Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

This Shattered World

Authors: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Release: December 23rd 2014
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, YA
#2 in the Starbound trilogy


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. 


High action, high stakes space fantasy — what a ride. There's something about companion novels that always rubs me the wrong way, because it's extremely hard for me to let go of beloved characters. So, while I may love the first novel, chances are companion novels will always be a flop in some sort of way for me, never able to even come close to the first book's perfection. This still held true for this sequel, but even so, I have to say it's an outstandingly good book on its own. I loved These Broken Stars, I loved its characters, its plot and mystery, dynamics, relationships; all of it, and I think This Shattered World managed to come very, very close to the complexity that was the first book.

In some ways, I think it even surpassed its predecessor, at least objectively speaking. The plot had more focus and more of an actual center that it revolved around, with an actual goal to keep working towards, unlike the first book which was simply a basic survival story. As such, this novel excels in keeping the pace fast and high strung, with plot twists and new introduced plot devices at every turn so that it's impossible to really put the book down. Honestly, I didn't think I'd be able to finish this before the year was over, but I flew through it.

The thing I probably loved most about This Shattered World, however, was how it connected with the first novel in the trilogy so brilliantly. Usually, trilogies like these have little to do with each other and only bring in former main characters for cameos only for the sake of making an appearance to humor the reader, however, Lilac and Tarver's story intersect closely with Jubilee and Flynn's, so much so that their involvement was only natural. I like that they kept one element that makes what happened in These Broken Stars still relevant even in this sequel. 

On another note, I also appreciated the characters a lot. They were well crafted, and so superbly developed over the course of the novel, especially the heroine, Jubilee, grows so much as a character that I'm having a serious woman crush on her. What a girl. To be honest, the male MC kind of reminded me a lot of Finn from The 100, not only because of the similar name but also because they're both the pacifists trying to calm everyone down. I like season one Finn, so Flynn was also a win for me. Nevertheless, I kind of didn't like their blossoming romance that much, I didn't mind or dislike the relationship subplot exactly, I just didn't care for it at all. Lilac and Tarver's feelings for each other slowly crept up on me, so that I shipped them hardcore towards the end, but the chemistry between Jubilee and Flynn was constantly lost on me, sadly.

Other than that one small blemish on this book's surface, though, it excelled in almost any other area and it was a pleasure to read. These two women have serious talent and have no weaved not one, but two brilliant stories of adventure and mystery; needless to say, I am eagerly awaiting the third and final book in this trilogy, and I'm hoping its characters and dynamics will be just as fantastic.

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