Blog Tour: This Shattered World

I'm really looking forward to sharing my review of This Shattered World with you today as part of the blog tour hosted by The Midnight Garden! Keep an eye out for some special news (and a giveaway) at the end of this post!

Make sure you visit the kickoff post over at The Midnight Garden for other special features and links to other posts on the tour!

This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Release Date ~ December 23, 2014
ISBN13: 9781423171034
e-galley received from publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

After reading (and adoring) These Broken Stars earlier this year, I've basically been sitting around and twiddling my thumbs while waiting for This Shattered World. The second book in the Starbound trilogy features two new protagonists and takes place on a different planet, but it's also different from TBS with slightly different pacing and a distinct storyline. Where TBS was a lonely survival story, TSW is a war story. But Amie and Meagan thoughtfully weave the two books together to create a much larger story.

  1. A rare set of protagonists: 

    Jubilee is a capable, hard-working soldier who's always ready to take the lead and get the job done. In contrast, Flynn is a gracious and brave pacifist. And together they make quite the interesting pair. You can see how well they balance each other out and truly bring out the best qualities in one another. In particular, they're both so conscientious when it comes to their personal roles on Avon, that they regularly think through the consequences of their actions and show incredible maturity. They're such rare types of characters to find in books, that it sets the tone of TSW apart from many others I read.
  2. Fast-paced action:

    Avon is a hostile world with an ongoing battle between the rebels and the military. This is evident from the very first chapter and it sets the stage for the rest of the book. Jubilee and Flynn barely have time to stop and catch their breath, as the secrets on Avon begin to unravel and the discovery of a conspiracy larger than they could have imagined is found. The pacing is even and quick, and it doesn't really end until the book does.
  3. Political science fiction:

    One of the things I've really loved about the Starbound trilogy so far is how well it combines my love for political intrigue and science fiction in books. I love that these books are set on distant, mysterious planets that are both familiar yet strange to me. I love the rippling excitement that comes with the political upheaval taking place on Avon. And the really nice thing about the combination of the two is that it keeps either one from becoming dull - the two merge seamlessly to create a more complex story. 
I like that TSW has light-romance, in the sense that it doesn't take over the rest of the story. Both Flynn and Jubilee are very focused on what they feel they need to accomplish, and they let very little interfere with that purpose. Because of how well this fits in with their characters, the romance feels natural and well-developed. 

I also love the little hints and nods that we find in TSW which will be familiar to those who have read TBS. While I wouldn't say it's necessary to read TBS first, I think readers will better enjoy TSW with the background of TBS. 

My only small issue is that I feel like at some point in the Starbound trilogy, we need some greater reveals as to the overall plot and more knowledge with respect to the world. In TBS, it was less of an issue that the world-building was rather minimal (although it was there to an extent), but in TSW I was more aware at how little development there was in this sense. I still have so many questions about what's going in with LaRoux and how the situation on Avon began. There are small hints, but it seemed like there were a few questions that could have been answered but were swept aside. 

But to be honest, this felt like such a minor issue to me I really don't feel like it majorly detracted from my reading experience in any way! These are great, exciting books that I highly recommend and I love that the newest release didn't disappoint me.

Visit the These Broken Stars website for the latest news on the series and follow the authors on Twitter at @AmieKaufman and @MeaganSpoonerThis Shattered World is available for pre-order (with fun swag!) and will be released in North America on December 23, 2014. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


DVD Review: Burning Questions

I'm a person who wrestles with a number of philosophical (or religious) questions in real life, and in the interest of full disclosure I'm also an open Chrisitan.

I was thrilled when I was offered a chance to review a new DVD documentary entitled "Burning Questions" which wrestles with a number of common, difficult questions about the deeper meaning of life.

With all of that being said, I also consider myself to be somewhat of an intellectual. I'm about to complete my second university degree, and I can appreciate both an intellectual and faith-filled response to these questions.

That is precisely where "Burning Questions" fits in for me. I appreciate the fact that the documentary makes use of a number of different thinkers in this area: it isn't merely restricted to Christian apologists despite being a Christian-focused documentary.

The first video session, entitled "Is there a god?" includes well-known thinkers such as Dr. Peter Atkins (an atheist), Dr. Chrisitan Sinkinson (Christian), Professor Richard Swinburne (Christian), Dr. Anna Robbins (Christian), Rabbi Mendel Kaplan (Jew), Dr. Stephen Law (atheist), Sensei Taigen Henderson (Buddhist), Pandit Roopnauth Sharma (Hindu), and Shabir Ally (Mulsim - who I'm previously famliar with, as he's spoken on The Agenda with Steve Paikan a few times), Dr. Stan Fowler (Christian), and Professor Alister McGrath (Christian).

While "Burning Questions" will have a greater appeal to Christians, it still has a place for those who may be seeking to hear from different perspectives. Even from within a religious perspective, this is an important documentary to hear from because of how it includes a number of different perspectives. It clearly focuses in on the Judeo-Christian God, and offers an explanation as to why they choose to focus on this one interpretation.

Some viewers may benefit from further explanation by way of a primer to explain some of the basic ideas being discussed here; the first session launches into a fairly involves discussion on philosophy about the existence (or lack) of god. Much of it focuses on the identity of god, as perceived by the guest speakers.

DVD set has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  All of my thoughts and opinions here are my own.
Blog Design by eedee design studios