Author(s): Amie Kaufman; Meagan Spooner
Pages count: 374 pages
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Rating: 3 stars
I had multiple issues with this book but I loved the parts I did enjoy. The whole reading experience was a rollercoaster; the first part of the book felt too slow for my taste and it lacked a great amount of world building. I thoroughly enjoyed the second half though excepting some parts that I’ll address later. I liked the book, and I’ll likely pick up the sequel, but I will not be rereading it or dying to have the sequel in my hands. Re-evaluating my judgment almost a day after I finished it, I think it’s a great book but it was not exactly my cup of tea for some reason.
Lilac LaRoux is the richest girl in the galaxy; used to have everything she wishes at an order’s distance. Her father is the owner of the biggest spaceship-crafting company to ever exist and one of the most influential people in the universe.
Major Tarver Merendsen is a high decorated soldier who has been brought-up in a very humble environment, with strong values and a tendency to give himself up for the ones he loves. He has gained his high-societal hero status after a traumatic experience at the fields.
Both Lilac and Major Merendsen are on board of the Icarus; the Titanic of the future. The enormous spaceship has a malfunction while traveling through hyperspace and it’s pulled out of it. Consequently, Lilac and Tarver find themselves prisoners of one of the ship’s scape-pods. Shortly, they discover they are being pulled into a planet’s atmosphere and their journey for survival starts abruptly being the only two survivors of the fatal crash.
One of my pet-peeves when it comes to series or trilogies is the lack of world building. That is the main reason why the rating is only 3 stars on this one. This book holds so much potential yet I feel like I know nothing about the society Lilac and Tarver live in. The authors could’ve informed us about the political structure of the universe, the creation of new planets, the colonization of those planets, the wars and the damn rebels… I mean, it gives us so many hints about what the society’s like out there, but we don’t get any details about it. It has the potential of creating a world so complex that seems real and it falls flat. I was left with SO MANY questions, it’s ridiculous. I demand more world-building in the next installment because it could be so damn interesting!
On the other hand, the character development is nearly brilliant! At first I totally despised Lilac. She was whiny, childish and was difficult to deal with while trying to survive. Let’s be real, if I was Tarver I would’ve put a bullet in her head the second day they were stranded. Okay, maybe not but you get the point! As the weeks passed she transitioned into a strong and brave woman who started seeing the world with different eyes. She learnt what was really important in life and realized the relationships she built with certain people weren’t healthy. She learnt to be independent and kind, the complete opposite than the Lilac at the beginning of the book. I went from utterly hating her to absolutely loving her as she progressed to a more humane attitude! I’m just going to say one thing about Tarver. I love him and he’s mine, not yours because he is my husband and not yours. OKAY?
I found very interesting how in such an advanced society, they still appreciate courtesy so much. The high-class members were so courteous it reminded me of the 1800s which was totally fine by me! One of my favorite things about this book was the romance. While I’m not a huge fan of romance, I love it when it’s well done and this romance was brilliantly executed. I don’t usually like the unrealistic set-up most of the YA novels I’ve read have when it comes to relationships because the couples usually fall in love instantly and it just doesn’t feel real to me. It took them a while to grow fond of each other and they slowly but surely fell in love. This book made me crave the love scenes just as much as the characters were and I felt the need they had for each other. And yes, as I made clear before I also fell in love with Tarver!
There were some things that remained unsolved to me though, one of them being what a big feline was doing in the middle of a deserted planet! I also didn’t like one of the plot twists it has. Concretely, the solution to the consequence of the big explosion (no, I haven’t spoiled you!) which was a very predictable to the point where I knew exactly what was going to happen before it happened.
While this book didn’t feature too many thought-provoking passages, a quote stuck with me still to this minute. Tarver was thinking about the human kind when he said “I refuse to believe a species capable of such compassion could be so cruel”. I just love the truth this sentence holds in so little words and it made me think about a lot of things going on in the world.
Lastly, I found very interesting the concept of the aliens in this book. They are very different from the usual aliens we see in movies or read about in books and it’s because they don’t have a physical form. They are completely omnipotent and aren’t just beings, they are everything but nothing at the same time. This quote perfectly sums it up!
“We are thought. We are power. In our world, we are all that is.”