Tuesday, December 23, 2014

This Shattered World - Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

[This is the second novel in the Starbound series. You might want to check out my review of the first book, These Broken Stars, instead.]

This Shattered World book cover
This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound #2
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: December 23, 2014
Source/Format: Netgalley || e-galley
[Note: I received this book from the publisher. This in no way affects the opinions stated in my review.]

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.

In my younger years, I was a huge fan of Romeo and Juliet. Yes, I know it’s a tragedy that ends in death. Yes, I know that it’s about a romance that happens all too quickly for these two young lovers. But it was my first taste of Shakespeare’s writing, which I really like. The feuding families, the tragic circumstances, the romance of it all – these things won my young, impressionable tween self over easily.

You might be wondering what in the world Romeo and Juliet has to do with This Shattered World. Well, today’s review is inspired by the fact that I noticed similarities between both works (though they’re obviously different and can most certainly stand on their own appeal). Here are three things in particular that I picked up on:

“a pair of star-crossed lovers”

Romeo and Juliet vibe: Jubilee Chase is a military captain on Avon, tasked with making sure the rebels are subdued. Flynn Cormac is one of the rebel leaders, hoping to fight for an independent Avon to call home. Talk about being on opposing sides and having tragic circumstances keeping you from falling in love!

Right off the bat, Jubilee Chase & Flynn Cormac have an instant connection. But fear not! It never quite feels like their relationship is moving too fast, considering the duress and difficulty that their situations involve. It’s actually quite interesting to see how it develops with every chapter, particularly because it involves a lot of stages. 

While they made a cute pair, I personally preferred these two as individuals. It’s not surprising that Jubilee is tough, clever and dedicated to her duty; she’s part of the military after all. But she is also compassionate, and readers will see her understanding what’s really right or wrong to her with each successive chapter. And then, of course, there’s Flynn. He’s equally clever, and the kind of person who knows how to survive even in the direst circumstances. He’s hoping to settle the ongoing hostilities between military and rebels as peacefully as possible, with an optimism and hope that really stayed with me as I read. One thing these two share in common? It’s their determination to do the right thing, no matter what it takes, and no matter how conflicted they might feel beforehand.

“for never was a story of more woe”

Romeo and Juliet vibe: While These Broken Stars also featured the two main characters in sad circumstances, it focused more on the characters learning how to survive and about themselves. In This Shattered World, on Avon, the stakes are high for everyone involved. The book has deaths and battles aplenty and lots of situations that are sad and terrible. Readers be warned: most of this book is not about happy things. It’s an ongoing war and possible conspiracy over there, after all.

Honestly, reading This Shattered World involves reading a story that will have you feeling lots of things deeply. While there are definitely happier, lighter moments sprinkled within the pages, it is, for the most part, a story that speaks a lot to the hardship and casualties a war can bring. The authors don’t flinch from depicting the situation on Avon, though it might feel harsh and unfair and terrifying, and I definitely appreciated that.

Plus, anything that brews between Jubilee and Flynn is bound to be filled with tragedy.

“for now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring”

Romeo and Juliet vibe: In Romeo and Juliet, the two families – Montagues and Capulets – are feuding. Like the two families, the rebels and the military have opposing views on what needs to be done, and are content to settle things with battle. 

However, This Shattered World is not only centered on the political conflict. There is also something else happening, something that involves people going mad with the Fury, an affliction that military soldiers often exhibit after being on Avon for long periods of time. The madness, the battle, the internal conflicts of the lead characters will all play a part in drawing the reader deeper into this story. I won’t say much more, but I will say that it was really all very interesting!

I really enjoyed This Shattered World, if you couldn’t tell. The writing is lovely, the characters and setting completely brought to life and, because I had some idea of the lore behind the series, it was a lot easier to keep track of what was going on this time around. Kaufman and Spooner have written another incredible collaboration, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how they end it all in the next one!

3 comments:

  1. Hahaha, oh my gosh how dare you post this while I'm away!! I almost missed it!!! YOU SHOULD BE KICKING YOURSELF :):):) Queen Alexa of Fantasy...as well as the vampire race <3

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  2. Lovely review, Alexa! I didn't think about a R&J connection, but I can totally see it now. This Shattered World was a harder book for me to read than the first, just for how much conflict there was the emotional turmoil. I loved it lots, and I though Flynn and Lee were fantastic characters. So excited for the last book!

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  3. Really enjoyed your review, Alexa -- it's very detailed informative :) I'm usually not too fond of a lot of romance but if both the characters are as likable as that, I'll give this series a try :)

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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