{Review/Giveaway} Featuring the Starbound Trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner!

Welcome to today's THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT Tour Stop, the final stop on the tour!

Did you miss any of the previous stops?

Tour Schedule:

(Thanks to Hannah of The Irish Banana for
putting this tour together!)


Week 2:

Today, I'm treating you to a review of all three books in the series--PLUS the FREE in-between novella!

Not only that, but at the bottom of this post, you'll also have a chance to WIN ALL THREE BOOKS *and* some awesome POSTERS!!!!

O P E N I N G   H O O K:


   NOTHING ABOUT THIS ROOM IS REAL. If this were a party at home, the music would draw your eye to human musicians in the corner. Candles and soft lamps would light the room, and the wooden tables would be made of actual trees. People would be listening to each other, instead of checking to see who's watching them.
   Even the air here smells filtered and fake. The candles in the sconces do flicker, but they're powered by a steady source. Hover trays weave among the guests, like invisible waiters are carrying drinks. The string quartet is only a hologram--perfect and infallible, and exactly the same at every performance.
   I'd give anything for a laid-back evening joking around with my platoon, instead of being stuck here in this imitation scene from a historical novel.
   For all their trendy Victorian tricks, there's no hiding where we are. Outside the viewports, the stars are like faded white lines, half-invisible, surreal. The Icarus, passing through dimensional hyperspace, would look just as faded, half-transparent, if someone stationary in the universe could somehow see her moving faster than light.
   I'm leaning against the bookshelves when it occurs to me that one thing here is real--the books. I reach behind me and let my fingers trail over the rough leather of their antique spines, then pull one free. Nobody here reads them; the books are for decoration. Chosen for the richness of their leather bindings, not for the contents of their pages. Nobody will miss one, and I need a dose of reality.
   I'm almost done for the night, smiling for the cameras as ordered. The brass keep thinking that mixing field officers with the upper crust will create some sort of common ground where none exists, let the paparazzi infesting the Icarus see me, the lowborn boy made good, hobnobbing with the elite. I keep thinking that the photographers will get their fill of shots of me with drink in hand, lounging in the first-class salon, but in the two weeks I've been on board, they haven't. 
   These folks love a good rags-to-riches tale, even if my riches are no more than the medals pinned to my chest. It still makes for a nice story in the papers. The military looks good, the rich people look good, and it gives the poor people something to aspire to. See? say all the headlines. You too can rocket your way up to riches and fame. If hick boy can make good, why can't you? 
   If it wasn't for what happened on Patron, I wouldn't even be here. What they call heroics, I call a tragic debacle. But nobody's asking my opinion.

(Pages 6-7, US E-Book Edition)


The Starbound Trilogy is--yes, a trilogy. BUT it's not a traditional trilogy. It's made up of three mostly stand-alone companion novels. Each novel is centered around new characters. The structure is very similar to Robin LaFevers' His Fair Assassin Trilogy. I had NO CLUE about this going into the series. I hadn't read the synopsis for THESE BROKEN STARS in a few years because I don't like spoilers. So when I began reading THIS SHATTERED WORLD (Without any synopsis to go on), I was really confused about where the characters I knew went, especially since the in-between novella, THIS NIGHT SO DARK, featured the characters from the first book and said it was a bridge between the two novels. Then, I noticed that the book took place on Avon, which I knew had been mentioned previously. I wondered if the book was going to be structurally similar to Marissa Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles series, where the story alternates between characters from previous books as well as newer title characters. Only after the chapters flipped from Jubilee to Flynn and back to Jubilee did I go looking for a synopsis.

It isn't by any means a bad thing that the series is made up of companion novels--just an unexpected thing that drove me crazy until I figured out what the series was doing. I actually prefer this structure because, let's face it, if all the books featured Tarver and Lilac, things might get stale or redundant. Each of the three novels introduces new information to readers that build the mystery and raise the stakes. Each novel gets more and more action-oriented and has a faster pace than the previous novel. It would be hard to maintain this momentum with two characters who know each other and their goals so well because part of the thrill is in learning to trust and discover one another. Plus, of course, new romance instead of working to maintain romance!

Technically, THESE BROKEN STARS and THIS SHATTERED WORLD can both stand on their own. Small spoiler here--theses a small crossover scene from the first book, but the characters each make discoveries on their own and THIS SHATTERED WORLD doesn't rely on THESE BROKEN STARS and is only enhanced by it about 2/3rds of the way in. It's THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT that is hardest to stand-alone. It's still a self-contained story and can be read completely on its own, but all the SPOILERY STUFF that has been coming to a head and being discovered in the previous two books explodes in this finale, and a large chunk of the book connects to the first two.

And now, a spoiler-free look
at the series at a glance!


THESE BROKEN STARS is very different in tone from the other books in the series. If read in order, TBS has the most mystery and intrigue because readers discover everything alongside the characters. It's also very much a disaster/survival novel. Its beginning is reminiscent of the infamous Titanic, a fancy passenger liner that sank on its maiden voyage. The crash of the Icarus is much more deadly than the Titanic, however. 706 people survived from 2,223 died when the Titanic sank. When fancy spaceliner the Icarus explodes, there are only two survivors. Tarver and Lilac are able to get their escape pod free in time only because Lilac knows the ship and all of its safety protocol so well, being the daughter of the man who built it.

When Tarver and Lilac land, it is Tarver's military training that keeps the two alive. They head to the crash site, desperate to find more survivors and to be picked up when rescuers arrive. But they soon realize that they're alone and nobody's coming for them. Only, they're not alone...

The novel is very reminiscent of the movie Cast Away, which relies on few people and is a tale of survival.

It's also VERY sci-fi. I'm not a sci-fi girl. I try, but the math/science sometimes overwhelm by brain because I can't grasp the concepts. I loved when books like A WRINKLE IN TIME put graphics into the  novel to show things like time wrinkles. I struggled with books like FLASH FORWARD and movies like Interstellar because all the sci-fi twists at the end broke my brain. THESE BROKEN STARS is a book that broke not just the stars, but my brain. There's a big twist, and even now, after reading the entire series, I still don't 100% wrap my mind around the science of it. But my friend Kat (who sometimes has blogged here), is big on sci-fi and grasped it well--and even saw it coming!


THIS NIGHT SO DARK is a FREE novella that exists within the Starbound world. It takes place before THESE BROKEN STARS. Tarver is on the mission that will win him medals and acclaim, that will promote him from Captain to Major. This is the mission that will later put him on board the Icarus and launch a tale of survival.

TNSD promises to bridge THESE BROKEN STARS and THIS SHATTERED WORLD. Instead, it's a prequel that seemingly has nothing to do with being a bridge. But it DOES deal with secret facilities, as does TSW. If you read it, you know more about the secret base Flynn and Jubilee are looking for in TSW, as well as a few secrets they still need to uncover. The novella also comes into play in the final book, THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT, in order to bring the novel to its climax!

At first, I thought the novella felt a little throwaway. I did, however, like the glimpses of Tarver and Lilac that showcased how they were doing after the conclusion of TBS. It also explores Tarver a little more and opens up his character further. It shows him in a new light. Looking back after finishing the series, I think it's important to read this novella, so don't skip it!


There's a lot more action in THIS SHATTERED WORLD, which takes place on Avon, a planet still going through terraforming. There are no resources and the people can't survive on their own. The natives hide away from the military and are seen as rebels. One such rebel, Flynn, stumbles upon a secret base that shouldn't exist and decides he wants answers. He sneaks in to a pub and kidnaps Jubilee, a Military Captain that he knows has the answers he seeks. Only...she doesn't.

Kidnapping Jubilee inflames both the rebels and the military alike, and is a catalyst the events that will lead to a deadly, bloody war as the inhabitants of Avon begin to tear their world apart.

TSW has a Romeo and Juliet quality to it and the characters were easier to engage with and root for to me, perhaps because they're interacting differently with their environment. It also helped that, having read the first book and the novella, I knew the answers to some of the things that Flynn and Jubilee were trying to discover.

As I mentioned earlier, I was confused going into TSW because I was expecting a direct sequel, but I was actually really happy it wasn't, especially since I was still turning my head around the surprise twist in the first book and wasn't sure what to do with it! I liked being able to put that aside and focus on something new.


This was probably my favorite book in the trilogy. All the action! All the intrigue! With the previous books, I could mostly put them down and pick them up at will. With TFL, I struggled to put the book down again from the very beginning. I loved Sofia and Gideon from the very beginning. What's funny is that I knew this book was going to be about them. We were introduced to both characters in small ways in THIS SHATTERED WORLD. When Flynn and Sofia talked about seeing one another again in the future and Sofia left Avon, I knew we'd see her again. When Gideon's role at getting out information is mentioned, I thought, Huh, he sounds like he'd be a cool lead character. I was so pleased to see them both in TFL!

Sofia and Gideon have the most problems of any of the previous characters. It's also harder for them to trust. The book takes place on Corinth, where it's harder to be sneaky and secretive. To keep spoiler-free, let's just say that Sofia and Gideon are both being watched, both being hunted. No place is safe. When they discover a plan that will throw lives in jeopardy, they rush to prevent tragedy from occuring, though both have different motives and plans in mind.

And here's where I can't help getting a little spoilery--When another disaster befalls civilization, the lives of the main characters from all the Starbound books intersect. Only together can they save humanity...but the price is higher than anyone's willing to pay...


All three books are different and unique, yet work together well in delivering a powerful finale. The characters are all well-developed and bring readers into the minds of the protagonists, making them care more. There's also a lot of sci-fi running throughout the series. The only time I really struggled with the science behind it was in THESE BROKEN STARS. All the sciencey stuff was explained better in later books. Plus, having a better handle on the world, I understood more moving forward.

I really loved that each book was self-contained. If I'd known that, I might have started reading thsi series sooner! I decided to wait until all three books were out and binge-read the series. Being on tour with The Irish Banana gave me a chance to do this sooner than I otherwise would have!  I did like reading them together because I picked up on small things that I may not have otherwise remembered if I was waiting a year between books. It also helped me understand the science more because my brain could shape everything better over the course of the series as a whole. I'd probably be starting over from square one again if I hadn't read them together! I also may have put off reading the other books for a long time if I didn't have them at the ready since THESE BROKEN STARS really did mess with my brain. I wasn't sure what I thought of the book for a couple of days after reading it before I moved on to the next one!

If you're looking for an epic series that explores space and where humanity might find itself once Earth's resources are depleted, if you enjoy space operas, or if you just want a series of romance novels where characters find one another through harsh conditions, check out the Starbound Trilogy. The final book just came out this month, so it's complete and you don't have to wait to know how everything ends!


Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: PG13 ( This is a hard one. Technically, there ARE sexual situations, but they're don'e in SUCH a way that younger readers won't even realize it. There's always kissing, and then the chapter ends, and then they wake up. They don't describe removing clothes or being naked or ANYTHING that would hint at anything else. It COULD be innocent sleeping. But there will be a random comment that's ctu off halfway through so that older reads know what happened. This is the way it worked in THESE BROKEN STARS and THEIR FRACTURED LIGHT. For THIS SHATTERED WORLD, there's a little more innuendo because there's a video chat where the character on the other end is being blatant until realizing there are other people in the room. There are also cut scenes with Tarver and Lilac in THIS NIGHT SO DARK where teh two are in bed together that imply sex.  )
Language: PG13 ( cursing is implied, but never used )
Violence: PG13 ( There's a lot of violence throughout the series, but it's never graphic. Nothing worse than a PG-13 movie )
Other: --

C O V E R   D E S I G N:

These covers are really pretty!!! I like how they so accurately portray both romance and sci-fi. I also really like how, when you look closely after reading the books, you'll realize that the clothes are ABSOLUTELY what the characters would have been wearing!

What's funny is that when I started reading THIS SHATTERED WORLD, I thought the model's skin was darker than on the first cover, but I was reading it on a black-and-white e-reader so I assumed it was just a really inky image. So I brushed it aside...but if I'd seen the cover in color, I would have been less confused when there were new characters present as I started reading!!!

At the bookstore, you'll definitely know these books go together!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Received: Purchased


Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Received: Purchased for FREE

Tarver still has nightmares about the night, six months before the Icarus crash, when he rescued civilian researchers held hostage by brutal mercenaries. Now he and Lilac reconcile his memories of that night with the truth uncovered after the crash.

Short connects first two novels. Includes preview chapter from This Shattered World.

Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner 
Release Date: December 23, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Received: Gifted

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.

Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner 
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Received: For Review

A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.

Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling co-author of Illuminae (with Jay Kristoff) and These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, and Their Fractured Light (with Meagan Spooner.) She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.

She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.

Author Links: 
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram

Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there.In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.

Author Links: 


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