*Their Fractured Light is the final book in Kaufman and Spooner’s Starbound trilogy which began with These Broken Stars and This Shattered World. This review includes small spoilers for both preceding books.*
Everyone knows about Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase’s infamous Avon Broadcast that aired on year ago. The broadcast did its job of saving their planet. It also was largely discredited much in the way Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen’s own stories of whispers on a far off planet after the crash of the Icarus were quietly ignored.
Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, two teens are working to bring the evils of LaRoux industries to light once and for all.
Gideon Marchant is a hacker who has spent the the last year tracking a woman he thinks can help him bring LaRoux Industries to its knees.
Sofia Quinn left Avon a year ago and since then has worked her way across the galaxy to Corinth waiting for her chance to make LaRoux pay for her father’s death.
When their separate attempts at infiltrating LaRoux Headquarters are thwarted, Gideon and Sofia are thrown together in a frantic escape. These two have no reason to work together but if they can let go of their distrust and the hatred they’ve been harboring for so long, they might be the key to exposing LaRoux’s secrets once and for all in Their Fractured Light (2015) by Aime Kaufman and Meagan Spooner.
Like its predecessors, Their Fractured Light is written in first person narration that alternates between both characters’ (Gideon and Sofia’s) points of view. As the final book in a companion series, this novel introduces new characters and an independent plot–at least theoretically.
In reality, Kaufman and Spooner’s final Starbound book is a disappointing installment that lacks the substance or depth to stand on its own merits. Both Sofia and Gideon are intimately connected to the events at LaRoux Industries and to characters from earlier books. Their pasts and backstories become such a large part of the story that Sofia and Gideon’s present situation pales in comparison.
Compared to the other protagonists in the series, particularly Flynn and Jubilee, Gideon and Sofia fall flat. Their relationship feels forced (remember things start when the two are almost literally thrown together) and lacks any kind of chemistry even before a painfully contrived plot point comes along to make things even more difficult for both characters.
Ultimately Their Fractured Light does wrap up the series after a fashion however after building up to this climactic finish over the course of three books, the resolution felt anti-climactic and not quite as satisfying as it could have been.
Readers who have been faithful fans of the series since the beginning will find a lot to love in Their Fractured Light. Unfortunately, after struggling through These Broken Stars and being wowed by This Broken World, I have to admit that Their Fractured Light was a major letdown for me.
Possible Pairings: Avalon by Mindee Arnett, The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne, Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch, Alienated by Melissa Landers, Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund, A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix, Across the Universe by Beth Revis, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi, Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan, The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick, A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan, Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson