Book Two in the Broken Moon series:
Three months have passed since the events of The Star Host, and Ren is living aboard the Star Stream under the watchful eyes of the Phoenix Corps. Plagued by vivid nightmares that ravage the ship in his sleep, he struggles to prove he isn’t a threat and fears he has traded one captor for another. His relationship with Asher, whose efforts to balance his personal loyalty to Ren with his professional duties to the Corps are failing, fractures.
Adrift without an anchor, Ren must return to his home planet of Erden if he has any chance of reversing his dangerous descent into madness. There, he hopes to search for his missing brother and salvage his relationship with Asher. What he finds is knowledge that puts everyone’s allegiance to the test.
This story was wonderful! I was a bit thrown at first because the end of Star Host had so much potential for Asher and Ren and headed towards a happily ever after. They’re at odds through most of his story and I was a little sad at first. However I quickly realized there were some major reasons and huge things going on that affect their relationship.
Ren was so lost in this story. He struggled with his power and how it defined him. Both to himself and to others. He was missing his rock, his anchor, in this story. You could tell it deeply mattered to Ren to be adrift like that. However he had so much growth in this book. He figured out who he was as a person and as a star host. He worked to decide what he wanted in life and how to get it. I loved the times he stuck up for himself against those around him. His inner strength, outside of his star, shined through. He is a powerful human with having a star inside him. But he also has a strength that comes from his character and his conviction to take care of those around him. I’m eager to see how he grows in the next book.
Asher hurt my heart in this book. He was so broken throughout the story. He just wanted to do the right thing and ensure Ren was taken care of. Even if he went about it the wrong way from time to time. We only see his emotions and reasoning from Ren’s point of view. However we can figure out so much by reading between the lines and by the peeks we get when Ren is in the systems inadvertently spying. Asher gives everything for Ren and it’s bittersweet to see. I hate how his carefully constructed world view is shattered in this book. I desperately want to know what he gave at the end. I can’t wait to see how the events right at the end of this book affect Asher and his reactions in the next book.
The storyline pulled me in and once it had my attention, it held on until the very last page. If course I pretty much yelled at the end of the book because I desperately need to know what happens next. I adore Ms. Luken’s world and the characters in it. I’m deeply fascinated in how the political atmosphere within the world is going to wind up by the end of the series. This book gave us so much more world building and it is phenomenal! We get a deeper look at Phoenix Corps and Vos, plus how their interactions affect everyone else. I want to know more and how the political climate changes because of what happened right at the end of this book.
Ren and Asher’s relationship is very different from Star Host. You can still feel their affection for each other and see it grow and evolve. They still want to be together as a couple and they still want to finish falling in love with each other. They’re just not there yet. All of the obstacles in their path and the emotions they’re working on have to be dealt with first. I still hold out so much hope for these two. They’re going to be amazingly beautiful when they work out how to be together. I’m just not sure how many more books it’ll take them to get there.
Four and a half
I’m very excited to have Ren stop by today. He’s here to talk about what’s in store for his future. In five years time he’s got some wonderful things he hopes to have happened. Read and enjoy!
Wow. Five years from now? I’m lucky if I can think about five minutes from now. But I’ll try. In five years, I hope I’m with my brother, Liam. I hope I’ve found him and he and I are together again. I hope we’re on a drift together or have found a safe place on a secluded planet. I hope he’s happy and understands why we can’t go back to our home planet.
I hope Asher is with us too. I don’t think he’d want to be stuck on a planet, so if he’s with us then we’ll be on a drift for sure. By then, I hope I have my power under control. I’m not doing well with it right now—when I have nightmares I unconsciously enter the ship and accidentally try to kill the crew. That’s… that’s not good. I know it’s not good. I’m working on it. Asher knows it too. I know sometimes it doesn’t seem like it, but I always want to be with Asher. He’s the reason I’ve come as far as I have. I don’t want to think of my life without him.
In five years, I hope the conflict between the Phoenix Corps and Baron Vos is finished. I don’t know what I want to happen with that, whose side to be on, or what might happen to the cluster depending on the outcome. I just know I don’t want to be a part of it. I won’t be a weapon for either side. I want to be far away. I want my family safe.
In five years, I hope my found family – the crew of the Star Stream and Jakob – are happy and have achieved their dreams or are working on achieving their dreams. Jakob wants to find Sorcha and I hope he does. Rowan wants to continue her life without the involvement of the Corps. I think she’ll be able to do so once I’m gone.
In five years, I want to be happy too. I hope I can be. I don’t know. The star inside me might burn me up from the inside or I might be in a Phoenix Corps prison. I hope not.
I hope I’m free.
Ren sighed. Asher wanted to talk, and Ren’s insides ached with a fierce loneliness he hadn’t experienced since the first night in the cell of the Baron’s citadel. He didn’t want Asher’s words or his pity. And he didn’t want to relive the details of the nightmare, which had sent him twisting in his sheets and crawling across the floor. The sense memories clung to him, like cobwebs whose phantom threads, fluttery and strange and stubborn, brushed against his skin. The strands were infinite; they touched the deep places of Ren’s consciousness and burrowed down to his marrow to pull out the things that terrified him most.
He didn’t want to share the nightmare, but Asher’s flat countenance and sure gaze couldn’t hide his worry. It flashed in his eyes and ran in shaky tremors down the length of his crossed arms, as if he hugged himself to keep in his concerns and not as a defense to reflect whatever Ren had to throw at him.
Ren bent his knees, propped his arm up, and allowed his fingertips to dangle. Sweat flattened his hair against his temples. He regarded Asher coolly as Asher sat on the edge of Ren’s bunk.
“Do you remember when we went dancing?”
Asher blinked at the non-sequitur. “On Mykonos?”
Rowan had taken them dancing in a place with loud music and rotating lights. The beat had vibrated through Ren’s boots. “I had never been dancing like that before.”
Asher raised an eyebrow. “You weren’t bad. Well, not as bad as Jakob.”
“I liked the slow dance.” Asher had grabbed Ren in his arms and pulled him to the dance floor. They’d laughed and moved and all Ren’s worries had dissolved in happiness and the rhythm of the music. “I liked being with you. With the crew. I miss that.”
“We’re here now, Ren.”
He shook his head. “No. You’re not. It’s different now.”
“It doesn’t have to be.”
Ren looked away.
“Ren, you’re not okay,” he said flatly.
“No. I’m not, but I didn’t feel like broadcasting it.”
“It’s a little late for that,” Asher said softly. Ren’s stomach twisted. Asher had all but confirmed his latest nightmare had played on the vid screens. The crew had seen what Ren couldn’t remember, didn’t want to remember. “You’re getting worse. And they know it.”
Ren twisted his lips. “I’m aware the crew already knows. Pen can’t lie for anything.”
“Not them. The Corps.”
Ren rested his head on his knees. “You told her. You threw me to the wolves.”
“I had to.”
“Why? Do you want me to leave? Be locked away?”
“Stars, Ren. You know I don’t want that.”
“I don’t know what you want, to be honest. I don’t understand why you hold allegiance to them at all.”
“Because I have to. I promised five years.”
“You and your promises,” Ren said bitterly. That was loyalty Ren couldn’t understand, not after what the Corps had done to Asher, not after having left him for a year to rot in a cell on what they called a backwater planet. But Ren was beginning to realize there were things he would never understand and maybe wasn’t meant to.
“And I promised I’d keep you safe. Any way I could. This is the only way. Don’t you understand that?”
Ren felt the slight touch of Asher’s fingertips across the back of his hand. His star sparked and sought out the mechanism in Asher’s shoulder instinctually.
“There’s a fine line between safety and captivity.”
F.T. Lukens is an author of Young Adult ction who got her start by placing second out of ten thousand entries in a fan community writing contest. A sci- enthusiast, F.T. loves Star Trek and Fire y and is a longtime member of her college’s science- ction club. She holds degrees in Psychology and English Literature and has a love of cheesy television shows, superhero movies, and writing. F.T. lives in North Carolina with her husband, three kids, and three cats.
Her first novel in the Broken Moon series, The Star Host, was published by Duet Books in 2016.
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