Title: This Shattered World
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Genre: Science fiction, young adult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads Summary: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.
Much better than the first book! Also, fantastic audiobook narrators :)
I wasn't a huge fan of These Broken Stars, especially since I didn't think it lived up to its overwhelmingly positive reviews. I just didn't really like or care about Lilac and Tarver, and Lilac especially seemed remarkably whiny and spoiled despite the authors' obvious attempts at making her seem more resourceful and intelligent than she initially seemed. Jubilee Chase and Finn Cormac, though, I loved both of them when they were introduced and I only grew to love them more as I got to know them throughout the book. I don't know if it was just amazing audiobook narrators doing a great job of bringing the characters to life or if I just found these characters more compelling, but in any case they were a huge reason I enjoyed this book a lot more than book 1. Also, hooray for Jubilee being a person of color! Asians/people of asian descent are hardly ever included in SF/F so that was really cool.
Even though I wasn't a huge fan of Lilac and Tarver in the first book, I did like their cameo in this one. They have obviously grown up a lot since the beginning of their journey, and I enjoyed seeing a new side to them.
Both Jubilee and Finn fight relentlessly for what they believe in. The trouble is that they are on opposite sides of a war, but when the two of them make an unsettling discovery, they realize that the reasons for the war are far more complicated than anyone bargained for. I really enjoyed the suspense and the way the twists were incorporated into the plot; just when you think you know who the bad guy is, you find out about a bigger and more terrifying "villain". I also like how the world and events in this book built off of the events in book one without ever seeming like they were rehashing something that we'd seen before. This book really used book one as a springboard and launched itself into some very interesting sci-fi territory.
I think my biggest problem with These Broken Stars was that it seemed like a romance with a sci-fi end of the world plot thrown in. That's absolutely not the case with this book, it's very much about war and sacrifice and loss with a little bit of romance thrown in. This book is just a lot more complex, with very blurred lines between right and wrong, loyalty and betrayal. There were multiple scenes that had me close to tears. War is brutal, and it tears people apart. That reality is dealt with extremely well in this book, but it also showcases the strength and grace with which people face adversity.
I am looking forward to book 3! I can only imagine the scope of this world and the stakes will just get higher and higher.