Release Date: December 23, 2014
Publisher: Hachette | Disney Hyperion
Pages: 390 pages
Source & Format: Borrowed from Alexa; ARC
Series: Starbound #2
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Summary (from Goodreads)
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.
Thoughts on This Shattered World
Last December, I pre-ordered These Broken Stars (the first book in the Starbound Trilogy) without knowing very much about it. I heard bloggers I trusted raving about it, and I decided to give science fiction a shot. When I finally read it earlier this year, I fell in love! There was something Lilac and Tarver - their survival story and their relationship - that just worked for me.
So, I picked up This Shattered World excited to dive back into this universe... but also a little sad that it wasn't focused on the characters I'd come to know and love. I typically adore companion series, but I'll admit that there was a part of me that wanted this book to pick up where the last one left off. Either way, I went into this book with high expectations.
This Shattered World introduces two new characters: Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac. Lee is a captain sent to Avon to subdue rebellious colonists, and all Flynn knows is rebellion. He's grown up on Avon and knows firsthand that things aren't right on this terraformed planet. His people were promised a better life, but Avon hasn't progressed as planned. He doesn't know what's happening - just that something isn't right. Taking Lee as his prisoner should give him the upper hand, but is he prepared for what this spark will ignite?
I couldn't wait to read This Shattered World, especially since I loved These Broken Stars so much, but I ended up finding it hard to connect to these characters. One thing that I loved about Lilac and Tarver was the progression of their relationship. It felt real, and it felt earned. I believed that they'd fallen in love, and I was rooting for them every step of the way. With Jubilee and Flynn, I wasn't buying it.
The whole relationship felt too rushed to me, and it became one of my biggest frustrations with the book. There's this huge war going on, and Jubilee and Flynn are on opposite sides. With all that stands in their way, I felt like there should have been more to their story... or maybe even less. There were so many things going on in the world - huge, threatening, life or death things - and the romance seemed like a distraction. Characters from the previous book make a reappearance in this one, and it didn't help that it just reminded me of all the reasons I'd loved that relationship.
Unfortunately, the world and pacing didn't help either. There are lots of elements of the world that are either introduced or revisited: a dangerous Fury, mysterious green whispers, a greedy terraforming corporation, deception and power, a deadly war, etc. Sadly, everything just felt so complicated and confusing to me!
For example, each chapter opens with these ghost dream things... and I don't really know what they were because I started skipping those pages. They felt too deliberately vague and never seemed to add anything to story. Their purpose is revealed later in the book, but I was a little checked out by then. That's probably also the reason that the climactic scene didn't wow me. It reminded me in a way of the ending in These Broken Stars, but without the emotional investment.
The pacing was so slow, and it took forever for me to get hooked on the story. It seemed like nothing was happening or, at the very least, being explained. This world requires patience as you wait for all the puzzle pieces to fall into place, and I'm not sure I have enough of it. I wanted to love it, but I found myself just skimming certain passages when it got too boring.
When I finished This Shattered World, I felt mostly positive about the book. But after thinking on it for a bit, I have to admit that it just didn't work for me. I was disconnected from the world, the characters and the conflict. I'm still intrigued by a few things in this world, but I'm won't be rushing to see how it all plays out.*I read a copy of this book meant for review consideration. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review.