Book Reviews

Review: Between Burning Worlds by Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell

Between Burning Worlds was an epic sequel to Sky Without Stars! If you love Les Miserables and also love Science Fiction, then you have to pick up this series. It has amazing discussions about poverty, mixed with planetary wars, spaceship chase scenes, and cyborgs!


A thief.
An officer.
A guardian.
All from different backgrounds, but sharing one same destiny…

The planet Laterre is in turmoil. A new militant revolutionary group has emerged calling themselves “The Red Scar” and claiming responsibility for a spate of recent bombings. The infamous rebels known as the Vangarde believe that in order to bring about a peaceful revolution, their charismatic leader, Citizen Rousseau must be freed from prison right away. Otherwise the bloodshed will only escalate.

Soon Marcellus, Chatine, and Alouette all find themselves pulled into battle with extreme consequences.

Marcellus is determined to uncover his corrupt grandfather’s plan to seize Laterre—even if that means joining the Vangarde.

Aloutte, trying to unearth the truth about her past, becomes a captive of Marcellus’s grandfather, the general.

Chatine, who is serving time on Bastille, hopes to escape the brutal and horrifying reality of the prison moon.

But the failed attempt to break Citizen Rousseau out of prison launches Aloutte, Chatine, and Marecellus into the middle of a dangerous war for control of Laterre. And in the midst of it all is the legend of a secret and dangerous weapon that could mean complete and absolute power to any that wields it.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

I adore the world building of Brody and Rendell because it takes the issues I love from Les Miserables and adds all these SF elements. It is such a work of talent and craftsmanship to be able to balance this intricate storyline, world building, and multiple POV. Between Burning Worlds is an epic sequel to what is turning into one of my favorite SF series. Also can we just give a whole extra star to this book because there’s a recap of EVERY character in the beginning? I want this in every major series.

Part of what made me love this series from Sky Without Stars was the epic world building. I am a huge SFF fan and so I appreciate deeply when world building is done right. A key aspect of the world building which was explored deeper in this book was the nature of cyborgs as we meet people who choose, and didn’t chose, to undergo this procedure – and what it means for them afterwards. Having a multiple POV novel allows Brody and Rendell to expose readers to so many aspects of the world, but also the differing perspectives that exist within it.

It’s easy to get caught up in the story again, not only because of the character recap, but because of the fast paced action. Secrets are uncovered about everyone as rebellion simmers and oppression is unraveled. There is action, intrigue, and mystery around every corner and it is an absolutely entertaining and obsessive book! There’s a sense of epicness in each scene not only as they fight for their future, but also when you see their actions in the scheme of the years before and the ripples they could cause for after.


Between Burning Worlds is one of those sequels that sets off a firecracker in the world. I cannot wait for the last book because I know it will be amazing. Between Burning Worlds asks important questions about surveillance, economic inequality, and sacrifice. It’s about figuring out the person we want to be, irrespective of upbringing or training, but about the legacy, the impact we want to leave. Sometimes we are so scared to trust people and we have all lost something. How can we deal with that pain and grief? We all have people we don’t want to disappoint, heroes who let us down, and role models in the shadows.

Find Between Burning Worlds on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite SFF series?

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