These Broken Stars by Annie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner Book Review

These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Annie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

She, Lilac LaRoux, is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. He is a Major Tarver Merendsen, an army rags to riches story that only the poor can envy. Both are just playing their parts, until catastrophe strikes. The Icarus is pulled from hyperspace and crashes into the nearest planet. Able to make it to an escape pod, Lilac and Tarver find themselves on a planet that is more than just another terraformed colony planet. With whispers on the wind and a tortuous journey to the Icarus wreckage, they find that two seemingly different people can find love.

This story started with a lot of promise, basically Titanic in space, complete with Jack (Tarver) and Rose (Lilac). Despite my aversion to romance stories, I found that the excitement of the ship crashing and the escape pod and survival situation really held me interest. Then the second half of the book happened. Basically Jack and Rose, errr...I mean Tarver & Lilac then spend a large amount of time (although it never quite felt like a lot of time) traveling across the planet to find the Icarus wreckage and basically falling in love. Just so you aren't confused, this isn't puppy love either. There is some serious stuff that happens here, but Brian's Story this was not.

There was a lot of potential here. A lot of world building in this giant universe that I never fully understood. I still don't think I have a complete grasp on the way that the rich and poor live. What was Tarver's home like? What is Lilac's home like? How does this Universe function? Why is Lilac's father so powerful? How does the power structure of this world work?

Another issue that was made more glaringly apparent by the audio book was that that there were very clearly two writers writing this story. I am not sure if the authors each took one character, but what I noticed was that Tarver didn't really sound like Tarver whenever it was Lilac's chapter. At first I thought I was imagining it, but as the story progressed and we get to know these characters it became more and more obvious was that Tarver wasn't really Tarver for half the book.

What I did like were the short chapters as Tarver tells his version of the truth to an interrogator. Each vignette was a small revelation of what the next chapter may entail, like an old Dickens novel, yet never revealed too much. Also, to be fair if you like your sci-fi heavy on the romance and light on the science, then this may be the book for you. Obviously this is going to be a series, which I find surprising because I felt like the story wrapped up nicely. Well, nice enough that I don't really feel like I need to read another one. I don't want to sound overly critical and there is definitely an audience for this book, but as a hardcore sci-fi lover, I just couldn't get on board with this romance novel.