"Titanic in space". This was what it was being touted as. No wonder I showed the least possible interest in this book when everyone was busy fangirling about it on Twitter. Marie Lu (for those of you who just got back to civilization, she's the author of the Legend series) admitted she was a fan when she devoted a blog post to it. And I ended up with this book anyway so I thought what the hell, I'll just read it. I was fully prepared to hate it. I have a thing against the romance genre. Like I explained it to a friend of mine, I dont want the lovey-dovey things to be the main dish, just an essential ingredient in the meal, without which the whole thing is a huge flop. I don't want the romance to be a book in itself. The way everyone was talking, I figured this was purely I'm-swooning-over-them material, especially after I saw the cover, so I wasn't all, like, I-NEED-THIS-NOW-TO-SURVIVE. Or anywhere close.
Boy, was I wrong.
Well, yeah, basically, it is the story of two people who fall in love when they are stranded on a partially terraformed planet after their ship (that assumes the role of Titanic) encounters a rift in hyperspace (don't know what I'm talking about? Read the book). The End. Starcrossed lovers? Check. Irresistible setting? Check. The traditional fighting-before-falling-in-love phase? Check. Again, the classic symptoms of a romance novel. But I wouldn't peg it as one anyway.
It also tells the story of a man/boy who is a decorated soldier but because he does not have the family to fit his profile, he's not good enough for the "bright lights" society. Sure, the cameras love him, but wherever he goes, he's reminded that his social status is purely temporary, not inherited. It also tells us about the girl who is the daughter of the richest man in galaxy but isn't allowed to want what she really wants. Then they get stuck on this planet and try to survive. He handles the Survival Skills department, she handles the Technical department. They come across things that scare them out of their minds, and although I'm not an expert to judge, I think the survival/post-trauma phase was really well written. And I liked the what-should-I-call-it?-epigraphs? I thought it was an interesting way to write them.
First of all, anything with physics in it makes me go weak in the knees (but I steer clear from mainstream sci-fi - go figure). The talk about inter-dimensional travel and hyperspace, upped my enthusiasm to read this book. Secondly, the character development had a pace that wasn't too fast or unbearably slow - it wasn't unrealistic. And lastly there is the that, which if I disclose it, would make you accuse me of treating you to spoilers.
Maybe it's only because it's the first book in this series, but there isn't a HUGE plot or anything. One thing though. Lilac is a total physics/electronics geek but she didn't know that 'water straight from the clouds' is hygenic. I mean, HELLO, a fifth-grader knows everything about the water cycle. And sometime after they've crashed, Tarver wakes up and says it's "a little after midnight". How would he know what time it is in a planet he's never set foot before, especially with all the faster-than-light traveling that took place? And I really don't know how they could have seen Icarus self-destruct in space. I don't think standing on a hill qualifies you to see things like that since space-time is warped. (Excuse my geeking out here.)
It's worth a read anyway.
VERDICT: 3 stars (sorry fans, please don't kill me, I'm a total bee-yatch when it comes to rating a book)