Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 384 pages
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Starbound series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. It was a very well done young adult science fiction with action, adventure, mystery, and romance. It was super hard to put down. The second book in this series will be titled This Shattered World, will follow a new star-crossed couple, and is set to release in late 2014.
Lilac LaRoux is the daughter of the richest man in the universe and has a strangely in-depth knowledge of electronics. Tarver Merendsen is a young and very highly decorated war hero. When disaster strikes they find themselves in the same escape capsule and sole survivors of a horrible disaster. They think they are alone on this planet they’ve crashed on, but things aren’t adding up. As more and more strange things start happening, Lilac and Tarver know one thing is true, if they ever escape from this planet they will be very different people from whom they were when they arrived.
This is an incredibly gripping and compelling novel about space travel gone very wrong. It is also a sweet star-crossed romance about two people who find out that a person is much more than the initial impressions you get from them.
The writing is spectacular, very lush and descriptive. The scenes really come alive and the characters are incredibly engaging. I enjoyed the writing style a lot and was impressed at how lyrical the writing was.
Most of the story revolves around Lilac and Tarver. Lilac is a rich girl, but she has more depth to her than that. She has an unprecedented amount of knowledge around hyperspace travel and is incredibly adept with electronics. However, she is not a survivalist. When she meets Tarver on the spaceship she is drawn to his openness and sense of humor. When she first finds herself stranded with Tarver, her only thought is to protect this man from the wrath of her father.
Tarver is a decorated war hero, who is drawn to Lilac’s openness and beauty. That is until he finds out who she is and realizes he doesn’t have a chance in hell, at least he doesn’t think so. He alternates between impressed with Lilac’s skill and frustrated with her attitude. He is a skilled survivalist and definitely a hero at heart. He was a bit too goody, goody for me. Yet, he was still an engaging and complex character.
The mystery behind the planet they land on is fascinating. Lilac is being haunted by images and voices from dead people that were on the ship. At first Tarver thinks she’s nuts, but when one of these voices saves their lives…he begins to reconsider. Watching Lilac and Tarver unravel the mystery behind this planet and the implications on the universe as a whole was really fun. Seriously this was some edge of the seat stuff here and made the book very hard to put down.
The book was well written and well suited to young adult readers. There is implied sex, some gross stuff (especially when they raid the ship for supplies), but it is all well done and all appropriate for a young adult age range.
The story is tied up very nicely, in a way that will leave readers feeling happy and good. The writing was fantastic and the book was a joy to read. There is a heavy science fiction element to the story, but it’s lighter than a hard core sci-fi novel, so it’s easily accessible for a wider range of readers.
Overall a fantastic young adult science fiction novel. There are a lot of elements to the story that are well balanced. There is adventure, survival, mystery, science fiction, and romance elements. The characters have to solve a rather large mystery to survive their crash and be rescued. There is also quite a bit of star-crossed romance, but it was very sweet and well done. I really enjoyed this novel and can’t wait to see what This Shattered World will be like. Highly recommended to fans of young adult books, especially science fiction.