Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
When I began These Broken Stars I had a brief worry that Lilac and Tarver, the two main characters, were too perfect for me to find interesting, but that dissolved within the first few pages of the book as their story made me forget my own reality and held me rapt. Icarus, the immense luxury spaceship they and thousands of others are riding through hyperspace begins to break apart and within moments pleasure is replaced by panic and chaos as crowds of passengers struggle against each other to locate their designated escape pods.
Both Lilac and Tarver have hidden depths and more dimension than I gave them credit for at first. Lilac is the gorgeous daughter of the richest, most powerful man in the galaxy, but that father has a tyrant’s control over every aspect of her life and contrary to her pretty girl image she’s worked hard to develop mechanical skills. As a soldier Tarver is far below Lilac in social status, but in spite of growing up without privilege he’s earned esteem as a war hero. His job means he’s spent lots of time in some of the galaxy’s most rugged outposts, but he also writes poetry.
In the evacuation crush Lilac and Tarver end up alone together in a bare bones escape pod meant for crew, crashing on a strangely terraformed planet--strange because there are no people in sight and who would go to the trouble and expense of creating an Earth-like environment only to abandon the project? Though they had an initial flirtation on the ship their feelings quickly changed to an intense dislike and now Lilac and Tarver are completely dependent on each other for survival as they journey across the planet on their own with minimal equipment and provisions, hoping to find other survivors or rescuers or the planet’s elusive inhabitants.
It’s a compelling adventure and beautifully written with some surprises, at least for me, in the plot. The point of view alternates between Lilac and Tarver, and I enjoyed the character development that allowed. First novels in series of this sort sometimes leave readers on edge with cliffhangers, but the ending of These Broken Stars is perfectly balanced. There’s enough resolution for some satisfaction/relief but I’m still very eager to see how the story continues in the next book.