These Broken Stars
Narrators: Cynthia Halloway, Johnathan McClain, & Sarge Anton
Length: 11 hours & 15 minutes
Genres: Fiction, Young-adult, Science-fiction, Fantasy, Romance
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Story Rating: 2 Stars
Performance Rating: 4.5 Stars
Overall Rating: 2.5 Stars
WHEW!! You guys. I almost didn’t make it. This book was SO CLOSE to becoming the first DNF of the year. If Lilac had complained about her goddamn shoes and yelled at Tarver ONE MORE TIME, it would have been a goner. Luckily for this book, she turned into a decent human just in the nick of time. Even though most of the beginning is boring and unbearable, the ending is intriguing enough to make this book not completely worthless…
*Me getting to the end of this book*
Lilac LaRoux is the wealthy, golden child of the infamous Roderick LaRoux of LaRoux industries. Pretty much the biggest company in the universe. There isn’t a soul around that doesn’t know who she is and everyone wants something. Money, status, connection—they all try their best to get what they want and Lilac knows, playing her part in society. Even her own friends aren’t trustworthy. Tarver Merendsen came from nothing, earning fame simply by joining the army and being a hero. The only thing Lilac and Tarver have in common is being stuck on the Icarus together, a humongous spaceship that Lilac’s father built.
When the Icarus starts getting pushed out of hyperspace and shutting down, Lilac and Tarver are thrown together in the chaos. They both find refuge in an escape pod and end up crash landing on a mysterious planet. It’s mysteriously devoid of life, but when the duo finally find the crash site of the Icarus with no survivors, they know something is really wrong. The fact that Lilac is hearing voices and seeing visions is an added bonus that’s really starting to freak them out. As they trek across the planet trying to survive, the two grow closer as they attempt to unravel the mystery of what’s going on.
THE UGLY (Literally just me ranting, tbh)
Lilac LaRoux. She is the ugly part of this book and I COULD NOT STAND HER. Look, I get it. Her dad is a douchebag and she’s mean to people so no one else gets hurt. Lilac is gallantly sacrificing herself to keep others away and blah blah blah. But when you’re stranded on an unknown planet with no one else in sight, you can probably afford to be cordial TO THE ONE NICE PERSON TRYING TO HELP YOU. STOP DELIBERATELY GOING AGAINST TARVER. YOU’RE GOING TO GET YOURSELVES KILLED. WHY ARE YOU WEARING HIGH HEELS TO WALK THROUGH THE FOREST?!?!?! I know there are no other shoes around, but I would rather rip up my feet walking barefoot than wear high heels to hike. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!? UGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
She was so insufferable FOR SO LONG. Lilac doesn’t shut up about her ruined dress and fancy shoes, complains about leaving the escape pod even though they don’t really have a choice, and nags on Tarver about EVERYTHING. But then, god forbid Tarver leaves to pee or something because she flips out thinking he’s abandoned her. Do you want him to stay or not? Are you mad at him or not?? DO YOU WANT TO SURVIVE OR NOT??? GAH!! Thankfully—THANKFULLY—Lilac almost gets eaten by a giant cat and Tarver comes to the rescue, effectively shutting her up. When the truth finally comes out about her dad and we learn her motivations, Lilac magically transforms into a considerate, smart person, but the damage was already done for me. I just couldn’t see past that spoiled rich girl we see the beginning half.
The plot is also really dull for a long while. They’re in a ship, they crash, they survive—that’s about 75% of the book. Just Tarver and Lilac walking around trying to NOT keel over and it’s all just one giant catalyst for their love story. Right when I wanted to throw in the towel and call it a day, Lilac started hearing crazy voices and curiosity got the better of me. Pretty much the only reason I finished this book was to see how it ended. However, the answers we’re given aren’t really that shocking and I didn’t completely understand how everything was resolved. I’ve watched a lot of Doctor Who, so maybe I’m too desensitized to crazy sci-fi plot lines?? But I was on the edge of my seat, dying to know what was happening. Then we find out and it’s so anticlimactic.
« SPOILERS BELOW »
I didn’t really get why it was so shocking to find out Lilac’s father was responsible for everything. It was such a big moment when she finds out and in my head I thought, oh did we not know that already? And I didn’t understand how everything gets resolved. They find out the voices are alien test subjects, Lilac puts her hand on some circuit board thing, and then the aliens are gone and she’s cured?????? What??? And something about a power surge… ???????
If Lilac is the worst part of this novel, Tarver Merendsen is the best because there are only two damn characters in this story. I really liked him and he managed to keep me going with his witty banter when I wanted to wring Lilac’s neck. It probably helped that I had a lot of sympathy for the poor guy in the beginning when he had to deal with the city girl from hell.
The storyline was also really interesting by the end. Once Tarver and Lilac find the abandoned research building with all the creepy stuff inside, I was brimming with curiosity and questions. What researchers used to live there? What happened to them? Who do the voices belong to? How are these voices communicating with Tarver and Lilac? How do the voices create the objects they send? Even though the answers we get are a little dull, I give the authors props for keeping the intrigue going. That little maneuver they pulled with Tarver’s interview bookending each chapter was really clever.
I also really enjoyed the performance of the narrators! I love when books have multiple narrators for different characters and these guys did a great job. Johnathan McClain—who I think is the voice of Tarver—really brought life to the character and is probably about half the reason why I liked him so much.
Well, this was just a big ‘ol pile of meh. Between my hatred of Lilac, the dull beginning, and the underwhelming end, I just really don’t care enough to continue the series. Sorry Starbound Trilogy!
TALK TO ME
This seems to be an unpopular opinion. Have you read this book?
What did you think? Agree?? Disagree???
Any other Doctor Who fans out there? Which Doctor is your favorite?!?
*COUGH* David Tennant *COUGH*