I was little confused by this novella at first, and I think it's because I listened to These Broken Stars on Audio. There is these little inserts at the beginning of each chapter which when read are less dramatic then when listening on Audio. They have a separate guy with a booming voice who does them.
I think after reading this novella, I'm certain that this series is better when you listen on Audio. I am currently listening to the second book in the series, This Shattered World, right now. And, I'm liking it so far. It has the same concept as the first book, just different people doing the narration.
This novella is short, but you get a feel for why the Icarus crashed in the first book. Maybe some of the other stuff that happened will make more sense in future books of this series.