Welcome to my stop on the FFBC blog tour for Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell! I am so excited to share my thoughts on this lovely book with you, and give you a chance to win a copy, too! 😁Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody, Joanne Rendell
Series: System Divine #1
Published by Simon Pulse on March 26, 2019
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Netgalley
Goodreads• Amazon • Book Depository
A thief. An officer. A guardian.
Three strangers, one shared destiny . . .
When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. A new life for a wealthy French family and their descendants. But five hundred years later, it’s now a place where an extravagant elite class reigns supreme; where the clouds hide the stars and the poor starve in the streets; where a rebel group, long thought dead, is resurfacing.
Whispers of revolution have begun—a revolution that hinges on three unlikely heroes…
Chatine is a street-savvy thief who will do anything to escape the brutal Regime, including spy on Marcellus, the grandson of the most powerful man on the planet.
Marcellus is an officer—and the son of a renowned traitor. In training to take command of the military, Marcellus begins to doubt the government he’s vowed to serve when his father dies and leaves behind a cryptic message that only one person can read: a girl named Alouette.
Alouette is living in an underground refuge, where she guards and protects the last surviving library on the planet. But a shocking murder will bring Alouette to the surface for the first time in twelve years…and plunge Laterre into chaos.
All three have a role to play in a dangerous game of revolution—and together they will shape the future of a planet.
Power, romance, and destiny collide in this sweeping reimagining of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Misérables.
Confession time! I have never read/seen/consumed Les Misérables in any capacity. I don’t intend to, either. Though it sounds mildly interesting, classics aren’t really my jam, plus the thing is like, 1500 pages and just hard pass okay? That said, the premise is kind of appealing? So when I saw that this book was going to be an iteration on different freaking planets, obviously sign me up!
The Stuff I Liked:
- The world is pretty impressive. I mean, I love that it’s French-based, and for reasons that make sense. Plus it’s so fascinating that no matter how much you think you change things (i.e., moving to another solar system), humans never really change. It’s a pretty crappy world to live in for almost everyone, save the upper echelon. Just like it is now, just like it’s always been. The authors did a great job of translating that feel to this new world.
- The characters are so different, especially when we meet them. They all have wildly different backgrounds and different worldviews because of it. They end up learning a lot by their encounters with each other as well, as they end up seeing things from others’ perspectives.
- For a nearly-600 page book, it didn’t feel long. I was scared, I won’t lie. Like… will this take me 3 weeks to read? But it actually went really quickly! The chapters are short, which I appreciate always, and I think in this case the POV switches really added a lot to the story. Checking in with everyone moved things along, but also allowed the reader to get to know each character really well.
- “Let’s raise a couple more… to the Revolution!” Ah, when are Hamilton lyrics not appropriate, right? But seriously, I love when the underdog rises up! Especially when the odds are stacked against them but you so badly want the arc of justice to bend in their favor. Obviously we don’t know how it will play out, but just getting the anarchy started is good for me!
The Stuff I Didn’t Like:
- My biggest qualm was the predictability. I know you’re thinking “yeah dude, it’s a retelling” but I didn’t know the thing we were retelling, so 🤷♀️. Now, part of it was fun because it made me feel all kinds of smart when I correctly guessed the twists. But then I was a little bummed at the same time because… well, I’d just predicted the twists!
- I would have liked more connection to the characters, especially Allouette. I felt like there was a lot of potential to connect with her, but then I just… didn’t? Marcellus grew on me during the course of the book, but it was Chatine who I enjoyed from the start.
- Hard pass on the romance. I’ll keep it vague for the sake of spoilers, but I just wasn’t into it. At all.
Bottom Line: Such an imaginative take on Les Misérables, it will be very interesting to see where the authors take the next book, as there’s a vast world still to explore!
Win a copy of SKY WITHOUT STARS by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell (US Only)