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Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

Young adult

Sky Without Stars

by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

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Quick Take

A revolution is brewing on the planet Laterre in this Les Mis retelling set in outer space.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, 400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Love_Triangle

    Love triangle

  • Illustrated icon, First_in_Series

    First in series

  • Illustrated icon, Based_on_a_Classic

    Based on a classic

Synopsis

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.

Why I love it

One of the official hashtags for this book is #LesMisInSpace, and while that’s indeed the premise of the story, Sky Without Stars is so much more. It’s an epic sci-fi reimagining of Les Misérables, unexpected and carefully crafted, complete with cyborg police inspectors, prison planets, and a revolution simmering behind the scenes.

The story follows three main characters, who spend the course of this book (the first in a trilogy) developing into key players in the oncoming revolution. There’s Chatine, a streetwise thief who disguises herself as a boy in her quest to escape the slums of her planet; Marcellus, a naïve and privileged military officer trying to repress memories of his father, a convicted revolutionary; and Alouette, a sheltered young woman called upon to defend the planet’s last remaining library and to spread the seeds of revolution.

Despite its length, I flew through this book, diving deeper and deeper into the world Brody and Rendell have built. At first I tried predicting what would happen next, judging how closely the book would align with the original story—but some of the highest praise I can give this book is that very quickly, I forgot that I was reading a retelling of Les Mis at all. The world, plot, and characters—some wealthy, some poverty-stricken, some evil, and some innocent—are rich and strong enough to stand on their own. I can’t wait to see what happens next in this series.

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Young adult
View all
Ruthless Vows
The Revenant Games
What the River Knows
As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow
Dragonfruit
Gwen & Art Are Not in Love
Divine Rivals
Legendborn
Foul Lady Fortune
Anna K Away
A Wilderness of Stars
Firekeeper's Daughter
Girl, Serpent, Thorn
Warrior Girl Unearthed
Bloodmarked
Star Daughter
Not So Pure and Simple
Throw Like a Girl
The Queen of Nothing
On the Come Up
Wayward Son
Anna K
The Rest of the Story
With the Fire on High
The Red Scrolls of Magic
This Time Will Be Different
Yes No Maybe So
The Gilded Wolves
Permanent Record
Wicked Saints
Dangerous Alliance
The Sound of Stars
All the Stars and Teeth
Where the World Ends
When the Stars Lead to You
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
The Girl the Sea Gave Back
Saving Zoë
Hello Girls
Mind Games
Storm and Fury
There's Something About Sweetie
Again, But Better
We Hunt the Flame
Sky Without Stars
You'd Be Mine
Opposite of Always
The Field Guide to the North American Teenager
Enchantée
The Astonishing Color of After
Top Ten
Little & Lion
The Impossible Fortress
Girls in the Moon
You Will Know Me