Sky Without Stars (System Divine #1) by Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell Publication Date: March 26th, 2019 Publisher: Simon Pulse Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Synopsis: A thief. An officer. A guardian. Three strangers. One shared destiny . . .
When the Last Days came, the planet of Laterre promised hope. 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 spying on Marcellus, the grandson of the most powerful man on the planet. Marcellus is an officer—and the son of a traitor. Groomed to command by his legendary grandfather, Marcellus begins to doubt the government he’s vowed to serve when he discovers a cryptic message that only one person, a girl named Alouette, can read. 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 roles 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.
Thoughts: I had such a fun time reading this one. I feel like I just completely powered through it within a day or two. (Which I just confirmed, it actually was 2 days haha) When I first heard about this book when it was first announced, I immediately put it on my Goodreads TBR because how could I not be interested in a Les Mis retelling?? I admit I’m not the biggest fan of sci-fi but this was a definite must-read for me. Ages and ages ago I read the book and when I was about 8 or 9 one of my childhood best friends and I loved the play so all of the nods to the original material was not lost on me and I could really tell how much Body & Rendell appreciated the source material. I kind of wish I would give myself the time to meticulously note all of the Easter eggs! With my love of Eponine, it comes as no surprise that Chatine was my favourite POV chapters. She is such a strong, independent female in this world who has flaws but is fiercely determined to reach her goals no matter what but she still has a moral compass. Marcellus had me loving him at times and hating him at times but it is all because I can see the potential of his character arc that they have prepared for him and I cannot wait to see where he goes. Alouette is partly a wide-eyed innocent but with some pretty impressive hacking skills considering her upbringing. If their stories follow even slightly along the same lines of the original, I feel like this is going to be a roller-coaster of a series. I would be remiss if I did not mention that this is a series written with dual authors and there are only a couple of author pairings that come to mind who I’ve enjoyed and these two have made the list. I honestly could not tell who wrote what POVs or sequences or whatnot and I think that really shows the talent and skill that they have working together. They are a really good writing team. In this first installment alone, we have had the start of a revolution, murder, subterfuge, secret identities, hidden motives, details on the history of the world and hints at the greater planet systems, action, revenge and oh so much more! I cannot wait to see how these characters' stories play out.