- Release Date: December 10th 2013 (US)
- Pages: 374
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Traveling through hyperspace the cruise ship Icarus is supposed to be invincible. Carrying some of the richest and most noble people in the galaxy, nobody expects it to be pulled out of hyperspace. The violent crash leaves two young passengers, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux stranded on a mysterious deserted planet that tests their will to survive in a situation that feels hopeless.
The story is told in the first person from both Tarver and Lilac’s point of view. Between each chapter, there are two or three lines from someone interviewing Tarver after the wreck, which adds some interesting tension to the story. We don’t know who Tarver is talking to and it also leaves Lilac’s fate as kind of a mystery.
Tarver and Lilac are no ordinary passengers though. Tarver is a media sensation as the poor boy who became a war hero. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe and owner of LaRoux Industries, the company the built the Icarus.
There is definitely a romance that develops between Lilac and Tarver, but Kaufman and Spooner subvert a lot of the more popular YA tropes to get to that romance. There is no instalove between these two, in fact they spend most of the book genuinely disliking each other and only through their need to survive do they learn each others value and how neither is what they seem
This book gets compared to the Titanic film and it’s an appropriate comparison for a lot or reasons; the rich girl (who is also a redhead) meets the lower class boy on a ship that crashes even though it was thought indestructible. But all that happens in the first chapter or so and the rest of the novel is really more of a survivalist story as the characters are trudging across a barren and empty planet. This is one of the main reasons this book wasn’t a 4 star for me. I just can’t get into the survivalist and forced isolation from society’s storylines.
There are a few flashbacks that break up the straight forward narrative and gives the readers insight into the type of world the characters live in. However, I still found myself wanting to know more about this world, like does everyone live on one planet? How exactly does interdimensional travel work and how does Earth fit into this?
As the story gets to its climax there are a few twists and plot elements thrown in, but they seemed to be setting up for something in the future and didn’t really advance the plot of this novel.
This is the first in a three-part series and this series is interesting because unlike most YA series, each book will be about different characters but with some of the same plot elements. I think I will continue on with the sequel, This Shattered World, because the description is giving me Legend vibes as well as to see how it will interplay with this book.
I’m a lifelong reader who started blogging about YA books in 2011 but now I read in just about every genre! I love YA coming of age stories, compelling memoirs and genre bending SFF. You can find me talking all things romance at Romance and Sensibility.