Thursday, January 8, 2015

Review: This Shattered World

This Shattered World
By Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Published: December 23, 2014

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.

My review:

I loved These Broken Stars so I was really looking forward to picking up This Shattered World. While the central characters are Jubilee and Flynn there are also cameo appearances by Tarver and Lilac. 

This Shattered World is a dark and thought provoking book.  It is much darker than These Broken Stars with its themes of war, death, and PTSD. The book is set on the planet Avon which is a difficult place to live because of the land and because of troubles with the Fianna, rebels living in the swampland. Jubilee (Lee) is known for being tough and she has never broken down like other soldiers on Avon who succumb to madness after being there so long. There is a lot of mystery on Avon beyond just the fighting between the rebels and the base. Strange things have been happening and both Flynn and Lee are trying to find answers while averting outright war.

I thought there was more romance in These Broken Stars but I think it wouldn't fit as well here. Parts of Lilac and Tarver's story reminded me of Titanic as well as adventure movies like Indiana Jones or Star Wars. Their romance was in that vein of the spoiled princess (at first glance) and the rough around the edges soldier/adventurer who can't stand each other until they fall in love on their adventure. The relationship between Lee and Flynn is very different and has a lot of complications for them to overcome. It also isn't the major focus of the story.  They have been broken by life's circumstances and they are on opposing sides of a conflict so the development of their relationship reflects that.

Something that I didn't care for was the structure of the storytelling. In between each chapter there is a dream sequence from Jubilee's perspective involving things from her past and other things that didn't happen. I found that to be very confusing and I could have done without it. That is a minor complaint and it is explained at the end of the book.

Overall I thought this was a good sequel and I enjoyed the world building and liked the characters. The action never got in the way of character development and I thought it was a good page turner too with some unexpected twists. I can't wait to read the next book in the Starbound series. This book could be read as a standalone but there is some overlap between the stories that I think would make more sense if the books were read in order.

Although this is science fiction, I think this series would appeal to readers who enjoy fantasy and adventure stories. I would recommend it to fans of Beth Revis, Marie Lu, Sherry Thomas (The Burning Sky), Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse) and Diana Peterfreund (For Darkness Shows the Stars). 

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley


  1. I'm going to have to give this one a try again. I put it down b/c I wasn't feeling it at first ( I think the dream sequence threw me off), but now that I know I'll get an explanation at the end, I will definitely have to check it out. Thanks for the great review, Christina!

  2. YES to your comment about the dream sequences! I felt exactly the same, I was so confused and started to feel a bit frustrated by them. But as a whole, I really enjoy this one. Can't wait to see what the third Starbound book brings, especially because these first two were SO very different!


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