Monday, January 12, 2015

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (Starbound book 2)

SPOILER ALERT! This Shattered World is a companion novel to the first book in the series, These Broken Stars. Readers of the first book will see references to Lilac and Tarver but this book can be enjoyed without having read the first book but when they are finished with this book, they will want to go back and read the first one.

Even the new recruits to Avon know that Captain Jubilee Chase, aka Stone-faced Chase by her platoon and don't call her Jubilee, isn't at Molly Malone's for the guys. At eighteen, Lee has taken herself off of the market. But while sitting at the bar one day, she sees an incredibly handsome yet oddly familiar guy staring at her in the mirror behind the bar, just like she has been checking him out. He comes over to sit next to her and the two begin flirting. Her suspicions about whether or not he is a new recruit are proven when while flirting with him he calls her Jubilee. He tries to buy her drink and leave because he knows that she is suspicious. She stops him and continues to flirt while attempting to figure out who he is. He slips up when he refers to her as Captain Chase and Lee drops all pretense. With her hand still on his arm, she is tells him that they are going to HQ and chat. Suddenly, he has a gun digging into her ribs and she notices his tattoo peeking out of his jacket sleeve that detonates him as a local. He tells her that all he wanted to do was buy her drink and leave. Lee notices her platoon but they make an effort not to look at their commander, thinking she has finally picked up a guy. He tells her to leave her gun behind. No one in the bar will look at them. As they walk out the door, her platoon begins to make catcalls. Knowing that she is being carried off by a rebel, her troops will wish in the morning that they had stopped by the laps she will make them run. Once in the alley, Lee realizes that as a military officer captured by a rebel, she won't see tomorrow. Using the plastic sword from her drink that she swiped when she left her gun behind, Lee jabs it into the rebel's thigh and breaks it off.

Flynn is in pain and momentarily loses his grip on the captain. A gunshot rings out in the scuffle between the two and Flynn realizes it came from his gun. Jubilee is down in the mud and as he reaches for her, she knocks him off balance. They grapple for the weapon but he eventually recovers. It seems as if the captain's wound was just a graze. He walks her to the fence where he entered the base from the swamp. Flynn needed information about the secret facility he stumbled on just a few hours earlier. The new recruits didn't have that kind of security clearance, but "Avon's most notorious soldier" would. As "Fianna's biggest pacifist", he is determined to know what the plans are for it. Reaching his flat bottomed boat in the swamp, Flynn renders her unconscious by using the toxic gas fumes his people are forced to use. She looks at him furiously before blacking out. Flynn knows his desperate move has cost him. His people would welcome her head on a platter but if the captain realizes who Flynn's sister is, he won't be safe anywhere. Either way, someone will probably end up dead so Flynn must act fast.

When she wakes up, Flynn asks Jubliee about the base. She really knows nothing about it and thinks he is making it up. He is just looking for a way to end the war. But first, Flynn wants to know why Terra Dynamics would build the facility. He is hoping to find some answers as to why Avon is generations behind on it's terraforming schedule. He doesn't expect a hired gun like Jubilee to care. Biting down her anger, Jubilee asks why he thinks that, what could be gained from not making a profit on Avon. Now it’s citizens have no rights and aren't recognized by the Galactic Council. She thinks his reasoning is off but why is no one truly investing, he counters. Jubilee doesn't answer but does considers his reasoning.

After paddling through the swamp, Flynn arrives at a large island. Getting out, the two begin walking along the shore. It's not long before he stops, confused and a little annoyed. He swears that this is the spot where he saw the building but nothing is there. Jubilee begins to feel fuzzy and wonders why she is still affected by the fumes. She sees a green light and stumbles. Flynn doesn't see it. Suddenly the fog clears and an entire building surrounded by a fence briefly flashes into existence. She sees a man with a mask on looking her way. She drops to her hands and knees coughing and in pain. She looks and the building is gone but something sharp is digging into her palm. Flynn turns around and thinks she is faking. Shaking her shoulder, he has the gun drawn. Jubilee puts the object she found in her boot and Flynn goes to get her some water. She begins screaming that he has drugged her. Flynn shakes her by the shoulders and she realizes that he has dropped the gun. She goes for it and he wants to know why she can't let it rest. Flynn places the gun in his pants. Jubilee reaches for him as the blackness threatens to overtake her. The last thing she remembers is being carried by Flynn.

What is going on with the terraforming on Avon? Why has the building disappeared and what is its purpose? How will Flynn keep Jubilee safe from his people? What did his sister do that worries Flynn when it comes to Jubilee? Will the two work together or against each other? Initially attracted to each, what happens when the two finally act on it?

Book three will be published in 2015.

Visit Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s website.

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