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BOOK REVIEW: Between Burning Worlds (System Divine #2) by Jessica Brody, Joanne Rendell

BOOK REVIEW: Between Burning Worlds (System Divine #2) by Jessica Brody, Joanne RendellBetween Burning Worlds (System Divine)
by Jessica Brody, Joanne Rendell
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Les Misérables meets The Lunar Chronicles in the out-of-this-world sequel to Sky Without Stars that’s an “explosion of emotion, intrigue, romance, and revolution” (Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Caraval series).

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.

Review

The beginning of this book started off for me, pretty similarly to the first. There was a lot of information that I had to remember again and people to get to know all over again. I remember at one point thinking “man this is another one of those long books that might not need to be so long. It’ll probably only be a 4.” And like the first book, the last 25%, maybe even 50% delivered enough excitement, intrigue, and emotions that bumped that rating up for me.

The stakes in this book are obviously a lot higher than in the first. Marcellus has agreed to secretly work with the Vanguard, Alouette is trying desperately to find out who her mother was and how her life came to be what it was in the Refuge, and Chatine is initially stuck serving her prison sentence on Bastille.

Things kind of go to shit for all of them at least once during this book but somehow, most of those situations end up working themselves out and they find themselves together, working towards the same cause. We get to see one of the other worlds and meet some great new characters along the way (I HAVE A NEW SHIP THAT BETTER SAIL IN BOOK THREE).

The one thing in this book that bothered me that my mind has been at war with itself on is Marcellus. There were a LOT of instances where his weakness pissed me off. And then I would get pissed off that that pissed me off because since when does every main male character in a young adult book have to be strong/brave/reckless. They don’t! I mean, even though Marcellus has been being groomed to take command by his dickhead grandfather for basically most of his life, it seems like he hesitates a LOT in this book. His grandfather is constantly besting him (but I mean…why wouldn’t he?! He’s old and ruthless and again, is a major dickhead who has been at it for YEARS) and belittling him, and it isn’t until the end of this book that we see Marcellus have a good stick-it-to-him moment. Basically, he’s just a normal, young, REALISTIC guy and I need to learn to let go of him not having some insane hero-complex. On the flip side of that though, was Alouette and Chatine. Holy moly did I like Alouette a million times better in this book. And let’s face it, Chatine was always my favorite anyway. But these ladies kicked major ass here and were so brave and had great character development. I was so genuinely happy and impressed. And the few new bits of new information we learned about their pasts!! AHHHH. Like let’s just say this book leaves us on a major cliffhanger and I don’t know how to deal. Very highly recommend!

Huge thanks to Edelweiss and Simon & Schuster for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinions. ♥

BOOK REVIEW: Sky Without Stars (System Divine #1) by Jessica Brody & Joanna Rendell

BOOK REVIEW: Sky Without Stars (System Divine #1) by Jessica Brody & Joanna RendellSky Without Stars (System Divine #1)
by Jessica Brody, Joanne Rendell
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads






Synopsis:

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.

Power, romance, and destiny collide in this sweeping reimagining of Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, Les Misérables.

Review

The rich traded good and extravagances.
While the poor traded dreams and ideas.

From The Chronicles of the Sisterhood
Volume 12, Chapter 1

When I first came across this book, I wasn’t so much drawn in by the fact that it was a Les Mis retelling. It really was as simple as me seeing “where she guards and protects the last surviving library on the planet” in the synopsis. Little did I know, that was going to be one of the last things on my mind after finishing this book.

I don’t know how many people are going to pick this up because they love Les Mis. I personally have only seen the movie from 2012 once so before getting into this I read a synopsis of the original book by Victor Hugo to refresh my memory. That probably isn’t necessary—in fact, I almost don’t think you should. If anything, it caused me more stress because I was too wrapped up in worrying about if Chatine was going to die like her counterpart does in the book. Also, it almost took some of the suspense out of several parts because you can guess what might happen based on what happened in Les Mis. But let’s just forget about the retelling aspect of this for a moment.

Let’s just focus on what this book is. In short, it’s a book about the separation between the rich and the poor on a planet that has formed after the destruction of the First World (Earth). It’s a story about rebellion. It’s a story about spending your whole life thinking one thing is true because of what you’ve learned from your family, only to have that life flipped on its head after discovering there’s more to the story than you ever could have imagined.

Even though I knew this story was going to be about rebellion, I wasn’t prepared for how dark it was going to be. How visceral some of the emotions that this book elicits might be. Ever since I’ve become a mom I have felt things a lot more intensely. So reading about an infant death, poor, starving people that have to accept their lot in life, parental abuse, etc. really got to me. It made the book more real to me. Made the rebellion more gut-wrenching.

If I haven’t already made it apparent, these ladies can write. I truly was sucked in while reading. The characters were great. It was easy to love them, to hate them, to desperately root for them. There is *kind of* a love triangle that I feel like we might see play out more in the next book(s). (Personally I’m rooting for Chatine, lol she deserves a happy ending, damn.) And that’s actually where I pray things deviate from Les Mis. I don’t want to know who dies and who ends up together based on the original book. I want to be surprised in this next book PLEASE.

The only reason I’m not giving this a full five stars is because there were parts where I felt it drag a bit. I mean I’m not quite complaining about the length? There was a lot of world building and plot to build up so it’s not like it could have been much shorter…I honestly can’t even quite put my finger on it. I just wasn’t feeling a half star’s worth of the book. Regardless, I am dying to see how EVERYTHING plays out in the next book. Definitely give this one a shot!

Huge thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for allowing me to read an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

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