Book Reviews, Books, Reviews

Lytherus Book Club: This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, part 1

Lytherus book club header March

We’re a bit behind on this post, as it’s the end of March, but no worries, because the author interview has been pushed too, so there’s still time to get in your questions!

This Shattered World had a lot to live up to, because I loved the first book, These Broken Stars, so much. When I read the blurb that it was a completely different set of characters, my heart sunk a bit, because I wanted to stay in the bubble that book 1 created. But if anything I liked this book more! Before we dig into the meat just a reminder: REMEMBER, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS in my review, as I’m assuming you’ve read this along with us.

Here’s the official summary of book 2:

downloadJubilee 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. His sister died in the original uprising against the powerful corporate conglomerate that rules Avon with an iron fist. These corporations make their fortune by terraforming uninhabitable planets across the universe and recruiting colonists to make the 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 against the military occupying his home, 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 base together, caught between two sides in a senseless war.

The stunning second novel in the Starbound trilogy is an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness in a world torn apart by war.
We’re reading up through chapter nineteen in this part.
First off, the format is the same as the first book, with chapters alternating between the male and female leads, with a little “thing” in between. I’m not quite sure what those are in this book, they seem like memories or dreams, but they don’t quite make sense, so I’m still waiting to figure that out. But we’re getting a glimpse into parts of Jubilee’s past, from what I can gather.
So, From the start of this book I knew it would connect to the first one in some way, because the story takes place on Avon. We learn in book 1 that the whisper experiments take place there as well as where Tarver and Lilac were. There’s also mention of ghost lights in the darkness of Avon’s swamps, etc. So right away I knew something big and bad was happening, though it had a different feel from the first book.
The two main characters are Jubilee Chase (or Lee, for short), a captain in the military stationed on Avon, and Flynn Cormac, a local rebel and younger brother to their deceased leader. From the start things get creepy. Flynn kidnaps Lee to get information about a facility he encountered, one that seemed mysterious. But when he takes her there, it’s gone. So figuring this out, where it is, what it is, etc., is one of the main plot points of the first half of the book. Lee finds a identification chip on the ground where the facility, and it’s marked with LaRoux Industries logo … even though he has no obvious involvement on Avon. *Cue evil music.*
We also learn about something called the Fury, something that takes over the visitors to the planet, where they get weird dreams, and their eyes go black, and they basically seem to not be themselves for periods of time. Clearly this has something to do with the whispers, but it feels different, more malevolent than the whispers were with Tarver and Lilac, so I’m not quite sure how it ties in yet. But needless to say, something not natural is happening to these people.
Beyond this, the story to this point revolves around these two learning to trust each other, and to see that they’re essentially fighting for the same side. Flynn helps her escape, even after he’s kidnapped her. Lee doesn’t reveal the truth of what Flynn wanted to her superiors, other than that she was taken, because she starts to see that he’s not the enemy. Flynn wants to know why Avon’s environmental development has been so slow, so Lee starts to look into it a bit for him. And both of them don’t want the current cease-fire between her people and the rebels to end. So it’s back and forth for both of them. There’s a baddie in the rebels, McBride, who wants to get things going again and is trying to get everyone rowled up. He also steals all their locked up weapons to arm people against the soldiers. Flynn generally keeps them calm, but when things start happening out of his control (mainly the fury taking over soldiers and them killing locals for no reason), it fuels their rage. They set off a bomb, killing lots of soldiers. Flynn gets injured as well and escapes from the hospital but not before Lee reveals the LaRoux chip she found.
Here’s where things really start getting intense. Flynn makes it back to the hideout, only to find Lee there, with a gun, covered in blood, and around a half-dozen rebels killed, including a child. She has no recollection of it though, and they realize the Fury has finally gotten to her. Flynn believes her, and in front of his friends (and McBride) saves her life and helps her escape. But now he’s a traitor.
This half of the book ends with Flynn heading off into the swamp, heading towards someone he thinks might listen to him (who?), and with Lee contacting the only person she can think of to help her: her old captain … Tarver Marendson. He says he’s coming to Avon to help, after she mentions LaRoux and that she’s still on Avon. He says he read something and discovered something, and he can’t tell her over the com, but he’s coming.
 I was hoping this book would bring back the old characters, and it seems like they’re coming to help. They are both in a pretty big pickle right now, and how they get out of it–and how everything connects back to the whispers and LaRoux–is going to be awesome to read.
I’ll post the second half soon! Don’t forget to get us your questions for the authors! You can comment here, post them on facebook or twitter, or email them to me at lauren.zurchin@lytherus.com. Until then, happy reading!

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