After reading the cover blurb, I was expecting the story to read very much like the Titanic disaster. While the starship that Lilac and Tarver are on is very reminiscent of the Titanic (class divisions, opulence, lifeboat-like escape pods), the rest of the story moves forward into uncharted territory and is not just a regurgitation of history.
Once off of the Icarus, Lilac and Tarver must together face an unknown planet and rely on each other to survive. This requires both protagonists to rethink their preconceived notions of one another. Tarver struggles with conflicting feelings toward Lilac, while trying to move toward what they both think will be their salvation. Lilac starts out as the epitome of the richest heiress in the universe, but as she and Tarver move forward, a strong, intelligent, and thoughtful woman emerges.
Tarver and Lilac’s relationship is what made this book, for me. They both find each other highly frustrating at times, but a love develops in spite of their situation. That’s pretty realistic to me, folks. Even though the story only takes place during a short span of time, I thoroughly enjoyed watching both of them grow and evolve together.
Each chapter alternates between Lilac and Tarver; the authors both gave their characters distinctive voices and emotions. The writing styles meshed together well and read very smoothly.
I thought this book was a great sci-fi romance, with a healthy dose of suspense and mystery. The romance between Lilac and Tarver was not overly ooey-gooey; it was mostly believable and highly enjoyable to watch as it unfolded. The terraformed planet that they land on was an interesting world, even though it initially seems abandoned. I f0und myself itching to find out what the heck the Whispers were and what had happened to this planet…there was a little creepiness here and there, which made the pacing of the story even better. The events toward the end of the book made my heart ache and kept me reading late into the night – I had to find out what would happen to L & T. I’d also like to say that I am glad to finally read a YA series book that will not pointlessly drag its characters forward. The next installment in this series takes place in the same world, but will involve entirely new characters. I know a lot of people love Lilac and Tarver and want moremoremore!, but I am happy to see their story end where it did. It leaves their future up to the reader’s imagination.
The only thing in this story that bothered me was Lilac’s return. I felt that it was addressed a little choppily. I had a hard time understanding just how she was able to transition from being made of energy (thanks Whispers!) to actually being resurrected as herself. Maybe more detail on this point would bog down the story, but I thought that one page of “oh, I’m in darkness, I see all…yadah yadah…I’m suddenly alive again” was not quite enough.
4 out of 5 stars