Title: This Shattered World
Series: Starbound, #2
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Release Date: December 23rd, 2014
Length: 390 pages | 12 hours 45 minutes
Source: Borrowed from my local library
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.
I loved These Broken Stars so much more than I expected to. That book made me CRY. So I expected the same for This Shattered World. It has a very Romeo and Juliet vibe anyway.
And as usual when I have an expectation for a book, I was disappointed. It’s not a bad story, it’s not poorly written, it just didn’t hit me in the heartstrings at all. Lee is a more-logical-than-emotional MC, who is supposed to be pretty badass but we get that impression secondhand (although her fighting capabilities are apparently amazing). Cormac is silver-tongued, although he doesn’t strike me as charismatic, and more compassionate than clever. The conflict is that age-old ‘one of them killed one of us, so we kill them and they kill us’ basis for all warfare. The Big Evil is insidious but doesn’t have a satisfying resolution (or much of a resolution at all, for the overall arc).
I was pleasantly surprised that Tarver and Lilac are in this book- for some reason, I thought it took place in the same universe but wasn’t connected. It turns out, it is connected to the unresolved mystery from the first book. So the sequel serves to further the threat (not the mystery, as there’s nothing new uncovered, but the extent of the damage). I suspect book 3 centers around Sofia (Cormac’s smart, preternaturally observant friend) and the mysterious hacker who is the only other named ally (The Knave). And I hope book 3 provides a satisfying resolution that doesn’t rely on the Big Bad just being mustache-twirling evil.
Overall, I don’t regret reading it, I’m just bummed it didn’t move me. I will be continuing the series, though (still on audiobook, because it works well for this story- and for the record, the third narrator of this story was handled interestingly but aptly with the audiobook).