This Shattered World (Starbound, #2)

by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

4.37 of 5 stars 19 ratings • 13 reviews • 34 shelved
Book cover for This Shattered World

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This Shattered World (Starbound, #2)

by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

4.37 of 5 stars 19 ratings • 13 reviews • 34 shelved
Flynn, leader of the rebellion on Avon, captures Jubilee "Lee" Chase, captain of the forces sent to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but later saves her and the two, caught between sides in a senseless war, flee together.
  • ISBN10 1423171039
  • ISBN13 9781423171034
  • Publish Date 23 January 2015 (first published 23 December 2014)
  • Publish Status Active
  • Publish Country US
  • Imprint Disney Publishing Worldwide
  • Format Hardcover
  • Pages 398
  • Language English


Avatar for nitzan_schwarz

To read this review and more check out my blog Afterwords!

Wait, is this really happening?? Am I finally continuing with a series I started a few years back and loved but never touched again? YES, I AM! Mom, aren't you proud of me???

Okay, jokes aside, I'm finally doing this. And while I am super happy with myself, I am also super confused about why it has taken me this long to do so in the first place. These books are good. They blend fun with heavy themes and ideas. They don't shy away from death, but neither do they shy away from love and hope.

We've seen all that in the first novel, and we're seeing it now in the second one. THIS SHATTERED WORLD follows Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac, and before I start this review lets just all take a second to admit to ourselves how utterly fabulous the name Jubilee is. Like, it's one of those names that make me just happy to read it and fuck if I know why but I ain't gonna complain either.

Okay, focus, Nitzan! This is serious reviewing time!

So, at first, you're going to wonder just how exactly does the story of Tarver and Lilac connect with that of Flynn and Jubilee. That will last all of, oh, I don't know... three chapters? Yeah. Then it's just going to be kind of terrifying because you'll start to suspect a lot of things that don't bode well for anyone. And, like, it's exactly where I thought the next "logical" step will be when I was reading THESE BROKEN STARS, and yet I was really hoping it won't because man, that's some bad shit.

But enough about that bad (but good bad) parts of the novel. Let's discuss some of the great things! First, Jubilee herself. She's not just a kick-ass name, she's also a kick-ass army captain. Yeah, you've read that right. The heroine is the one who gets to be uncompromisingly badass, and yet, undoubtedly feminine. I love that. A girl doesn't have to be manly to be strong. And Jubilee is that. Strong, and fierce, and compassionate. You'd think the long years in the army and the even longer years before that as a war orphan would have left her empty and cold, but despite what some rookies might think, she's the furthest thing away from that.

And it's Flynn Cormac who helps her believe in that part of herself again. Because Flynn is a pacifist rebel. Sounds a bit like an oxymoron, doesn't it? But Flynn manages to be both entirely loyal to his planet, his people and their survival--and they're his people, by right of birth and by his choice--and yet wholly dedicated to the idea of ending the war without more bloodshed and death. Literally, the only thing he wants (aside for Jubilee) is to bring peace to his people, no matter the cost to himself. Altruistic guy alert!

Seeing these two enemies grow closer and learning to trust and lean on each other as their loyalties and beliefs change and shift to accommodate all the new information and ideas is pretty awesome, and the two make a good team. Flynn as the heart, Jubilee as the muscle, and if you say you don't like the sound of that power balance, you're lying.

Now, amongst all the praise I can say about these novels, there is one thing that really stands out to me as a negative. Mainly, that the books lack an impact of Death, despite the fact there is plenty of that to go around. Like, people die. A lot of people. Some extremely innocent, like children. Things that normally make me cry just to think about them. But here... I felt no grief. The books tell me these death had impacts on the characters. It tells me they grieve for them. But it doesn't make you--or at the very least, me--feel it.

And I feel like that's a HUGE miss. These people who die mean something to these characters, presumably. But... like, none of them get very established--definitely not enough for me to mourn their deaths on my own--so I just felt nothing when they died, aside for feeling like it's a pointless plot-point because I couldn't feel it. Like, yeah, it's war and there is senseless death but also it's a novel so at least a few of these deaths should have a point beyond "I need a way to move the plot further". Idk. It all boils down to me not feeling anything - I'm sure it would have worked better if I managed to muster some of that.

I'm looking forward to finally finishing this series this year, and seeing how this all pans out!

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Original unedited thoughts
The second Starbound novel follows Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac, and can we all just take a second to admit to ourselves how utterly awesome the name Jubilee is??? Gosh I love it.

At first, you will wonder how the stories connect. Then at one swift moment, you will KNOW. And it's kind of terrifying because it's exactly where I thought the next logical step would when I was reading book one. And now it's coming closer to be a reality (in these books, anyway), and that's terrifying.

I really loved her, too. It's not often that the army captain is the girl in the story, but Jubilee is both of these things--undoubtedly female, and uncompromisingly badass. She is fierce, strong and compassionate. You'd think her long years in the army and the even longer years before that as an orphan would have left her soulless, but despite what the rookies think, she is the furthest thing away from that.

And it's Flynn Cormac that makes her believe in that again. Flynn is a pacifist rebel. Sounds like a bit of an oxymoron, doesn't it? But Flynn is both entirely loyal to his planet and his people--and they are his people, by right of birth and by choice--and wholly loyal to ending the war without more bloodshed. All he wants is to bring peace to his people. Altruistic guy alert!

Come to think of it; both Jubilee and Flynn are kind-of Altruistic. They put themselves last, and their people and saving both sides first. The only thing they might put on an equal level is each other, and even then they are fully aware they are probably heading to their deaths.

Seeing these two enemies grow closer and closer, learning to trust and lean on each other is pretty awesome, and they're a good fit. Flynn is the heart, Jubilee is the muscle, and if you say you don't like the sound of that power balance, y'all are lying.

The one thing I think these books are not good at is the impact of Death. Lots of people die in these books, but I never felt very bothered by these deaths, even horrifying ones--like children dying. Mostly because I am TOLD the characters feel grief, but I don't actually see it. Some books can make you feel a character's grief as much as your own. Neither These Broken Stars nor This Shattered World did that for me.

Oh, I feel the rest of the emotions well enough--the love, the devotion, the loyalty, the conflict. But not the grief. Not the impact of these deaths--these deaths of people our heroes have known for a long time, have considered family.

If I had to point one flaw in these books; that would be it.

I will be reading the final book this march, and then I will be saying goodbye to this lovely series!

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Ashley 3 of 5 stars
I liked this, but I didn't love it like I did These Broken Stars. I didn't click with the characters, story, or setting as much. I didn't feel like the characters had the same chemistry.

I did like the second half of the book more, particularly when we finally saw some characters from These Broken Stars make an appearance!

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ladygrey 4 of 5 stars
I really liked this book... eventually.

It wasn't what I expected, though I didn't expect much. Well, I think I expected more urban sci-if than swampy, terraforming military sci-fi. Little bits were reminiscent of other stories I've read, not in plot but in the setting and the way it felt.

There were hard parts of this book. Not like [a:Melina Marchetta|47104|Melina Marchetta|] hard. But hard nonetheless. McBride was hard. But he's not in the story enough to ruin it. And Flynn and Jubilee were kind of great. Not at first. At first they were good and I wanted to see where the story would go. But the story kind of pulled me in, kept moving and veering in unexpected ways and then it changed.

I can't help it, as soon as Tarver showed up the book came to life in a new way. Not just because it was Tarver (though partly because it was Tarver) but because the story became so much bigger, the threads to the larger story coming into focus. The story became exciting in a new way, the characters more compelling, and it continues long after Tarver left.

I have some advantage in having bought the books when they were released but waiting so long to read them. I have glimpses of where the third book goes that give a bit more depth to this story. Speaking of which,

Not all the side characters were perhaps as developed as they could have been. But they were as developed as they needed to be. And I liked Molly and Sofia a lot

One of the things I loved is how much heart is in such a difficult sci-fi story. I also like that Amie Kaufman and Meghan Spooner keep it unpredictable. I was convinced the story was going in one direction because all the pieces fit but they turned it on its side and made something completely new out of it.

Mostly I love that a story that seems to be written in a straight-forward manner suddenly has me feeling so much and then turns unexpectedly poignant.

Avatar for kozbisa

This is so Romeo and Juliette. He's a rebel, she's commissioned to keep the rebellion down, but despite their differences, they bonded over a common goal. I loved the dynamic between Jubilee and Flynn. This book is different from the first book. It was grittier and it was overloaded with action. There was a love story, but it was secondary to the goal of fighting the fury and saving Avon. We get deeper into the LaRoux plot, finding out that this "whispers" thing goes a lot farther than the abandoned planet in book 1. I was also pretty excited to have Tarver and Lilac back, even if it was for only a short time.

I am pretty excited to see where this is going and cannot wait to read the next book

Avatar for jesstheaudiobookworm

I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did. Mostly because I wasn't sure how to feel about abruptly swapping protagonists in the middle of a series. I grew to love with Lilac and Tarver in Starbound #1 and was disappointed when the synopsis of Starbound #2 did not include them, but introduced two completely new main characters. Not only was I surprised to fall in love with Flynn and Jubilee (the new characters), but I was even more pleasantly surprised to find out that Lilac and Tarver played semi-significant roles in this installment as well! The new setting and characters were carefully integrated with those from These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) and did not take much effort to love. I appreciate the way this author uses dry, sarcastic humor to break up the intensity of the story, without completely changing the overall mood. This was such an intriguing story. After having read Illuminae, Starbound #1 and Starbound #2, it's clear that Kaufman is a favorite author of mine. I ordered Starbound #3 before even finishing #2.

Avatar for reveriesociety_

Forbidden Love is my favorite. There's just something special about reading about two people who should hate their guts but instead want to eat each other's faces.

In This Shattered World, not only are Lee and Flynn in opposite sides of a war, but also, they create other sides.

There's never two sides of anything.


And... That couldn't be more right. I liked how the book explored the fact that sometimes there really isn't a right, or wrong, just third parties. Third parties that influence the so-called two sides. There're always variables, and conflict comes when everybody wants something different. I love it. Because that's exactly how the world is.

Lee Chase is a strong character that could really frustrate me sometimes, but I liked her, and the struggles she faced.

For some reason, I wasn't as won-over as I was after These Broken Stars, but I can't say I didn't enjoy this book. Gorgeous cover again, simple, but powerful writing. And a plot that unfolds itself little by little.

As for the romance, I would've liked more kisses, but I was satisfied by the process, because, they were aware that lay between them was a very nice attraction, and they were connected by their mutual problems. And it takes more than that to make people love each other, but it was enough for them to try to start something. And that's normal. That... That makes sense!

Another point worth taking into account  is the fact that Lee isn't white, ivory, or pale-skinned. But if I'm correct, the book doesn't state she's black either. We only have one sentence that sheds light on the tone of her skin and it's barely there, almost unimportant compared to all the shit the girl is trying to sort out. So diversity, without referring to her skin as mocha, chocolate, or some other fancy simile is one big plus.

Here's to Lee and Flynn, may you save many other worlds and have 2.5 children!


Find this review also at A Writer's Tales

Avatar for cornerfolds

cornerfolds 5 of 5 stars

It took me a really long time to finally get around to reading This Shattered World. I absolutely fell head-over-heels in love with These Broken Stars, so I was a little devastated when I found out that book two centered around two new characters. So... I protested it for awhile, but I couldn't hold out forever. Especially not when everyone was telling me how fantastic it was! I took the plunge.

This is probably the first time I haven't been able to say that book two picks up where book one left off and it's kind of a weird feeling. I still haven't gotten over it! Anyway... This Shattered World tells the story of Jubilee and Flynn, two people on the planet Avon, but on very different sides. It's made clear from the get go that Jubilee is a big ball of badass. Everyone respects here and many fear her. Flynn, on the other hand, is an unknown on her side of the tracks, which is why it's so easy for him to capture the big bad Jubilee Chase. Almost from the beginning these two are going at it in a not great way.

Both the main characters of This Shattered World really intrigued me. It's almost immediately clear that there's something not quite right about Jubilee and I was really interested to find out what the heck it was. Flynn, on the other hand, just didn't seem as ruthless as he tried to act in the beginning. My point is that I wanted to know more about them from the very beginning and I was not disappointed. If there's one thing Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner know how to do, it's create great characters! I loved watching them bicker and grow closer, although I have to admit the romance seemed a little strange in the beginning, though it worked itself out.

Of course, my favorite part of the book was how Tarver and Lilac were incorporated! Everyone told me it would happen and that it would be great. They didn't disappoint! My only complaint is that they didn't hang around longer.

The world of Avon, while totally different than what was created for These Broken Stars, was almost as fascinating (almost). I loved the uncharted feeling of the world in book one, but this one still had its own mystery that I thoroughly enjoyed! The descriptions certainly made me feel like I could clearly see the different locations of the base and the swamps. I especially loved the caves that the rebels hid out in! Ahhh, the rebels...

Plot is something else these authors do amazingly well. The tension between the rebels and the military force was tangible and kept me on the edge of my seat. The atmosphere felt real (as cheesy as that sounds) and I never got bored for a second. Something I enjoyed here was that there was more than one "big bad" and that made it even better! When all the pieces began to fall into place I wasn't totally surprised, but it still made for a fantastic story and left it wide open for book three! The one thing that was really weird for me (and maybe it's because I listened to this on audiobook) was the "voice" in between chapters that told the story of the little girl. I really didn't get it and the voice actor was a little annoying and weird.

While I initially boycotted this book, I'm really glad I gave it a chance because it ended up being almost as awesome as its predecessor (almost). I can't wait for book two since it seems like it's supposed to focus on all four characters from the first two books! I'm so excited to see where they go from here!

Notes on the Audiobook
Like I've already said, the thing I didn't like about this book was the person they chose to do the flashbacks in between chapters. It was weird and annoying. Other than that, I loved both the actors that played Jubilee and Flynn! I'd definitely listen to them again!

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Ezrah 4 of 5 stars
This review first appeared on I Heart Romance & YA

This Shattered World is another story that blew me away! I really LOVED reading about Captain Lee Chase and Avon rebel Flynn Cormac! Plus, imagine that - a kick ass female captain!

Captain Lee Chase has been in the planet Avon for a while. She has not been affected by the fury that seems to take hold of the soldiers assigned to the planet for an extended period of time. She has been assigned to subdue the rebel force that has been the thorn of the soldier's side.

Flynn Cormac, the younger brother of the rebel's leader (who died when he was a kid), does not want violence. He just wants his planet, Avon to progress in the terraforming process. He also found an unknown building that suddenly showed up in the swamp overnight. He captures Lee and the adventure begins!

Read the full review on I Heart Romance & YA

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jnikkir 5 of 5 stars
This review can also be found at my blog, There were books involved...


I don't even know if it's going to be possible for me to form coherent sentences about this book, you guys. I loved it. I loved it so much.

But I'll be honest -- This Shattered World wasn't exactly what I was expecting, in one regard especially. After These Broken Stars, I think I expected This Shattered World to be just as swooony and romance-centric. I won't say flat-out that it wasn't, just that the romance in This Shattered World worked out a lot differently than I expected. And actually, that's one of the things I loved most about it.

But before I get into the romance specifically, I want to deal with a few other things. First off...

The Feels

I live for feels. I want a book that's gonna grab my heart from the first page and not let go until the last. And if there's some heart-crushing going on somewhere in there, all the better. Oh man, I was not disappointed. And the feels aren't even just ship-related (though that was a big part of it). This planet's people are hurting, and I felt it. Nobody on Avon has it easy -- neither the rebel Fianna nor the military stationed there to keep them in check -- and it's a seriously bleak situation all-around.

One of my favorite things about this book was seeing two sides to this conflict. There aren't "good guys" or "bad guys", really. There's the military, who are there to keep the peace; and the Fianna (the rebels), who just want to take control of their own lives and futures on this dismal planet -- which means finding out why Avon's terraforming has stalled, and fixing it so they can become full citizens of a self-sufficient planet.
"We have no sun, no stars, no food or medicine, no power or entertainment for relief, and no one will tell us if it's ever getting any better. They've swatted a fly with a sledgehammer."

eARC, pg 117

The Characters

Flynn Cormac is the somewhat unofficial leader of the Fianna, though others are vying for the position, dissatisfied with how Flynn doesn't want to use excessive violence and start an all-out war between the Fianna and the military. And Captain Jubilee "Lee" Chase is, of course, a captain in the military stationed on Avon. She's been there longer than almost anyone else -- because she's the only one who isn't affected by something called the Fury, which causes soldiers to have episodes during which they become terribly violent, with no memory of it afterwards.

I have to admit, I was skeptical about our main characters going into this. We've got the tough, somewhat jaded military captain who's been on Avon for years. And then we have the freedom fighter who's not really a freedom fighter but who just wants peace for the Fianna. I'm not sure why I was skeptical -- I just was.

BUT, GUYS, YOU SHOULDN'T BE SKEPTICAL. Omg. These characters... omg. I'm not going to do them justice at all if I try to go into tons of details as to why I love them. Really, it boils down to this: I believed them. I found them both to be so realistic, believable, and well-rounded.

Lee wasn't just a strong female character, she was a strong person, and I believed in her strength, because it was so deftly based in her personal history, her emotions, and her way of dealing with everything life has thrown at her. (I think we've established that there are FEELS, right? Lots of feels.)
Watching her in the meager light from the window, I don't know what I would say, except that there's a pain in her words as deep as ours.

eARC, pg 117

Flynn wasn't just a character who wanted to see an end to the fighting and violence -- he 100% stood up for what he believed in. He might've been trying to stop all the violence, but dang it, if you don't call what he was doing fighting for his home and his people, you're crazy. And his heart... oh my gosh his heart is just HUGE, and I just wanted him to end up being happy at the end of all of this.
I can see her struggle despite the dim light; I feel it like my own. Because it is my own. Trodaire. Fianna. Fighters, both of us -- tired of fighting.

eARC, pg 120

The Ship

Okay, now we can talk about the ship. Because guys, THIS SHIP.

I'm just gonna say it. I know we all loved Lilac and Tarver. I still love Lilac and Tarver. I will always love Lilac and Tarver. ...BUT YOU GUYS, JUBILEE AND FLYNN. Ohhhhh, my heart.

However, as I said earlier, this romance was not what I was expecting. If you're expecting swoons on every other page, you're not gonna find that here. What you WILL find is a story of two people wh grow to know each other in these intense situations, and who make such an amazing team, but who are so focused on saving their people, on fighting for what's right, that their relationship has to take the backseat, because hello, priorities. AND I JUST HAVE ALL THE FEELS.
What, did he think I was just going to melt into his arms? Start a tragic and dramatic tale of star-crossed lovers on a war-torn planet?

eARC, pg 125

I'm also totally not sorry for not being able to keep this review capslock-free. Because I just... I just... I can't even.

The Pacing

I promise this is the last thing I have to discuss! But it's important. This book almost 400 pages long. It had the potential to drag. Did it? OH HECK NO. So much happens in this book, from the moment Lee is kidnapped to the very last page when... well, I can't spoil it for you. Let me just make it abundantly clear that there will never be a point at which you go, "Oh, things are slowing down, this is a good place to stop." X_X

In conclusion...

Just... yes. All of the yes. For me, This Shattered World was even better than These Broken Stars. These characters and their situations pulled on my heartstrings (and punched me right in the feels) from beginning to end. The plot and pacing were amazing, and I just... I didn't want this book to end. I cannot wait for book 3 in this series. GAH.


There were books involved...

Avatar for linda_un-conventional-bookworms

Linda 5 of 5 stars
*I received a free ARC of This Shattered World from Disney Hyperion via Netgalley in exchange of an honest and unbiased review*

This Shattered World probably deserves 6 stars! The writing is beautiful, the world-building well done, the character development is so good! There is mystery, fighting, a strong female protagonist, yeah. I'm just a very happy reader who can't wait for more!

This and all my other reviews are originally posted on my blog (un)Conventional Bookviews