[489]: This Shattered World

DSC_0922 GOODREADS SUMMARY | Disney Hyperion | ARC, 391 pp. | December 23rd, 2014 | Young Adult | Science Fiction | Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Not exactly a revamped Romeo and Juliet, but the mortal enemies arch is there. It is only in the recent weeks following the release of this book that I’ve had a hankering to finally pull this off my TBR shelf,  and it is all because much of the reviews have touched on the nature of relationship that developed between Jubiliee and Flynn. It is that shove that I needed to get me moving in the right direction. Heck,  we all know that Science Fiction is not my cup of tea, but from my experience with All These Broken Stars, I found that this writing duo is pretty adept in  creating a world and a trope that are both straightforward and technically sound. So I shed my misgivings and decided to plunge right in.

Planet Avon is what you would call a dying planet.  And not because it was a result of a supernova event, but because it was deliberately being killed by a corporation of magnanimous greed. Second book in, I’m still unsure as to Laroux Industry’s primary purpose. One would think that such a powerful corporation should be satisfied with their control of the universe. Apparently, it’s not quite enough. It would make sense if the entity  has an immediate rival. But as far as I can tell, Laroux is driven to expand Science by playing God.

I also like how ugly and wondrous planet Avon was; with its perpetually clouded over sky, dying vegetation, and undrinkable water. It is pretty close to being uninhabitable, but its people would fight for their right to live in such a world, no matter how perilous. And I think that’s what makes it even more wondrous: it’s the thought that its people would die protecting it because it is theirs to defend.

Another aspect of the Sci-fi universe in this series that I like is the “Whispers”; creatures that, well, whispers to the ears of our heroes and heroines. This was not the case in the second book. In the first book, they’re satisfied with using their powers to communicate. Here, they take on a more sinister role: body snatchers that take over a person’s body to do their will.

As far as the romance goes, it’s what everyone claims it to be. Jubilee was a high ranking platoon leader that Flynn, a rebel leader, had taken hostage.  Though their animosity is obvious in some instances, the readers can also see the reluctant respect they harbour towards the other. It is the kind of relationship that developed slowly, and was not the forefront plot device that moved the story along.

Jubilee is the opposite of Lilac in some respects, but both women are strong protagonists in their own ways. While Lilac needs to hide behind the facade of an airhead heiress, Jubilee is upfront about her ruthlessness.

This Shattered World continues the intensity of All These Broken Stars. Much like its predecessor, the ending doesn’t give us a clue as to the plot origin of the next book. Either way, I’m dying to find out what kind of surprises these authors has in store for us.