Sky Without Stars
By: Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: SciFi, Retelling
Page Count: 582
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.
This review will be spoiler free
I have to be honest, Les Mis was never my favourite story, I honestly found it a little too long and depressing for my taste, so I was nervous going into this book. I really didn’t know what to expect out of a scuff retelling of a French Revolution story. It really surpassed my expectations. There are obviously clear parallels with the original story, which makes the plot somewhat unpredictable. However, there were also fun twists and innovations that made this book uniquely it’s own. You can read this without any knowledge of Les Mis and still really enjoy it (though you may wonder why a planet in the far future is lining to so many french terms).
I also have to mention how amazing that cover is! It is what drew me to the book in the first place (I mean who wouldn’t be drawn to that?!). I loved the three POVs and the diverse environments and experiences of the characters. Brody and Rendell also manage to sneak in a lot of world building and establish a history for their new planet (Laterre) without diminishing the narrative structure.
Some parts of the story are definitely more family friendly than the original since after all, this s a book for teens and young adults. I don’t think it hurt the story though, the same message is brought across and I think it still packed the same emotional punch as the original (maybe with less singing).
If you are a fan of Les Mis, or a fan of scifi, or are just looking for a unique take on an old classic, this is the book for you. The concept is so wild that it might seem too ambitious, but Brody and Rendell managed to pull it off and I for one cannot wait for the second and final book in this very unique duology!
Have you read this book? Is Les Mis a favourite of yours? Let me know what you think of this story concept in the comments!