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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Playing Catch Up! Starbound Trilogy by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Playing Catch Up has really been helping me through my ever growing TBR list. I'd like to welcome all other blogs to participate too! If you do, be sure to post your links in the comments section. I'd love to see your Playing Catch Up Reviews, and I'm sure others would too!! *wink*

Want to know more about Playing Catch Up? I'll tell you all about it here!

These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) 
by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner 
Genre: Young Adult (Science Fiction/Fantasy Romance)
Date Published: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

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. 

These Broken Stars is the first book in the Starbound Trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I've seen many reviews comparing this to a Titanic in space kind of story, and in a way it is.. especially in the beginning, I suppose, with the way everyone talked about the Icarus, the crash, and the two main characters being from completely different worlds on the social spectrum. For me, the similarities ended there, and it became its own unique story. 

I thought the characters were built nicely. I felt like I got to know them as they got to know each other which was fun. The same can be said for the world they crashed on. As the reader, I was right there with them trying to figure this odd place out. 

My only issue came towards the end. It had to do with something that happened to Lilac. I'm very unclear on what exactly that was that happened to her. It's something pretty pivotal, and really needed some kind of explanation. This bothers me so much, it tainted my overall enjoyment of the book. Because of the lack of clarity, I'm not sure what kind of ending I would consider this to be or if I even like it at all. Yet. 

The intruder has grabbed her elbow, urgent. She’s trying to pull away, eyes flashing up, looking around for someone as though she expects help. Her gaze falls on me.

I get one step closer before a man in the right sort of top hat claps a hand on the stranger’s shoulder. He has an equally self-important friend with him, and two officers, a man and a woman. They know the man with the fervent light in his eyes doesn’t belong here, and I can see they mean to remedy his presence.

The redhead’s self-appointed guardian jerks the man backward to stumble against the officers, who take him firmly by the arms. I can tell he’s got no training, either formally or the rough-and-tumble sort they learn in the colonies. If he did, he’d be able to handle these desk jockeys and their sloppy form.

They start to turn him toward the door, one of them grabbing at the nape of his neck. More force than I would use, for someone whose only crime so far seems to be trying to talk to the girl in the blue dress, but they’re handling it. I stop by the adjacent booth, still trying to catch my breath.

The man twists, breaking free of the soldiers, and turns back toward the girl. As the room starts to fall silent, the ragged edge to his voice is audible. “You have to speak to your father about this, please. We’re dying for lack of tech, he needs to give the colonists more—”

His voice gives out as one of the officers delivers a blow to his stomach that doubles him over. I jerk forward, shoving away from the booth and past the widening ring of onlookers.

The redhead beats me to it. She’s on her feet in a swift movement that draws the attention of everyone in the room in a way the scuffle didn’t. Whoever she is, she’s a showstopper.

“Enough!” She has a voice well suited to delivering ultimatums. “Captain, Lieutenant, what do you think you’re doing?”

I knew I liked her for a reason.

When I step forward, she’s holding them frozen in place with a glare that could fell a platoon. For a moment, none of them notice me. Then I see the soldiers register my presence, and scan my shoulders for my stars and bars. Rank aside, we’re different in every way. My medals are for combat, theirs for long service, bureaucratic efficiencies. My promotions were made in the field. Theirs, behind a desk. They’ve never had blood on their hands. But for once, I’m glad of my newfound status. The two soldiers come reluctantly to attention—both of them are older, and I can tell it rankles to have to salute an eighteen-year-old. Funny how I was old enough by sixteen to drink, fight, and vote, but even two years later, I’m too young to respect.

They’re still holding on to the gate-crasher. He’s breathing quick and shallow, like he’s pretty sure someone’s going to fire him out an air lock any minute.

I clear my throat, making sure I sound calm. “If there’s a problem, I can help this man find the door.” Without more violence.

We can all hear how my voice sounds—exactly like the backwater boy I am, unpolished and uncultured. I register a few scattered laughs around the room, which is now entirely focused on our little drama. Not malicious laughter—just amused.

“Merendsen, I doubt this guy’s after a book.” Fancy Top Hat smirks at me.

I look down and realize I’m still holding the book I took from the shelves. Right, because this guy is poor, he can’t even read.

“I’m sure he was just about to go,” says the girl, fixing Top Hat with a steely glare. “And I’m pretty sure you were about to leave, too.”

They’re caught off guard by her dismissal, and I use the moment to relieve my fellow officers of their captive, keeping hold of his arm as I guide him away. She’s effectively dismissed the quartet from the salon—again her face tickles my memory, who is she that she can do that?—and I let them make their enforced escape before I gently but firmly steer my new friend toward the door.

“Anything broken?” I ask, once we’re outside. “What possessed you to go near them, and in a place like this? I half thought you were aiming to blow someone up.”

The man gazes at me for a long moment, his face already older than the people inside will ever look.

He turns to walk away without another word, shoulders bowed. I wonder just how much he had riding on this manufactured encounter with the girl in the blue dress. Read more here.

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This Fractured World (Starbound #2) 
by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner 
Genre: Young Adult (Science Fiction/Fantasy Romance)
Date Published: December 23, 2014
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

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.

This Shattered World is the second book in the Starbound series by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. We get to meet Jubilee and Flynn in this book, but don't worry Tarver and Lilac make an appearance or two. We get a few more details as to what is going on in the big picture within this story. There's more action this time around. Jubilee is a soldier to the core. She's one tough cookie. And Flynn? He's a fighter too. They are on opposite ends of society, and there is much for them to overcome with all the trust issues and the fact they are enemies. Many things happen to feed their mistrust of each other. There were many similarities to the first book though.. right down to a strange death/not death thing towards the end. Yeah, it was a little different this time, but similar. If that makes sense. Honestly, I don't know how that all worked in the first book & I still don't get it in the second book.

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Their Fractured World (Starbound #3) 
by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner 
Genre: Young Adult (Science Fiction/Fantasy Romance)
Date Published: December 1, 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

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.

That Fractured Light is the third book in the Starbound Trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. This series must be read in order, and if you haven't read the first book, don't read the rest of this review. I really enjoyed Gideon and Sofia. I liked them at least as much as Lilac and Tarver from the first book. This time we get to see the two couples from the previous two books too. When it comes to the romance, Sofia and Gideon seemed the most realistic. Neither of them trusted each other. They both had secrets. Many secrets. They both lie to survive. They've been on their own and in their own forms of survival mode for so long, that it was very hard for them to let another person in. It was a process, and I loved them all the more for it. Everything comes together in this book. I wasn't left with any nagging questions, and we finally get an explanation of what happened to Lilac at the end of book one.

Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner are longtime friends and sometime flatmates who have traveled the world (but not yet the galaxy), covering every continent between them. They are sure outer space is only a matter of time. Meagan, who is also the author of the SKYLARK trilogy, currently lives in Asheville, North Carolina, while Amie lives in Melbourne, Australia. Although they currently live apart, they are united by their love of space opera, road trips, and second breakfasts.

To learn more about Amie Kaufman and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, TumblrPinterest, and Twitter.

To learn more about Meagan Spooner and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsFacebookTumblrPinterest, and Twitter.

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