Tuesday, February 10, 2015

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Summary (on Goodreads):
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.
I love these books. The first one blew me away, and I was a little worried that this one wouldn’t come close to my expectations, but it did. I now know I can trust these authors to write some serious sci-fi magic.
I loved the characters in this one. Lee is one kick-butt girl main character. For starters, she’s a captain. Then, there’s the whole thing about her being immune to the crazy disease that happens to soldiers who stay on her planet too long. She thinks fast, acts on instinct, and knows how to use awesome sounding sci-fi weapons like the best of any video game character. Seriously, she was a fun character to read about.
I’m not sure I always loved Flynn. I feel like his character was trying to be too much. He was the sweet-hearted peace-keeper. He wanted to solve problems with words instead of mass murder. He was always fighting for peace. Yet, he was also supposed to have this sort of player type attitude that just didn’t seem to fit him. It felt a little like the writers were trying to combine Peeta and Gale into one person, and well, they really can’t be one person. Though, I did like how he balanced out Lee’s toughness.
I also was not expecting a war book. This book was all about war, guerilla warfare, bombings, and rebellions. And while most dstyopias and sci-fi YA novels of late involve some kind of rebellion, not so many of them go into the gritty detail of it all. Between hiding in caves, hidden attacks, weapons storing, and solider training this book was all about the war. That, and a conspiracy theory of sorts that involve the strange yet brilliant alien creatures of the first book.
Add to the conspiracy (involving a disappearing army base no one knows about) and the war, a little bit of genocide, some scary Prisoner of War scenes, escapes, a creepy and muddy swamp landscape, a little space travel, and some friendly faces from book 1, and well this book was not lacking in the action department.
I’m not the biggest fan of war stories, and I certainly wasn’t expecting this much of it, but I ended up really liking this one. There were moments where I definitely felt like the book could have been slimmed down some in this department, but again, that might just be because I’m not that into war stories. There was a lot of back and forth though between one character being captured, then the other character. And then one character being a fugitive, and then the other. I’m not sure there needed to be such equilibrium between the plot line. I think I would have liked it more if there wasn’t; it would have felt a little more believable to me.
All in all though, I loved the suspense. I loved the conspiracy. I loved the characters. I loved seeing characters from book 1. I loved the romance. And I even loved the war heavy plot. I do wish some of the war elements didn’t go quite as long as they did. And I’m not sure I ever liked Flynn as much as Lee, but I did like the balance of their relationship. I give it a 9/10. And I’m anxiously awaiting what’s next.

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