Like in the first instalment of the Starbound trilogy the book is about two characters that could not be more different on the first glance. On the one hand there is Captain Jubilee ‘Lee’ Chase who is serving in the military on the outpost of Avon. She is there to help keep the rebellious Fianna in check who are not content with the planet’s progress in the terraforming process. One of the rebels is Flynn Cormac, the brother of the former leader of the rebellion who was executed by the military.
The lives of these two cross as Flynn comes into a bar on the military base to ask questions about a discovery he made. There he meets Jubilee and he kidnaps her because he feels this is the only way for him to stay alive after their encounter does not go as planned. Even though he wants to end the war between the military and the Fianna, he does not believe that killing is the best option. Instead he wants to use his prisoner to get a chance to enter negotiations with their oppressors. Of course this is a position not favoured by all the rebels and Flynn has to take a decision that will change the future of everyone.
Being confronted with this situation, both Jubilee and Flynn uncover truths about their lives, the planet they live on and about each other that they would not have if they hadn’t met.
Also, special appearances from characters from the first book These Broken Stars.
I was so looking forward to reading this book because I enjoyed the first work of these two authors. I had to wait a long time because I bought the paperback version which was out about one year later then the hardcover version. At least after all this waiting I can say that it was totally worth to wait. I wanted to read this book first out of the few I bought recently as it is SciFi and I heard a lot of good things about it.
I have to say that it certainly is not my most favourite book but that is not because this one is not spectacular but more because I just fell in love with other books more. There are a few things that just don’t add up for me but these are minor. The plot is very predictable but the message I took from the book makes up for every little flaw I found. As Jubilee remarks in the book, there are not just two sides to one thing meaning that there is always more than e.g. good or bad and everything looks different from another perspective. Sometimes there just has to be somebody who shows us a different way to open our eyes.
As These Broken Stars, this work is written from a first person point of view and the characters we get to follow change in each chapter. The main protagonists have opinions about each other which are made very clear in their chapter and then in the next we find out about the mind-set of the other one.
Expectedly, the characters start hating each other and develop feelings and sympathies for each other and the other side. Those changes happen quite fast and almost too conveniently for the plot but getting to know the protagonists more and more, all this is put in context as Jubilee and Flynn get to have a more developed background story.
The two authors do a wonderful job in waving the background setting into the current situation and each chapter is containing the exact amount of information and feelings needed to be able to empathise with both Jubilee and Flynn. When reading, I always wanted the characters to interact some more, to see more of their behaviour towards each other but not because there was something missing but because the authors did such a wonderful job in providing all those points yet making me hungry for more at the same time. I felt the struggle that both endure during the story of the book is covered well in their emotions and reactions and although it can seem rushed sometimes because the storyline continues I believe that this reflects the pace of a story that deals with an impending war.
Overall I have to say that I liked this book even more than the first one of the Starbound Trilogy and I am not sure if I can wait for the third to be published as a paperback version before I feel the unrestrained need to devour another book of those two wonderful authors. And because it is Science Fiction and the leopard can’t change its spots.