These Broken Stars (These Broken Stars No.1) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Allen & Unwin, 2013
Aboard the luxury spaceliner Icarus, flagship of LaRoux Industries and carrier of over fifty thousand passengers, Tarver Merendsen’s status as war hero of the hour makes him a curiosity. An amusement to the idle elite, trotted out at parties for the publicity, he just wants to be left alone. This is the world Lilac LaRoux was born to rule – but her glittering life is much more fragile, and destructive, than it looks. When disaster strikes the Icarus, Tarver and Lilac must rely upon each other to survive…but that will be harder than they ever imagined.
I was worried that this book would draw on a set of tropes I’m deeply averse to, but Lilac is delightfully competent in her sphere and just because her skills don’t overlap much with Tarver’s does not make them undervalued by the narrative. Given that most of the story rests on just these two characters, it keeps moving at an excellent pace. I found some of the explanations at the end much too vague, but this is the first book in a series. It continues with This Shattered World.