Title: This Shattered World
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound, #2
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: December 23rd 2014
The second instalment 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 liveable, 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.
– Blurb courtesy of goodreads.com
This review may contain spoilers for previous book(s) in the series.
My Thoughts On…
The Starbound series has fast become one of my favourites; I loved These Broken Stars and This Shattered World, the second book in the trilogy, is just as good. There is a lot more of made of the plot and a lot more characters featured in This Shattered World but that doesn’t mean the world-building or the character development has fallen in the wayside, buried underneath the story.
When Jubilee first sees Flynn sitting across the bar at Molly Malone’s she knows there’s something off about him. He isn’t one of the soldiers who have been stationed on Avon and she doesn’t believe he’s a local but there is something about him that is familiar to her. Cornered and fearing discovery Flynn makes his move and pulls a gun on Jubilee to get her to leave the bar and the base with him. He takes her through the swamp to where he spotted a secret military facility he’d never seen before. He fears what could be in there, fears that it’s something that could destroy his people.
But when they get there the facility Flynn saw is gone, leaving no trace of it having ever been there. Unsure of what to do but knowing he can’t let Jubilee go back to the base he takes her to the caves where the Fianna, Avon’s resistance group, make their home. He hopes he can trade her for supplies, for medicine, for some of their people imprisoned by the military. He hopes he can use Jubilee to show the Fianna they can solve their differences without war, but most of the other Fianna believe war is the only way to make change. They believe in his late sister’s ideals and Flynn knows he is slowly losing what few supporters he has.
When the Fianna decide to kill Jubilee Flynn goes against his people and lets her go, but once she’s safe again Jubilee cannot forget Flynn or what he spoke with her about. She keeps his identity and his face a secret from her commanding officer, and she starts digging into the secret facility that Flynn believes he saw. As she questions what she’s always known she starts to uncover a connection between the secret facility, the Fury which plagues Avon, and LaRoux Industries.
Meanwhile the ceasefire between the soldiers and the Fianna has ended. The Fianna have the weapons to fight back and they are determined to drive the soldiers off their home and free their people. Flynn, who is on the run from his own people and branded a traitor, and Jubilee, who is struggling to keep hers’ and Flynn’s secrets, work together to stop the war, stop the Fury, and keep Avon safe from LaRoux Industries.
Jubilee is seemingly a cold and closed-off character. She doesn’t have any friends and the closest thing she has to a family is her patrol unit. She has dedicated her life to the military and truly believes that they are doing what is best for Avon. However when she meets Flynn she starts to see his side of things. He makes her question everything she thinks she knows but even when she is knee deep in secrets she still believes in the military. She thinks if she gets enough proof she can take what she has discovered up the chain of command and someone more powerful can help them solve the problems on Avon.
Flynn has been with the Fianna ever since he was ten years old and his sister was executed by the military, but despite the Fianna’s beliefs Flynn is a pacifist. He only wants what is best for Avon but he believes they can solve their issues by talking, not through war. He doesn’t want the military gone he just wants to find out the truth about what is stunting Avon’s growth.
When Flynn kidnaps Jubilee he has no plans to hurt or kill her. Instead he talks to her and tries to get her to see his side of things, to see that the Fianna are not all the same and they just want the best for Avon. Eventually the two form a close bond, each of them aware their only connection to the others world is each other. They need each other to lean on, to rely on, to share secrets with. Flynn sees past Jubilee’s cold and tough shell into the girl inside who has been hurt so badly in the past. In turn Jubilee sees the strength in Flynn, the desire to do what is best for his people and she admires that.
The world of Avon, a place where there are no stars and the whole planet is covered in clouds, and the tension between the locals and the military is incredibly well-written. The war which Jubilee and Flynn are in the middle of is not easy to stop when it’s all the locals and the soldiers know. We see the affects the war has not only on the people who fight but on those it leaves behind; Jubilee as a child on November watching her parents die and Sofia on Avon whose father kills himself and takes out a barrack of troops. The Fury is a major part of the story, something Jubilee and the whole military presence on Avon worry about, it’s linked to the whispers and once again linked to LaRoux Industries but we don’t discover anymore about them we didn’t already know from the first book.
There are subtle connection between all three books, linking them together in a way that will, I assume, be fully explored in the final book of the trilogy. It was interesting seeing Tarver and Lilac make an appearance and seeing their characters and relationship from Jubilee and Flynn’s perspectives but I would have liked to see more of them.
What did you think of This Shattered World? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.