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.
Oh, This Shattered World! You leave me so conflicted! After loving your predecessor to pieces, I had such high hopes that you would leave me feeling the same way. Unfortunately, you did not: in fact, I nearly gave up on you, and actually did set you aside for several months. I think the problem lay fully with me, though, and not you: you just weren’t These Broken Stars, and I had a lot of trouble with that. I wanted Tarver and Lilac, and instead I got Flynn and Lee. And – I have to be honest here – I just did not gel well with either of them for most of the book. In fact, I downright didn’t LIKE Lee for a great majority of the book. And yet, in the end, you sort of redeemed yourself, even though I still – after several weeks – cannot help but compare you to These Broken Stars. But this is a review for you, and you deserve a review based on your own merits, so I shall try to do you justice. Forgive me if I cannot.
My issues with this book started straight off the bat: I found the story to be slow, the characters to be unlikable, and the world the story takes place on to be depressing. Of course, it’s SUPPOSED to be depressing – you wouldn’t have rebels fighting with soldiers if everything was hunky dory – but it made me reluctant to continue reading. And while it was obvious that there was more than met the eye with both of our main characters, I actually did not like Lee at all upon her introduction. I found the way her “dreams” were weaved into the story to be slightly confusing, and she just came across as cold and calculating, which did not endear her to me in the slightest. I was slightly more sympathetic with Flynn – trying to save the only home he’s ever known and being in a tight spot with her people – but even he didn’t tug my heartstrings the way I think he was meant to.
In my opinion, the story didn’t pick up until towards the latter half of the book, and what finally saved it for me – and got me fully invested – was the reintroduction of Tarver. His appearance kicked the action up a notch, and finally made me actually want to know what was going to happen next. Prior to him, I was just slowly trudging along through the narrative. Plus things finally started HAPPENING once he showed up on the planet; things were figured out, secrets revealed, and the emotional connection between the two main characters materialized enough to get me rooting for them. But MAN was it a struggle before that happened.
In the end, I found myself liking This Shattered World, but not loving it – as I mentioned above – to me, it just did not compare at all to the amazingness that was These Broken Stars. However, I appear to be one of the few to feel this way – there are lots of glowing reviews for this book, and several folks who enjoyed it even more than the first – so definitely feel free to take this entire review with a grain of salt. I am still definitely going to read Their Fractured Light, because I want to know how the whole overarching issues with LaRoux Industries will be resolved. I just hope I like the final installment more than I did this one.
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.