Series: Starbound #2
Published by Disney-Hyperion on December 23, 2014
Genres: Romance, Science fiction, Young Adult
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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!