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.
I really liked this second installment, but not as much as I liked These Broken Stars, which sidelined me in how awesome it turned out to be. I can’t really put my finger on what’s keeping me from full out loving this (I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads, it’s more of a 3.5, there’s just something about it making me not want to give it the last half a star to even it out with its predecessor). Honestly, I think it’s the fact that Flynn keeps going back got the military base and almost getting caught – though it’s something that keeps the story moving forward, and is needed to keep the characters together, and shows his dedication to the cause; it just seems forced at times.
I really appreciated how Flynn and Jubilee never say they love each other. They are thrown together under very harsh circumstances, their “people” are fighting each other, they both fight internally with their mutual attraction, and it’s hard for them to look past the general term of “enemy” to look at the nuances keeping the groups separated. It’s very complex and a more realistic take on relationships (which was one of the reasons I loved the first book) than you see a lot in YA/NA books (though I feel like intsa-love has been fading recently, maybe I’ve just been choosing good books).
I loved that the authors wove Tarver and Lilac into the story! Jubilee had been giving hints throughout the story, but it didn’t hit me until Tarver’s name was actually said, and it made me so happy! It’s really fun to see how the other characters you fell in love with are doing down the road when reading series like this that don’t follow the same protagonists (and it was really fun to see how Lilac is still so awesome at playing parts and making people see her in different lights). The way the whispers were incorporated was also great, and I expected it, but it was interesting to see another side of them and how far-reaching LaRoux Industries is, I have no idea what is going to happen in the last book, but I can’t wait to see.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this; the civil war going on the planet seems kind of forced (only as a way to move the story along and the characters together) until the end when we see just how much of it was caused by LRI. I think I’ll like it more the second go around.