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Sunday, December 14, 2014

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ARC Review: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman + Meagan Spooner (Hope. Is Not Lost For Sophia)

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Starbound #2
Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Publication Date: December 23, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Reviewer: Sophia

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. 
Advanced review copy provided by Disney Hyperion via Netgalley for review – thanks!

In completion to reading This Shattered World, the second book in the Starbound trilogy, I actually thought These Broken Stars had a solid ending for Tarver and Lilac, and adding more to their story would have felt forced. If you ask me, forcing almost never ends well. With how I enjoyed the first book, it's no doubt I would be walking into the sequel with high expectations.

This latest installment to the Starbound trilogy has a new couple set roughly a year after the events of These Broken Stars – Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac. Jubilee is a captain in the military in Avon* while Flynn is a rebel, the younger brother of a rebel who tried to start up a rebellion on Avon years ago and got executed as a result.

*Avon was mentioned a few times in These Broken Stars, but the first book was NOT set on Avon. This Shattered World seems to give an inside look from the people living there and how the conditions are, thus confirming Tarver's brief explanations about Avon.

In a standalone series, I often look for similarities from the current book to the prior books, and if there are similarities, if the book distinguishes itself apart to make it unique.

This Shattered World has a few similar concepts when compared to These Broken Stars: First, Jubilee and Flynn meet in a bar, though this bar is in – you never would have guessed – Avon and not on a ship by the name of the Spacey Titanic Icarus, where Tarver and Lilac met. Second, as mentioned in the synopsis and earlier, Jubilee is from the military... and if I remember correctly, Tarver was in the military as well. The only difference between the two are the ranks – Tarver was a Major at the time and Jubilee is a Captain.

Oh, and the whispers from book one – they're back as well. Though their end did disappoint me a little....
Our keeper’s mistake was in creating a prison powered by our own energy. We are a part of it. Destroy the machinery holding this place together and you will destroy us with it.
Despite the similarities – of course there's going to be some similarities since this IS the same overall storyline in the long run – This Shattered World certainly distinguishes itself to make the book an enjoyable read overall. Unlike in the first book, the format here is in flashbacks instead of an interview. While I loved the interview format, I loved the format Kaufman and Spooner used here as well. It was intriguing to learn about Jubilee's past – a young girl before her parents death, the "November Ghost," a few of her times in the military throughout This Shattered World – and how the flashbacks eventually connected together seamlessly with the story in the end.

This Shattered World won't be a disappointment to the fans of These Broken Stars – the elements used here certainly sets the sequel apart from the prequel, and it'll be exciting to see how Kaufman and Spooner wrap up the trilogy.

4.5 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.