These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Published: 10 December 2013
First, the Good: Oh my God that cover blew my mind. I’ll be completely honest – I judged this book solely on it’s cover.
But it is true what they say – because the cover was damn misleading. Unlike the cover, the book did not blow my mind. It didn’t do very much to my mind at all actually.
This book doesn’t deserve a 1s because it wasn’t terrible. There are far worse books out in the universe. But it sure as hell doesn’t deserve any more than 2s as I actively disliked it. Even more so because I had high hopes (I mean look at the cover, come on!).
So, now the Bad. What really annoyed me off with this book is that there was just so little world building. I mean for God sake the story is set in space and a foreign planet and all we get is a few flimsy descriptions of the landscape?
For half the book I was wondering what on earth “terraforming” was. This could have been such a great part of the story – if it was explained properly! It’s not like the authors could have missed not explaining this teeny important bit of information – it was central to the story. It felt more like they contemplated it and though “Nah, we’ll just skip the world building part – they can work it out for themselves” *evil laughs*.
I literally still have so many questions after reading this book. How did it come about that humans are now in space living on various plants and travelling by spaceships? When did this happen? Have they been doing it for hundreds or thousands of years? Does anyone still live on earth? How are soldiers enlisted? What is the class system like? What is it like for lower classes citizens compared to higher class? Who are the colonies on terraforming planets – humans, aliens, animals? Is there a government in this universe? How do corporations claim planets? Do they have to answer to any authorities?
Ugh, the book just took so many things for granted.
I did enjoy Liliac and Traver’s story, which I thought did show good character development, (especially for Lilac), however the entire story was focused on their romance. Which is fine. I like romance, I don’t mind it, even as an overriding plot in YA novels sold as Sci-Fi novels, but, it only works if you do the world building properly to set up the book as a Sci-Fi book first. And they did not do that here, because let me tell you one thing about this book, there was basically zero sci-fi in it. I think I feel another rant about world building coming on so I’ll leave it at that, with just one word to sum it up: disappointing.
* Review also posted to my Goodreads here*