By Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
(Real Rating 3.5)
So, I have been in a serious reading slump lately and it took me forever and a half to read this. I read the first 30% or so a few days ago, and did not pick it back up until recently, and it was great. I am so glad I finished this.
First, let me just say that this book was not at all what had expected. There were so many twists and turns, and so many things that I did not see coming. I will not go into details for those things, I will not even mention them again and let you all see when you read it.
This epic space opera was beautifully written. The prose was wonderfully descriptive without being annoying, and the flow of the story and the two POV’s was expertly done. I have not read very many co-authored books, and whenever I do I try to figure out when one author writes instead of the other, finding the cracks in the writing. Thankfully, I found none, and it seems that any book that Amie Kaufman helps to create will be good.
The novel was packed with mystery and action and edge of your seat suspense as the two characters, Tarver and Lilac, trek through a desolated alien planet. Through this, their relationship grows in a slow, and organic way. It builds and builds, and the two form a very tight bond that, being the only two people on the planet, is very difficult to break.
The characters were great. I loved the two characters both together, and individually. They have been thrown into a difficult situation and are making the best of them, trying to survive. They are real, they have their ups and downs, they are relatable, they are likable.
Admittedly, there were moments, especially in the beginning, that Lilac was very annoying. She was the very image of damsel in distress. Honestly, that was understandable. She is a pampered, spoiled heiress who just crash landed on a deserted planet with a man she does not know. So, yes, it was understandable, but it was also annoying at first, but bear with her for it does get better and Lilac becomes a much more interesting character than she first lets on.
Then there was Tarver, just your typical 18-year-old, decorated war hero, who happens to know everything about surviving on a foreign, deserted planet. Because…of course. That is why. Still, despite this, I still enjoyed Tarver’s story because in spite of it all, there was a sense of humanness to him. He was never just a macho man soldier who could solve all the world’s problems. He was flawed, and good, and like Lilac, trying to deal with a difficult situation.
In the end, I enjoyed this novel. The reasons that it is not higher in rating is because, first, I could not fully jump back into it after that slump induced gap I took while reading. Second, there were many things that I feel were left unexplained, many major plot devices and other scientific things that were not fully shown to the audience, and that annoyed me. I have so many questions.