Book Reviews

Review: Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell

The tag line for Sky Without Stars instantly hooked me – Les Mis in space?! I have not read the giant of Les Mis, but I am such a fan of the story and you know I am a huge fan of space, so this seemed like a match in heaven – and it was!


A thief. An officer. A guardian.

Three strangers, one shared destiny . . .

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.


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

Don’t let the size of Sky Without Stars discourage you from picking up this stunning book. The pages melt away as you become immersed in a fabulous and descriptive science fiction planet. A world of rags and riches, injustice and robots, revolution and secrets. Not only do you become wrapped up in a world of dreams and survival, but the characters charm you.


Whether it be Chatine’s self-preservation, her gentle heart and hard exterior, or Alouette and her optomism, her innocence, or Marcellus and his soft spirit, his privilege. What all of these fabulous characters have in common is that throughout the course of Sky Without Stars their worlds are changed. They’re betrayed, tricked, lied to, and they experience so much character growth all while we are hanging onto their every word.

Sky Without Stars is a powerhouse, delivering us characters that appeal to us in their strengths, their weaknesses, and their mistakes. While I loved Chatine from the beginning, you know I would, I found Alouette and Marcellous easily slipping in between the chinks in my armor. And that’s one of the beautiful things about Sky Without Stars is that each of them shows us just another piece of their vulnerability and you can’t help but love them.

World Building

My review wouldn’t be complete without spending some time talking about the stunning world building. It’s not only in the visceral details, the colors of the drab tunnels, but it’s also in the little touches – the moments you feel the injustice boiling beneath your skin. True excellent world building isn’t only about description and stunning sights.

It’s about making us feel the society, the history, enveloping us into the world. The pushes and shoves off camera, the way the people treat our heroes and villains. It’s in the ways we feel not only the lack of heat from the sun, but the heat of people’s stares on us. There’s a unique line between us understanding the history, seeing the sights, and feeling the ways this world has been marked on our skin.

Make sure you pick up Sky Without Stars so you can become as entranced as I was. There are mysteries and shadows shifting in this expansive story. And at the same time, Sky Without Stars seems to ask us if we can change. It’s so hard to believe in something to fight for when everything you ever had was a lie. It’s even worse than never having anything, because then you can grasp onto something for the first time. Otherwise it’s like gripping onto clouds, only for them to disappear.

Find Sky Without Stars on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


Have you read Les Mis or seen an adaptation?

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