Review: This Shattered World

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Disney-Hyperion: 2014.This Shattered World

OMG a review! As many of you know, the only reading I’ve been doing lately is for the Remembrall Readathon (Harry Potter books) and reading for my grad classes. However, there are some reviews that have been sitting unwritten in my drafts for a while because blogging is particularly difficult to keep up with lately. I finished This Shattered World several months ago, so I will do my best to give a decent review, despite it not being fresh in mind. Enough intro.

This Shattered World is the second part of the Starbound trilogy, the sequel to These Broken Stars, which I absolutely loved. The second story takes place in the same universe as the first, but features different characters. I didn’t know what to expect from the second book, and I was hoping it would be fresh, because I could see how the story could get repetitive or stale. But it stayed oh-so-yummy-crispy-fresh.

Before I continue, I must mention that there is a short story that takes place between books 1 and 2 and is free to read on Scribd. It’s great, and it doesn’t matter that much when you read it, so if you didn’t know it existed but have already read book 2, still definitely give it a read; it is worth it (it’s a flashback to Tarver’s military past, for those who know what I’m talking about).

Anyway, book 2 takes place on a war-torn planet, and we have a new pair of star-crossed lovers: Jubilee and Flynn. But their love is a higher degree of star-crossed than Tarver and Lilac’s in the first book, who were just torn apart by social class. In book 2, Jubilee is a captain in the army and is stationed on the planet Avon in order to suppress the revolts of the natives, one of whom is – you guessed it – Flynn.

Whereas the first book was a slow-burn (a survival story with only two characters who must find a way off an uncharted planet alive), book 2 is a wild ride of action by comparison. The result is that the book is gripping and exciting. However, that does sacrifice the high relationship-building quality that the first book had. Because most of the time is spent on the action of the revolts on Avon rather than the building of the relationship, you definitely have to stretch your imagination a bit to understand why Flynn and Jubilee fall in love. The characterization is such that Jubilee and Flynn, despite being on opposing sides of a war, have the same passion and drive and way of seeing the world, and these similarities are what makes them attracted to each other. But as I said, that’s pretty much all you get by way of explaining their love, and I’m curious to see how their relationship plays out in the last book, if they are even in a relationship at all.

One thing I will say that attests to the talent of these writers is that the action is done really well. The first book’s relationship-building was done really well, and the second book’s action was done really well, so it shows how good these writers are that they can write two very different books in terms of tone/structure (character-driven vs. plot-driven), yet still connect the two stories together seamlessly. Despite the fact that book 2 occurs on a different planet, you do see the connection between books 1 and 2, with guest appearances from the characters of These Broken Stars.

I am super psyched to read the final book in the trilogy, Their Fractured Light. The third book is also a new love story, but all three couples are going to come together to defeat the series’ antagonist, LaRoux Industries. If it’s anything like book 2, it’s going to be one exciting conclusion. I also have a feeling that we’re in for some emotional deaths…we’ll see…

I highly recommend this series to anyone who likes YA, sci-fi, and/or romance. I give This Shattered World a sold 4/5 stars and look forward to reading the last book eventually after I’m through with Mr. Potter.

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