Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive — alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.
Okay, confession time: I know everyone loves this cover – and I like it too – BUT it does look slightly cheesy. I don’t remember why I bought this book initially, but despite the good ratings I expected it to be a lot soppier than it was. There IS a lot of romance, but it develops slowly and there’s bickering and banter, and it’s basically perfect. That’s not all though! I wanted sci-fi, and I was not disappointed. I don’t think the book is very heavy on technical explanations and – due to the fact that most of the book is set on an abandoned planet – there isn’t TONS of worldbuilding, but the stuff there was I liked. I do think that people who aren’t really into sci-fi would enjoy it too.
Meet Lilac and Tarver. Lilac is the richest girl in the known universe and comes with an overly strict father, intimacy issues, and unexpected skills. Tarver is a war hero, known for his daring leadership, but not much else. Like every good romance hero, he has a soft side he hides in a little black notebook. These two are attracted to each other pretty much from the start, but after their first encounter, they don’t like each other much at all. How unfortunate for them that they are the sole survivors of a spaceship crash and have to spend the next couple of weeks with no company but each other – oh, and a couple of wild beasts, mysterious forces and random natural disasters. I enjoyed the slow burn of their relationship, the constant bickering, and the fact that they keep saving each other. Tarver is the one who’s most at home in this situation due to his military training, but Lilac is determined to hold her own, and you (as well as Tarver) can’t help but respect her. She also has kickass mechanic skills, which is always a big, fat plus in my book.
The book is set in a sort of Firefly scenario – humanity has colonized the universe and travel between planets is a common occurrence. We meet the characters as they are aboard the Icarus, a spaceship which travels faster than light. As you might have guessed from the name (seriously, foreshadowing much?), the ship crashes and the rest of the story plays out on a terraformed planet, which seems to have been abandoned. I would have loved to find out more about the galaxy and all its inhabited planets, but as it is, we only get to hear about it via the characters’ memories. I think there might be more about this in the second book though, so I’ll probably be reading that!
What Could Have Been Better
The book dragged a tiiiiny little bit in the middle. I don’t really mind a story that takes its time, but I could see some people having an issue with this. Think Fragments by Dan Wells, but with more dialogue and romance. Speaking of, I enjoyed the romance, but I thought it was a bit much towards the end. Between every chapter there’s a transcript of an interrogation, and while I think that’s a pretty neat idea, it did take a lot of the suspense out of the story. The chapters are told in alternating point of views, and y’all know what I think of that. It’s not done badly or anything, but I did mix up POVs at least twice. The ending also felt a bit open to me, and I’m not sure it was meant to be? Though it might all be resolved in future books, who knows.
The Good Stuff
Did I mention I loved the sci-fi? I almost wish there’d been a little more, but it was good as it was too. There was a twist that I really didn’t see coming and VERY MUCH enjoyed, but I would have liked a little more explanation as to how it all happened. Also, more mechanics skills! The overall writing was very neat, and I was really surprised to see the book is co-written by two authors, because it all felt very coherent.