I had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Amie at the Speculative Fiction Festival held at the NSW Writer’s Centre in July, and she was truly down to earth and an inspiration to budding authors. Her novel These Broken Stars, co-authored with Meagan Spooner (author of Skylark), has become a favourite of mind as who doesn’t like a space romance? As a PhD student, I approach every novel with a critical lens (one I hope to grow out of when I finish in less than three weeks as I’m sick of finding note-taking pens in my hair) and what works particularly well are the voices of the two main characters: Lilac and Tarver. Their voices are wonderfully distinct and, even though the novel is in first person, you never doubt which character you are reading. The reason for this is because each character is written by a different author: Amie voices the young battle-hardened soldier Tarver, and Meagan voices the wealthy debutante Lilac. Amie explained the writing process as one of lots of back and forth and, during the characters’ dialogue, they hashed out the conversations in messenger to retain the unique voices. How fun would’ve that been?
These Broken Stars is realistic in its details. What would you do if you ended up far from home, walking thousands of miles, in a pair of high heels? And I love how strong both characters are. Lilac is a true role model for young girls as she’s not afraid to get dirty and soldier on despite being unprepared, and she’s obviously clever! Paired with Tarver, the two compliment each other, taking turns to be the hero and, as a result, surviving when alone they would have failed. On top of all this, there’s mystery, a questioning of sanity, and a haunting that blends seamlessly with science fiction tropes.
It’s logical then that, out of 5 stars, I would give These Broken Stars 5 stars!