Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive — alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.
The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.
This February I joined in the Booksplosion Readathon, book of the month, These Broken Stars, Starbound#1, moderated by book tuber Jesse (JesseTheReader) on Goodreads.
Major Tarver Merendsen war hero, is stationed on the Icarus, the “Newest, fanciest ship to come out of orbital dock.” Tarver approaches Lilac, a girl who he’s attracted to, but his well-intentioned attentions to Lilac LaRoux are rebuffed, in a very nasty manner. Tarver doesn’t know who Lilac La Roux is, to him she’s just an attractive young woman that he’d like to date. Later Tarver finds out why. Lilac happens to be the spoilt brat daughter of the wealthiest man in the universe. Lilac expects everyone to recognise her, and everyone normally does, no exceptions. Even though Tarver is a war hero, he is not someone who Lilac would socialise with. Her friend Anna warns her: ” Who cares how many medals the major managed to wrangle in the field? He’s still just a teacher’s son.”
When the Icarus suddenly develops problems with its hyperspace engines, Tarver is all too aware of the danger. Even though Lilac treated him appallingly Tarver can’t help but be a soldier hero. He jumps after her to help her escape the riot of panicking crowds. He escorts Lilac to an escape pod.
Tarver expects to sit beside her on that pod whether she likes it or not. Who can deny him this? Stuck up Lilac isn’t too keen on the idea of Tarver frequenting the same pod as her, but Tarver isn’t about to listen to her: “The soldier lifts both eyebrows. Miss LaRoux, there are five seats in that pod, and I mean to use one of them. We may not have five minutes. It seems like something’s pulling the ship out of hyperspace before it’s supposed to.”
Lilac and Tarver crash-land on a deserted planet. Lilac initially seems more concerned with her, “Two thousand Galactics’ worth of shoes,” than with anything else, but it turns out that Lilac isn’t just a pretty, empty headed spoilt brat. She knows a lot of technicalities about “interdimensional travel,” hot-wiring, and electrical circuitry. They soon realise the shocking truth that they are the sole two survivors stuck on this strange planet. Will Tarver and Lilac be able to stand each others company? Will they survive and make it home?
These Broken Stars is a blend of sci-fi, dystopian, paranormal and romance all in one. The book has a lovely cover that just matches the endearing contents inside. I particularly liked the romance in this book, the characters grow and develop so much as the novel progresses. The romance unfolds slowly, and this makes it all the more heart-warming and believable for the reader.
I love the romance!!!!
Lilac changes from a stuck up spoilt brat daddy’s girl, to a young woman who appreciates that life is precious, much more so than her previously prized material possessions. The friendships that she had aboard the Icarus were built on snobbery and hollow values. Those expensive shoes, and dresses may look lovely but are worthless on this planet. She finds out some shocking truths about her dad, reveals a new-found strength of character, and discovers that her father can’t manipulate her any more.
Tarver remains pretty solid throughout, there are no massive surprises with this guy, apart from the fact that this soldier has suffered heartbreak in his family life. This human side adds depth to his character. He isn’t just the perfectly trained soldier equipped to deal with every crisis, he has emotions, and feelings too. I loved how the book allowed us to see the thoughts of both Tarver and Lilac through dual points of view. These Broken Stars relies heavily on these two characters as we spend practically all of our time with them so Tarver and Lilac have to be engaging and interesting to carry this of.
The Icarus reminded me of the Titanic of the Sci-Fi world. The space ship that should never had crashed but did, killing so many people. “But who names a starship the Icarus? What kind of man possess that much hubris, that he dares it to fall?”
Lilac starts seeing ghostly images, hearing whispers, and simple life forms such as a flower, start resurrecting. There is a touch of the paranormal in this novel which adds another element of interest that readers will enjoy.
Throughout the book, and before the start of each chapter there are transcripts of single page interview sessions being conducted with Tarver after his rescue. I found these an interesting way to break up the chapters but at times I felt that they revealed a little too much about the plot.
The emphasis in These Broken Stars is on the developing romance and growing love, understanding and respect that slowly develops between Lilac and Tarver. That suited me! But possibly Sci Fi fans may be a little disappointed at the lack of detail about the space ship Icarus, and the planet that they crash-land on.
It works well as a standalone novel, as the story comes to a very satisfactory conclusion. I am looking forward to reading more in this series.
I would recommend it for readers of Young Adult, Sci Fi, Dystopian, Paranormal, Aliens, Fantasy, and of course Romance.
“Abhorrent though it may seem to you, we are going to have to spend a night together. Brace yourself.”
“And there it is, against all hope, like the sun peeking out from behind the clouds. The smallest hint of a smile.”
“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.
Until all that’s left is us.”
“Where will I sit?” Sit? Why, on this comfortable chaise longue I’ve carried here for you in my pocket, Your Highness, so glad you asked. I clamp my mouth shut, struggling not to say it aloud.”
“I reach for her hand and wind my fingers through hers, turning them so the rain patters down onto her palm. I trace a circle there with my thumb, smoothing the water in her skin. I want to show her there’s nothing to be afraid of.”
“You’re you,’ he repeats, his eyes full of grief. ‘You’re the same girl who crashed on this planet with me, who I dragged through forests and over mountains, who climbed through a shipwreck full of bodies to save my life. You’re the same girl I loved, and I love you now.”
Have you read These Broken Stars? Do leave a comment below I’d love to hear from you.
Bye for now.
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx