Sky Without Stars
By: Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell
Released on: March 26th
This book is being described as Les Mis meets the Lunar Chronicles so naturally I had to read this immediately! When there was a chance to do a Fantastic Flying Book Club tour I jumped at the opportunity. Many thanks to them and the publisher for providing the arc.
500 years after leaving the old world for the planet of Laterre where everyone was supposed to have a fresh start, we find out not so much. And we’re basically divided with a huge and much put upon working class on a planet in which you literally can’t see the sun.
Unless you’re rich than you get to live in a dome and at least have fake light. Basically it’s as tinderbox and one match is going to spark the revolution. Perhaps that match will be the long thought dormant “terrorist” group that seems to be making a comeback. I don’t believe you need to have read Les Mis or the Lunar Chronicles to enjoy this one or even honestly be familiar with the stories though it adds to the enjoyment factor.
We follow Marcellus- a young man whose grandfather General is basically ruling the planet. Alouette a girl whose been living in secret for 12 years with a group guarding the last library (which immediately I like them!) and Chatine the most interesting character of the three a street rat dressed up as a boy, a con artist and thief trying to not just survive but get enough to get off the planet.
I enjoyed Sky Without Stars. I think it has a ton of potential as a series. And I think the story translates well to space. (The Inspector is a droid for instance.) There’s a very good execution scene where the new guillotine makes its debut that was chilling. I also liked (and maybe should warn) that the groups really don’t hold back. Chatine’s poverty stricken life under abusive parents is also explored well.
There was also the thread explored that illiteracy and loss of the word and the books (and hence the history) of the old world was contributing to some of the problems on the planet.
I do think the end could have wrapped up faster. And I worry about them leaning in on the idea of one of the characters being “special” and “important” beyond a normal person needed by the revolutionaries for them to survive. I suppose that’s playing into the Lunar Chronicles but it just didn’t feel necessary. Instead of being intrigued about why that character is special I’m intrigued more along the lines of how are they going to convince me.
But overall I still enjoyed the book. It’s an interesting start to a new series with impressive writing and a lot of potential for growth and to become its own thing.
For more information on Sky without Stars:
The rest of the tour schedule is posted: here! As well as a giveaway for a copy of the book!