These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

The basics

Title: These Broken Stars

Author: and

Series: Starbound #1

- These Broken Stars (December, 2013)
- This Shattered World (December 2014)
- Their Fractured Light (December 2015)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Read a full summary of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner below. If you can’t remember what happened in These Broken Stars and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

In short

Tarver and Lilac, who belong to two opposite sides of the tracks, end up stranded together on a terraformed planet. They’re forced to work together in order to survive, and slowly go from hating each other, to becoming friends, and then, loving each other. They stumble upon a laboratory owned by LaRoux Industries, which belongs to Lilac’s father, but it is locked. They rig up a bomb to blast into the place. Lilac is caught in the explosion and dies. But the next day, Tarver sees her again, although she’s not completely corporeal. The ethereal beings on the planet have brought her back. Lilac and Tarver crack the code into the locked chamber in the building and send out a distress signal. It’s the ET who help sustain the signal. They are trapped in a dimensional rift full of energy. Tarver jumps into the rift with Lilac, hoping to save her, and bring her back completely. The plan works, and in the process, he also frees the ET. Lilac’s father arrives and tries to break them apart, but fails. And everyone lives happily ever after.

What happened in These Broken Stars?

  • Tarver and Lilac meet aboard the Icarus, in a scene straight out of Titanic. Lilac snubs Tarver even though she likes him because of her over protective father who’s not very kind to boys who get close to Lilac.
  • While the Icarus is crashing, and Lilac is separated from her guards and about to die, Tarver saves her and they get to an escape pod, which Lilac manages to hot wire. They crash land on a terraformed planet that seems to be uninhabited by humans.
  • Their pod is damaged beyond repair, and their unable to send any signal light or beacon to rescuers. To make themselves more visible, they decide to trek to the Icarus’s crash site. Tarver come across another crashed escape pod, with no survivors, and buries them, without showing Lilac the bodies.
  • Few nights later, Lilac wakes up hearing a woman crying out in the distance. They search for the source, but are unable to find anyone, and after a while, the sobbing stops.
  • Tarver and Lilac slowly become friends, and Tarver tells her about his family, and how badly he wants to return to his parents. They discover the planet has a set of artificial moons, seven in all, which they predict are actually orbital mirrors designed to direct more sunlight to the planet.
  • Lilac’s encounters with the whispers become increasingly frequent, but Tarver hears nothing. He fears that she may be losing her mind. She sees the crash victims whom Tarver buried, and thinks she’s being haunted, but Tarver lies to her about them, and she knows he’s lying.
  • They stop for the night in a cave in the mountains. Lilac wakes up suddenly, convinced that they have to leave immediately or else they’d die.She claims that the whispers told her so. Tarver resists, but when she runs with his bag, he’s forced to follow. Just as they clear the entrance of the cave, an avalanche blocks the entrance, trapping most of their supplies inside.
  • When they are almost to the crash site, they both see a vision of Tarver’s house in the valley, exactly as he described it earlier. Tarver believes he’s hallucinating, but Lilac knows that deep down he knows it’s the whispers, and that he has to believe her now. Lilac theorizes that they are extraterrestrial beings who are trying to convey something to them. As they go further, Tarver’s water canteen materializes out of thin air; the same one he lost in the avalanche. He believes that something is out there in the planet.
  • Tarver & Lilac get to the crash site, and explore the Icarus, in the process of which, Tarver cuts his palm and falls sick a few days later. Lilac spends two days searching for the ship’s sick bay, where she finds antibiotics. At her lowest moment, the whispers make a flower appear near her to boost her morale, the same flower that Tarver had given her while they were traveling. Tarver gets better on the third day.
  • They set out to find a place to stay, and the whispers lead them to a building that’s locked up tight. They find a cave nearby for shelter, where they confess their love for each other. Lilac proposes they blow up the entrance to the building explosives. Lilac is caught in the explosion and dies after being pierced by sharpnel.
  • After burying her, Tarver is haunted by her image, presented to him by the whispers. The next day, he sees her again, but this time, she’s for real. The whispers have brought her back, but to be here is torture for her, painful in every sense.
  • They enter the building and find that it was Lilac’s father’s company, LaRoux Industries, which terraformed the planet. The whispers lead them to a locked chamber in the basement, but they dont know the password to open it.
  • When exploring the lab, they find reports of energy based, non corporeal life forms, able to do temporary energy-matter conversion, from which they come to the conclusion that the things the whispers bring back are only temporary. There are also reports of a dimensional rift and of subjects showing telepathic abilities.
  • Lilac figures out the password to the chamber – her name, and broadcasts a distress signal. They also find a hazardous zone with pulsating which is the dimensional rift. The whispers take the form of Tarver’s dead brother, Alec, and come to him. They claim to be extraterrestrial beings who were cut off from their people and kept trapped by the dimensional rift. It is their power that is sustaining the station and the distress signal.
  • Tarver stops the distress signal to save Lilac, but finds that ships in orbit have already picked up on it. Tarver jumps into the dimensional rift with Lilac in his arms, hoping to save her life, since it’s full of energy. The ET beings are freed, and Lilac is saved, and no longer feels like she’s in between life and death.

How did it end?

The ships land and take them aboard, and their soon tranferred to one of Roderick LaRoux’s vessels, where they are thoroughly interrogated and examined. Lilac tells her father that she wont leave Tarver, but he refuses to listen to her, saying that they only needed each other. It’s only when Lilac threatens to expose to the media everything that he did on the planet that he relents.

In the end, we see Tarver and Lilac reunited. [Edit. Thanks, Lauren!] As they’re looking out at the planet that brought them together, it explodes. Lilac’s father blows it up.

anything else

Gleidel: A futuristic gun, with energy blasts and lasers and stuff.

This is a full plot summary of what happened in These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Check out our recap list for more recaps. If you can’t find what you need, you can request a recap from us!

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  • Nice! I bought this book today for $5 dollars: I’d already read it, and it’s fabulous!

  • Helpful recap! Tho at the very end that planet explodes. Blown up by Lilac’s father.

  • Caila says:

    Very helpful, I haven’t read this book for over a year and didn’t remember the details of this book but I still wanted to continue on with the next book.

  • Julie Niblett says:

    Thank you! I’m listening to the third book and couldn’t remember details of the first books. I’m still confused by the ending though. Lilac is sort of but not really dead, and the rift saves her life to make her not dead?

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