Written by: Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Release date: December 1st 2015
Genres: Romance, Sci-Fi, Young Adult
Buy: B&N, Amazon, Book Depository
Add on: Goodreads
** Some spoilers for previous books in this synopsis! **
A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.
Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.
Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.
When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.
When you reach the conclusion to a beloved series, one you’ve followed for years, you always hope it will be great. You hope it will live up to expectations — you hope, you hope, and sometimes… your hopes become reality. This book is that reality. To me, Their Fractured Light was perfect.
For those who don’t know (who are you and why are you here?!), the Starbound trilogy is a series of space-opera companion novels, each focusing on a different couple in the same universe, who are all affected by closely-related outside forces, both those of a political and otherworldly nature… You get hints of a larger plot at work in These Broken Stars; you see things overlapping a bit more and starting to come together in This Shattered World; and finally, in Their Fractured Light… the story finally comes full-circle, and it is pure awesomeness.
But before I get to that — or, I guess, somewhat related to that — I need to talk about a few other things.
One of the best things about this series is the companion-novel setup. Three books, three related plots, three romances. The series tag-line is, “Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.” Well, I was on board with that from book 1, and I never once considered abandoning ship. In any way/shape/form. So lets talk about one of those forms:
New Starbound, new ship…
A new Starbound book has always meant a new dynamic duo, and Gideon and Sofia are nothing if not dynamic. I mean, when an on-site hacker and a girl gifted in deceit and manipulation team up, you know you’re in for a treat — and a bit of a bumpy ride. I shipped these two from the beginning, but as much as I wanted them to just accept that they ~belong together omg~ of course their journey wasn’t so simple. These two had me pulling my hair out in shippy frustration in the best way possible. Their relationship progressed so believably, and I loved it.
(Also, just an FYI, if you’ve read the first two books, you’ve met Sofia before. And Gideon’s connection to our other main characters… well, you’ll have to wait and see, but it pretty much ripped my heart out.)
Which brings me to another important point — all the connections in this book that hearken back to the first two.
This book brings everything full circle in the BEST way.
I can’t even think about all of the incredibly-woven, series-spanning plot and character threads without stopping and going “OMG”. To get into it in detail would be major spoilers, but I do want to touch on it a bit. For example, those between-chapter interludes, like the interview with Tarver in These Broken Stars, and the… well, spoilers, but the dream-like sequences in This Shattered World? In Their Fractured Light, those interludes are freaking MINDBLOWING. I can’t tell you whose perspective they’re from, but once you figure that out, and once you start to see what they’re describing… omg. Just… omg. These interludes were beautiful and brought everything full circle, SO PERFECTLY.
This book is jam-packed with answers — as it should be, it’s the final book in the series. But you learn so much about the Whispers, about LaRoux Industries, about LaRoux himself, about the universe that these characters live in… The story is very much focused in the city of Corinth, but the repercussions of the plot could have consequences throughout their universe, and it’s really, really cool (and terrifying, but also cool).
The action, plot, relationships, and reunions are all balanced so well.
The plot of this book is high-intensity. It felt like there was always something happening — but at the same time, there was plenty of time for characters and relationships and quiet moments as well.
And one of the best thing about Their Fractured Light was seeing all the rest of this cast of characters from the first two books.
For me, the Starbound trilogy is the perfect companion series. These Broken Stars established one couple and an overarching plot. This Shattered World expanded on that plot while introducing a totally different couple, but bringing in the first couple enough to check in. Their Fractured Light focuses on a new couple, and the plot is coming to a climax, so everyone is back, and it’s all handled so flawlessly. All the returning characters get plenty of page-time — no cameos here. But neither do they take away from the stars of this book, Gideon and Sofia.
The way everything comes together in the end… it’s just beautiful.
I know this wasn’t the most specific or details-oriented review — and that’s okay. I don’t want someone reading this and getting too spoiled for the series. If you’ve read the first two books and haven’t gotten to Their Fractured Light yet, let this be your call to action — read this book ASAP. If you haven’t read any of this series yet, let this be your reassurance — each book is amazing on its own, but the series as a whole is ridiculously fantastic.
I’m going to be recommending this trilogy to anyone and everyone who will listen, for all time.