Tarver Merendsen is a reluctant war hero – an eighteen year old from humble beginnings thrust into the spotlight. On board a luxury spaceliner, he meets Lilac LaRoux, daughter of the richest man in the galaxy. When the Icarus experiences difficulties in maintaining its journey in hyperspace, they find their way into an escape pod which lands on the nearest planet.
Lost in a terrain which appears to have been terraformed, Tarver and Lilac leave their escape pod behind and venture into the wilderness. They hope to find civilisation, or a way to make contact with the rest of the galaxy and send a call for help. But they aren’t alone, and what they find instead is a truth which will change everything.
These Broken Stars has been on my TBR list for a long time. I really wanted to love this story, but unfortunately it fell a little short of my expectations. Tarver was an intriguing main character, and I was curious as to how an eighteen year old had become a major and a war hero. Though the reasons were alluded to, they were never fully explained (I have since discovered The Threads We Weave, a prequel of sorts, containing these answers was released as a novella for those who pre-ordered Unearthed, so I may never find out). Lilac is a typical rich girl who wants to hate Tarver but can’t bring herself to. The book hinges on these two characters, their relationship, and survival.
Despite the setting, intitially on a space ship and then on an unknown planet, the science fiction aspects only come into the plot occasionally and in a rush at the end. For the most part, These Broken Stars felt more like a YA romance/survival story. There was an unforseen twist at the end I wasn’t expecting, which left me feeling a little cold. It’s also maybe why I didn’t enjoy the novel as much as I hoped I would.