ in space and it also reminded me of Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky (because of the main characters.)  If you read the synopsis, you know that I’m not giving anything away.  Lilac LaRoux is the daughter of the richest man in the galaxy, she’s the picture of the perfectly spoiled brat and in a sense, she is; but there is more to her that meets the eye. 

Tarver Mederdsen is a ‘war hero’ and has gained the rank of major.  He has made a name for himself and is being ‘rewarded’ by being invited to the Icarus to intermingle with the rich people.  It is here that he meets the untouchable Ms. LaRoux and ends up saving her life.  They end up in the same escape pod and crash land together.  It is in this unknown planet that they learn to tolerate each other, and later fall in love.  At the beginning, they don’t even like each other, but they slowly realize that there is more to each other and to the stereotypes they want to fit each other in.  Lilac and Tarver complement each other really well and I love them as a couple. In case that you can’t tell, the characterization is outstanding, and it really had to be since we spend much of our time with only these two characters.  The story is told from both Lilac and Tarver’s point of views, in the first person.  Between each chapter, there is an interview with, presumably, an investigator (?) and Tarver, after they‘re rescued.  Thus, we know from the beginning that they will eventually rescued.

There aren’t many other characters, but we do get to meet Lilac’s father briefly and he is a piece of work!  I’m happy, albeit a bit freaked out with the ending 🙂

You would imagine that the plot is really simple, but it you would be wrong.  Thrown in for good measure is a sci-fi / paranormal twist that makes the story different to anything I’ve read before.  The world building is really good and easy to understand, even when it gets a little technical. The pace was a bit slow at the beginning, and even though I wasn’t bored, I kept wishing it could go faster.  I think that besides the characters, the crowning glory of this book is the writing.  The writing is easy to read, beautiful and lyrical.

Overall, These Broken Stars is a great space romance-sci-fi story.  It has great characters, an unforgettable romance, and incredible writing.  I’m looking forward to the rest of the books in the series and I hope we can see how Lilic and Traver are doing then.

About the narration – I enjoyed this one.  Chapters are narrated by either Jonathan McClain (I’m assuming this is Tarver), and Cynthhia Holloway as Lilac.  Also, as stated above, the person interviewing Tarver after the rescue is another narrator too.  Overall, the pace is good, it was easy to understand them and I particular loved Tarver’s interpretation.

About the cover – The cover is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. The circle of stars in the background has a lot of meaning for the story.  The gorgeous, vibrant, flowing dress and the couple reaching for each other. Breathtaking.

Some quotes from you:

“You don’t mention death when it’s hovering near someone you love.”

“You don’t mention death when it’s hovering near someone you love. You don’t want t attract the reaper’s attention.”

“For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space. Then it’s gone, the view swallowed by the hyperspace winds streaming past, blue-green auroras wiping the after-images away.


About Cynthia Holloway

Actress Cynthia Holloway, a native of Seattle, Washington, has performed on stage, film, and television, as well as doing voice-over work. She has lent her voice to television programs, radio and television commercials, video games, and audiobooks. Cynthia’s most recognizable work is as the voice of Anita Blake in Laurell K. Hamilton’s bestselling vampire hunter series. (From Tantor Media’s Narrator Profile)

About Johnathan McClain

Johnathan McClain (born July 2, 1970) is an American stage, television, and film actor, and writer.

About Amie Kaufman

mie Kaufman is the co-author of the award-winning Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World) and The Illuminae Files trilogy (Illuminae). She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens. Amie had the good fortune to be raised just one block from her local library, and took full advantage of that fact growing up. She and her sister spent their childhood summers re-creating their favourite books by camping in the back yard, mapping their neighbourhood, climbing trees, stepping through magical doors and sailing the local seas. Raised in Australia and Ireland, she has kissed the Blarney stone six times, thoroughly cementing her gift of the gab.

As she grew older (but not up), she continued her education, and graduated with honors degrees in history, literature and law, and a master’s degree in conflict resolution. These days she combines writing with work as a mediator, as well as regular travel throughout the US, Europe and Asia. A few of her top travel moments include camping in the Sahara overnight, climbing a mountain in Vietnam, standing on the Great Wall of China and cycling the Loire Valley, but she has a huge list left to cover.

Amie lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and their very quirky rescue dog, Jack. She’s a huge fan of chocolate and naps, has an enormous music collection, and an entire room of her house is devoted to her library. She still sails, and though she climbs fewer trees, she remains partial to investigating the occasional magical door.

About Meagan Spooner

Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.

In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.


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