Review: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.


The Broken Stars is a story about survival and two star crossed lovers, which just happens to take place in space. When the spaceship, Icarus, crashes, Tarver and Lilac are the only survivors. Seeing as that he is a major in the army and she is the daughter of the richest man in the universe, the come from opposite places and it shows.

The constant bickering between these two definitely wore me down, but somehow they will need to get along if they want to stay alive and hopefully get rescued. And so the journey begins on this mysterious planet, filled with wild animals and strange whispers, making Lilac believe she is going mad. Which of course made me wonder what exactly was going on.

Now from the beginning you know they will be rescued as in between every chapter, you get a short part where Tarver gets interviewed on what has happened on that planet. Very anti-climatic indeed. Though when these strange whispers and vision start happening, you realise it is not about being rescued but rather on what they are trying to hide on that planet.

The story is told from Tarver and Lilac's POV. Since they both have such a different character, it really gives you different insights on what is going on.

Tarver is in his element when they crash on the planet. As a soldier he knows all about surviving and fighting. He is strong, confident and knows what it takes to make it. Lilac on the other hand has no clue. She is constantly questioning his judgement, testing his and mine patience. Luckily in the end Tarver is able to convince her and able to keep them going.

Lilac really grows throughout the story. From a spoiled girl, who thinks dirt is dirty to an independent and strong young woman. Really those first couple of chapters you will want to slap some sense into her, but the more time she spends on the planet the more I like her.

Of course there is some romance going on between these two. The way it is told and the innocence of it, made me again realise how young our two characters are. It has this sense of nativity to it, that is just so sweet. Though I kept wondering what would happen to that romance when they got rescued. Also when the romance develops I felt a change in Tarver's character that didn't quite convince. Suddenly this tough soldier, becomes really soft and I would have liked he kept more of that soldier personality.

So overall I liked the characters and the mystery element in the book. What I didn't like so much was the overall pace in the book, which was slow, too slow for me and the lack of world building. Mostly that last part. A couple of weeks ago I finished reading Avalon (another science fiction) and the setting of that world was done beautifully. While in this story it is completely lacking. We get very little information other than there used to be an Earth, now they seem to be able to create planets (how?), technology seems important, there is an army, there are rebels (no idea what they are rebelling against) and you have no idea who is running this intergalactic system.

These Broken Stars was well written and interesting, though a bit slow at times and could have used more information about the world. Therefor to me it felt more like a romance/mystery novel than really science fiction.

Starbound - reading order and purchase links.


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  1. I was a little surprised by this book. I thought it would be romance in space, but it was more of a survival story. I agree that it didn't really seem like sci-fi, but I did like it!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. Indeed, the same here. Romance and survival, not so much sci-fi. Still it was good :)