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All booksYoung adultSky Without Stars
Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell
Young adult

Sky Without Stars

by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell

Quick take

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

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LoveTriangle

    Love triangle

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Series

    First in series

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_BasedOnAClassic

    Based on a classic

Why I love it

Lily Philpott
@lilyphilpott

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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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.

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Preview

Check out a preview of Sky Without Stars.

Member thoughts

All (204)
All (204)
Love (105)
Like (81)
Dislike (18)
222 ratings
  • 47% Love
  • 36% Like
  • 8% Dislike
  • Florence, AZ

    I’ve never read Les Misérables and I don’t plan to, so I don’t know how the story compares. That being said, I enjoyed the story and the multiple POVs. I was really immersed in the world building.

  • Princeton, MN

    I really wish this book would be turned into a movie. I loved every minute of this story. I had all sorts of emotions reading this book. I actually fell in love with this book and could not put it down

  • Phoenix, AZ

    This book was one of the most enjoyable books I have read all year long. I would agree that the world building was excellent and the comparisons/contrasts to Les Miserables wonderful. Read it again!

  • Austin, TX

    Four words: Les Mis, in space. I will admit that it was hard to get into at first, because the alternating chapters can be jarring, but eventually you get sucked DEEP into this fully-realized universe

  • Houston, TX

    Cinder meets Les Miserables. This book has everything I wanted plus all of the things I didn't think to ask for. Discovering all the connections to LM--I'm getting butterflies just remembering. Love.

  • Shickshinny, PA

    A throughly enjoyable read. The world building was phenomenal. The character development was top notch. I found myself drawn in and experiencing everything along w/ the characters! Bring on book 2!

  • Pearisburg, VA

    A great and different retelling of Les Miserables. The world building was great though the book went dry a few times. Let it be known I'm team Chatine and Marcellus and can't wait for the next book

  • Scottsdale, AZ

    I loved the multiple povs. The world created was phenomenal, they felt so real. Heartbreaking but hopeful. I can’t wait for book 2! Let’s be real.. I can’t wait for book 3 too! Lol

  • Crestview, FL

    I loved this book! It kept me on the edge of my seat. What a great story line. I can't imagine what is going to be in the next book, but I can't wait to get my hands on it.

  • Rolla, MO

    Just like most reviews referenced, this books is Les Miserables...in space. It also pays homage to the inspired book with a ton of easter eggs. Looking forward to Book 2!

  • Brainerd, MN

    This book is quite long, but moves at a snappy pace and keeps you rooting for all of the main characters. It’s perfect for someone who loves sci-fi and musical theater.

  • Maple Valley, WA

    Sci-fi is a perfect vehicle for Les Miserables. I loved the world, the characters, and the way the book was adapted from the source material. One of my faves of 2019!

  • New York, NY

    I havent been able to shut up about this book since I got it, honestly. It's beautifully written, and I adore the characters. I can't give this book enough praise.

  • Hinesburg, VT

    LOVE IT! Les Mis is one of my favorite all time story. I see the heavy connection to the story line, but with its own twist. I wish the second book was out NOW!

  • Juneau, AK

    Ive always been a fan of YA novels, and the only thing this book lacks is MORE love triangle angst. a beautiful world with a beautiful history.

  • Pensacola, FL

    One of my favorites reimagined in space. Looking forward to the sequel and really enjoyed the struggles of this new frontier.

  • Willowick, OH

    Just absolutely loved! The second book is even better! Cannot wait for the third of this series to come out in August.

  • Philadelphia, PA

    I loved this novel and all the genres it brought together. I am very interested to see how this series develops!!

  • Camas, WA

    Love the characters!! You can’t even tell it’s a remake of les miserables. Can’t wait for the second book!

  • Eugene , OR

    Loved it. From different point of views. Initially slow, then speeds up. Waiting for next book in series!

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