Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

December 12, 2014 4 stars, Book Review 38 ★★★★

Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan SpoonerThis Shattered World by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound #2
Published by Disney-Hyperion on December 23, 2014
Genres: Romance, Science fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 390
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
My Reviews in this series: These Broken Stars

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.

A different world, a new star crossed love affair

This Shattered World is the second book in the Starbound trilogy. I have to admit I’m really enjoying the trilogy thus far and probably because each book has given me a new world and couple to get to know. I have really been craving more stand alone type YA fiction and while these aren’t exactly stand alone they fit the bill quite nicely. It would not hurt a reader to read the first without the second nor the second without the first so far. I suppose only time will tell if the third book in the trilogy could be read alone as well.

Setting the scene and the players

Kaufman and Spooner are a really great writing duo. I can’t tell which parts are written by whom. Maybe each writes from either Flynn or Jubilee’s perspective? Either way it’s extremely well done. The world building sucks me into the setting and I can feel the tension that is lit through the two opposing groups of peoples (the military and the locals / rebels).

Avon is a world that is still in the terraforming process but should be much farther along by now then it is. Right now it’s stuck as a swampland. There are some parts I don’t quite understand though – like really why are so many things denied to the locals? Education, decent medical care, off world broadcasting access, heck even same world broadcasting abilities. It seems like there are any number of things that the government and military are withholding from the local people of this world that is causing more unrest and thus making the situation worse then it needs to be. I just didn’t get much of this until the end and I would have appreciated if it were explained better more throughout the novel rather then it feeling a bit glossed over.

I’m fascinated by the idea of terraforming and would have loved to hear more about that and the infrastructure for the local populace. I’m just greedy and want more information on a planet so different from our own. What was there though was great in setting the atmosphere.

Logically I want to pick some things apart but emotionally I was like yes, oh yes!

So that’s what happened with me in regards to the romance between Flynn and Jubilee. When I stopped to think about it at all for a few moments on a logical level the budding romance didn’t make much sense to me and I scoffed and went ‘yea freaking right no way would I be falling for the other if I was either ends of that equation.’ But then emotionally I’m like ‘oh heck yes, you just happen to be exactly the right piece that was missing and ooo la la dangerous attraction.’ I can only say that often as evidenced by real life – love and romance do not take anything even remotely resembling logic or common sense into account. So it works, it just does – roll with it. I think fans of young adult fiction romance will enjoy this one. However, I did enjoy the romance between Tarver and Lilac from These Broken Stars much more so then Flynn and Jubilee’s.

What’s up with those after each chapter interludes?

I have to say that initially those between chapter interludes really bugged me. At first they were ok and then they started getting tiresome and annoying because I just didn’t see the point and then at the end came the “ahhh ha” moment when the reason for them being there makes sense but it didn’t quite make up for my impatience with them. As I was reading I didn’t feel the need for them and the info they were giving to me felt a big repetitive and nonsensical until I reached the end of the book but then I’m also notorious for being impatient with non linear sequences of events and flashback type scenarios. So you can probably take my opinion on these with a grain of salt.

Whispers and plot points

Admittedly I felt there were a small handful of holes in the plot points where the whispers are concerned. While I think the whisper entities are a really interesting thread in the story arcs that connect the two books I felt like there were some inconsistencies between their abilities and behaviors in the first book versus the second book. Perhaps some of these things might be explained in the last book or maybe even these things can be explained away via the progression of time in research and experiments but I just didn’t feel like I was given enough information. For this reason and a few other concerns I feel like my rating sort of wavers between a 3.5 and a 4. I enjoyed the action but there were so many little things things that kept sticking for me. But for the most part I rolled with it and still enjoyed the overall reading experience.

Are teenagers really that mature in the future?

These books are young adult but the characters don’t exactly feel young adult. The explanation for that is built into the story line because teens can join the military as early as age 16 and these character have also seen their fair share of hardship in life. Now I’m going to get snippy on the military points – In the Unites States teens can join the military as early as 18 (or 17 if they have a parent sign off on a waiver). As I joined the military at the age of 18 I don’t believe 2 years of service could give the level of maturity that these teens have unless there is a HUGE mortality rate and if the ranks had a high turn over because I find it hard to believe they would be able to achieve the military ranks that some of them have. I know that life experience also helps to speed up the progression of any characters maturity but still the behavior to age balance didn’t seem to fit perfectly. Because of this I wish they would have just made these adult novels and given them more realistic ages to match their maturity levels. Maybe like 20 to 24 would have been better for me.

Even though I had a few concerns, This Shattered World was a great addition to the Starbound trilogy. Full of action, suspense and romantic tension, I’m eagerly awaiting the final book!

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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38 Responses to “Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner”

  1. Nathan (@reviewbarn)

    I have often thought ‘this YA novel doesn’t need to be YA, age the characters up a touch and it would be SO MUCH BETTER.’ I see I am not the only one.

    And Tabs broke her reading slump! JOY!

  2. Cait @ Paper Fury

    I completely agree about their ages! I really didn’t feel like I was reading about teens…which I guess is refreshing from whiny headless narrators. BUT. I read YA because I want to read about teens, sooooo, awkward. And I also agree about the between-chapters-thingies. They were awesome and snarky in These Broken Stars, but in book 2 they just felt weird. I wasn’t getting it. 🙁
    I did love this one, and gave it 4-stars as well, but it didn’t quite live up to TBS for me. 😉
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  3. Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook

    I keep hearing people loving this book. I loved These Broken Stars, but I’m a little nervous to read this one because 1) generally I’m not a fan of science fiction and 2) this book seems very stressful.

    But so far people really seem to enjoy this, and I should totally read this. I’m glad you liked this even if you had some issues.
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  4. Samantha @ Fabulous Fabris

    Great review. I actually just finished the first book this week and thought it was ok. I had been hoping it took place in space more. But I’ll defintiely pick up this second book. I like that it focuses on different characters.
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  5. Jaime Lynn

    Yours is the first review for this that I have read, and I am sticking with it.. No more reviews, because I don’t want to hear anything negative. I was seriously wary about These Broken Stars, and I was not so sure it would be good for me. I was very wrong; It was absolutely wonderful. I am looking forward to joining these two amazing authors with two more amazing characters! Thank you so much for your review!
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  6. Lily

    I’m so happy you enjoyed this one too Tabitha! While I definitely connected with These Broken Stars more on an emotional level I just loved the action and suspense in This Shattered World. The whole age thing you mentioned didn’t annoy me but I can see how it could throw a few people off. Great review 🙂
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  7. Filia Oktarina

    Because the genre was YA, so i don’t really read synopsis before. so when i read your review,can’t stop read it because i am curious with the content. Thanks for sharing, make me know about this great book!!

  8. kim { Book Swoon }

    Great review Tabitha! I’m excited/curious about the whole setting of Avon and the terraforming you mentioned and will take what I can get – because I’m fascinated by it as well. I’m hoping I *feel* the romance between Flynn and Jubilee, lol (I need my romance.) Oh, and those whispers … I really want to know more about them. I just got my copy so I’m excited to crack this baby open 🙂
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  9. Richelle Nicole

    Intersting, very intersting. Kids in the military? I’ll have to speak to the SGM about this, the hubs wouldn’t have patience for babies in his Army. Lol

    It does sound like something I would enjoy though. Thanks for another good review, Sarge 🙂
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  10. Laura Lesko

    I’m excited about this one, and I’m not really a sci-fi reader, but I’m totally there!

    • Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

      I’d say go with your gut. If you weren’t feeling the first one then I’m doubtful you’ll like the second. But it does have a different vibe in book two because of the action and the two characters not being by themselves stranded on an empty planet. Even I teeter between 3.5 to 4 on this one.
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  11. Anya

    I’m really glad the action picked up in the second half since I was a bit wary before then. I also felt like things didn’t quite add up with the whispers which annoyed me because I freaking love them. I’m really excited about the third book though since things are starting to feel pretty epic. Agreed about the terraforming, I wanted every detail about how a planet progresses through the stages and becomes sustainable, give me fictional nonfiction!
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  12. Salisa Waheed

    I have a cousin who loves YA. Was thinking of giving this as a gift. But i think she may not like it much. What do you suggest? Which YA novel would be the best choice for a gift ?

    • Tabitha (Pabkins)

      Ooo goodness now that depends on what type of genre she likes in YA. Be sure to give her a gift receipt in case she has already read one of the below books that I recommend. Here are a few off the top of my head.

      Sci-fi YA
      Cinder by Marissa Meyer (#2 Scarlet, #3 Cress #4 not out yet)
      Earth Girl by Janet Edwards

      Alternate Victorian London Fantasy YA
      A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey

      Fantasy (steampunk) YA (on the mature side)
      Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff (#2 is Kinslayer, #3 is Endsinger)

      Fairytale retelling YA
      Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

      Fantasy YA
      Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

      Historical Fantasy YA
      Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (I haven’t read this one but heard it’s great)

      Post Apocalyptic YA
      Angelfall by Susan Ee

      Paranormal YA
      White Cat by Holly Black (2 more books as it’s a trilogy)
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      • Salisa Waheed

        Thanks for that! I Will check out the books. How about in the more contemporary YA section. I remember the faces she makes whenever i say i am reading a fantasy or paranormal.

        • Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

          I am much weaker on knowledge when it comes to contemporary YA however all the folks I know that read it say anything by Kasie West is great. So you probably can’t go wrong with her.

          I’ve been wanting to read
          The Beginning of Everything
          The Boyfriend App

          The two I read this year and enjoyed were

          Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
          Second Star (I forget the author but it’s a Peter pan inspired beach contemporary)

          I hope that helps! 🙂
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