Review: ‘Their Fractured Light’ by Amie Kaufman and Meagan SpoonerPosted: July 16, 2016
A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.
Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.
Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.
When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide.
I only recently reviewed book two in this series, This Shattered World, so I feel like I’m repeating myself a bit here. However, unlike This Shattered World, which more-or-less stood alone, I think Their Fractured Light is one that would strongly benefit from the backstory in the first two books. That’s because it continues with the meta-plot that was introduced in These Broken Stars and continued in This Shattered World, and brings it to a (imo) satisfying conclusion. Also, the pre-chapter snippets that are a hallmark of this series relate in this book’s case to events in all three.
So, do yourself a favour and read the first two books. I’ll wait. 🙂
Not convinced yet? Ok, I’ll try and keep the rest of this spoiler-light!
In this story we get to see more of two minor characters from the second book, Sofia (Flynn’s friend) and the hacker known as the Knave of Hearts. Again, they are bizarrely young for their skill sets, though I found them both more believable than Tarver and Jubilee, the super-soldiers. I’m not sure why that is, except that I guess social manipulation and hacking are things more easily picked up from a younger age than military combat. (Maybe I’m just being naive?)
I really liked how the two of them complemented one another, despite their huge (and somewhat warranted) mutual distrust. Both are driven by their hatred of Monsieur LaRoux, Lilac’s father and the series villain, and both are very good at manipulating the world around them: people in Sofia’s case and data/computers in Gideon’s. As a couple, I thought they had more chemistry than Flynn and Jubilee did (but possibly not as much as Lilac and Tarver, though it’s been a while since I read the first book now).
Once the other four characters are introduced, the story takes quite a different turn. I found the scenes where all six of them were together a little chaotic — I’d often have to pause and consider which character was doing the talking. That wasn’t a fault of the writing, mind you, just the fact that huge ensemble casts of characters are trickier — especially when they are all so homogeneous in many ways. (Because this is a young adult series, all of the characters are young; I think the oldest, Tarver, would be 20 by this point. Both Tarver and Jubilee are soldiers, and Lilac, Sofia and Flynn are all socially adept — though they apply their skills differently, as a socialite, con artist and diplomat respectively.)
On the subject of con artists, I liked that side of Sofia, and Gideon’s illegal hacking. The fact they weren’t squeaky clean but are still on the side of good (in the sense that they are fighting the greater evil) gave them more depth.
Finally, without going into spoilery details, I can say that I mentioned on my review of the previous book that it didn’t have the same sort of epic, soul-shattering plot twist that These Broken Stars did. Let’s just say that Their Fractured Light makes up for it. In spades.