Title: This Shattered World
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound #2
Genre: YA Science Fiction
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.
It’s a risky thing, moving away from established characters from a first book and moving on to completely new ones for a second. Fans of the first book in the Starbound Series will undoubtably be looking for more Tarver and Lilac. And while they do feature, they aren’t the focus.
Personally, I think it was a risk worth taking. Tarver and Lilac’s story is largely told, and spending another novel on them would have been indulgent in the extreme. Instead, we get a fresh pair of star-crossed lovers who are just as engaging and interesting and charismatic, placed in a world that is even more interesting and exciting than the planet of Lilac and Tarver’s story.
I loved that we got to see the terraforming. It’s such a staple of the sci-fi genre, and a fascinating one at that. The senseless war being fought over the scraps of a life to be made from the planet provides excellent conflict, and an interesting backdrop to the romance between Jubilee and Flynn. Through it we learn more about the subterfuge and manipulation of LaRoux Industries. It was intriguing in These Broken Stars, but This Shattered World raises it to a whole new level, with some interesting hints dropped that promise the final instalment will be epic.
And as characters, Jubilee and Flynn more than match up to Tarver and Lilac – their story follows the same ‘opposite attract’ formula, but they’re very different people. Jubilee is fierce and badass, but vulnerable at the same time. Flynn is tough in his own way, fighting for his friends with his intellect and words.
I’m really loving this series, and can’t wait to read the last one. In the meantime I’ll be checking out the novella Kaufman and Spooner have written and enjoying a little more time spent in the wonderful universe they’ve created!