These Broken stars – Kaufman/Spooner

I cannot even begin to describe how much I enjoyed this book. I read it on the recommendation from one of my students, so naturally at first, I was sceptical. I didn’t find much in the blurb that interested me, however, once I got started I realised that I was unable to put the book down for longer than necessary to function as a normal human being.


Lilac and Tarver meet each other on the Icarus, a ship travelling through space with a mixture of socialites and military personnel. Lilac LaRoux, heiress to her father’s empire and richest girl in the galaxy, makes eye contact with a young Major Tarver Merendsen board the Icarus during a party, not knowing that he has no idea who she is. After their initial conversation, she soon realizes that the Major is in danger from her father and tries to distance herself from him in the only way she knows how, by being cold and unfeeling. As disaster strikes the Icarus, Lilac is forced to rely on Tarver to survive on a planet that is unknown and where they are completely alone. Together they discover a hidden secret, linked to her father’s empire, that they must figure out to survive.


The idea of two people from totally different worlds coming together to survive on a distant planet is certainly not a new one. It has been done in many different ways, many different times. However, what I found exciting about this one is that you can relate to both characters. The story is told through alternating each chapter from the view point of Tarver and Lilac. This technique allows the reader to become invested in both the character’s ideas and opinions. I often found myself wondering what the other character was thinking regarding a situation and was never disappointed. The development of the characters was seamless, giving a real sense of understanding to their struggles, thoughts, and emotions. It really drew me in, getting me invested in their story and their survival.

Running throughout the novel is a conversation held between Tarver and an unknown party. The conversation is clearly between Tarver and an interrogator who is trying to understand what happened on the planet. Each chapter begins with a snippet from the conversation and alludes to the events that occur during the following chapter. I found this technique made it rather difficult for me to pause at a chapters end, inviting me to continue reading to understand what Tarver is covering up. Towards the end of the story the interrogator’s affiliations are revealed and context in which the conversation has been taking place makes sense. It allows the story to end in a way that doesn’t involve rehashing the entire plot, while giving a sense of finality.

Without saying too much more, I cannot recommend this read enough. I am intrigued by where the story goes next;I have done some research and discovered that the next book in this trilogy focusses on separate characters. This troubles, me due to the fact that I have fallen in love with Tarver and Lilac, but I am interested to see how the next two books tie in together.

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