Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Me on This Shattered World
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Release Date: December 23, 2014
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.
This Shattered World is dangerous, secretive, and thought-provoking. This is the story of a soldier and a rebel both fighting for what they believe in, both caught up in a battle neither ever saw coming, Both uncovering a secret that could change everything.
Jubilee is a soldier through and through. Hard, unforgiving, skilled. It's been trained into her since she joined up, and even before, with the shadows in her past. She doesn't really let herself hope for much beyond surviving and one day dying gloriously. Flynn is compassion, reason. He's a rebel in that he's fighting back but he's willing to talk, to put down his weapons and actually talk, even if most on his side believe the time for talk is over. They're on different sides of the same battle, but then they end up on the same side of a new battle and have to fight their previous allies in order to survive. It tests them, their strength in their beliefs and their shaky trust in each other.
Yes, this is science fiction, and yes, this couple's love story is hard and tragic, but as I read it I saw something else. I saw the colonists of Avon tired of being ignored, of not having questions answered, of not having access to health care and education for their children. I saw them fighting for what they believe in, fighting for the right to survive. Fighting to be recognized as human beings, as valid and important as anyone else. This group of colonists, protecting the planet they've called theirs for decades, deserves the same amount of respect and acknowledgement as a man with millions upon millions of dollars at his disposal who is quite possibly using his power and influence for nefarious purposes. It sounds so familiar. The number of parallels to modern day and current events I've seen in YA, especially in futuristic dystopias and science fiction, is growing. It makes me wonder if we're caught in a never-ending cycle of despair and hope. That we will spend years, decades, centuries, alternating between being divided and united.
Where These Broken Stars was isolated, focused for the most part of Lilac and Tarver, this feel so much more open and so much more dangerous. It's still about Jubilee and Flynn, their decisions, their crises, their impossible battles, but it's also about more. It's about everyone on Avon and their chances of survival. And it's about the whispers. If you liked the first book, odds are you'll enjoy this one while lamenting the wait for the third.
(I received a e-galley of this title to review from Disney Book Group through NetGalley.)