I Lack Focus: This Shattered World by Aimee Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

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.

Source: GoodReads

These Broken Stars was probably one of the most hyped up books in 2013.  I remember liking it, but not loving it.  I sort of had the same feeling This Shattered World, but I think the first book was slightly better (it’s been awhile).

That being said, there are lots of good things to say about This Shattered World.  I’ll start with what worked the most for me: Jubilee.

She is just awesome.  This is how main characters should be written.  She’s tough, funny, and doesn’t fall into the typical stereotypes you see with YA heroines.   She was what made this book.

As for Flynn…meh.  I like him enough, but it’s really hard to get past the whole kidnapping thing.

But as far as kidnappers go, Flynn isn’t horrible.  In fact if he wasn’t a kidnapper, I really would’ve appreciated the fact that he was a beta male in a genre full of alpha douches.

But the kidnapping trope…it’s hard to get past.

The world building is extremely intricate.  It’s very easy to get lost in this book.  In the title of my blog post I state that I lacked focus during this book. It’s totally true.  There would be times I’d just get so absorbed in the writing, I’d completely forget what was happening.  It’s one of those effects that sort of has mixed results.

For a book that had so much going on its world, there is a surprising amount of action in it as well.  It reminded me why I like space operas.  Honestly, YA has some really good sci-fi inspired series right now…but I’m digressing it.  As a space opera, this one and its predecessor are pretty darn amazing.  I really could see a CW show using this concept.

As previously stated, sometimes the world just got a little hairy and I did lose focus.  I also, didn’t like the cut scenes.  I started skimming them towards the middle of the book and should have kept paying attention to them because the were important (hint,hint).

It was also a little jarring how the first book’s plot came rearing its head in this installment.  I get that it’s a companion book to These Broken Stars, but key to the word companion.  I was also assuming it could be read as a standalone-and it could to a degree.

The cameos of characters from the prior book were fun, but I really didn’t like how it had a quasi sequel in the you have to read the previous book feel to it. Even though I did, read the previous book.

In all This Shattered World is a great edition to YA sci fi.  Sure, it has it’s faults.  But like its predecessor, it’s fun.

Overall Rating: A solid B.

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