Between Burning Worlds by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell | A planet on the verge of burning into a revolution

Posted March 30, 2020 by Sophia
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Between Burning Worlds by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell | A planet on the verge of burning into a revolution

I solemnly swear my review for Between Burning Worlds is not as old as my review for Grail, and it definitely hasn’t been sitting there as long as it has in drafts. 🤣

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Content and Trigger Warning: This book contains content that may be triggering to some, which we will try our best provide below the synopsis.
Between Burning Worlds by Jessica Brody and Joanne Rendell | A planet on the verge of burning into a revolutionBetween Burning Worlds by Jessica Brody, Joanne Rendell
System Divine #2
Other Books: Sky Without Stars
Published by Simon Pulse on March 24, 2020
Genres: Retellings, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: Publisher

Laterre is on the brink of war. The Third Estate are rioting against the injustices of a corrupt system. The Patriarche, reeling from the murder of his only heir, makes brutal attempts to quash the unrest, while a new militant faction launches a series of deadly attacks.

Marcellus is now a traitor to his planet, willing to do anything to stop his grandfather from seizing control of Laterre, even if it means joining the Vangarde, a rebel group back from the dead.

Chatine is a prisoner on Bastille. Desperate to survive the harsh conditions of the moon, she becomes embroiled in the Vangarde’s dangerous attempt to free their infamous leader.

Alouette is a fugitive who has been lied to her entire life. Searching for the truth about her mysterious past, she soon finds herself hunted by the Regime for reasons she’s only beginning to understand.

But when Laterre is threatened by the emergence of a deadly new weapon, these three renegades must risk everything, traveling to the far reaches of the System Divine and into the white hot center of a planet ready to ignite.

A copy of the book was provided for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore does not affect the opinion or content of the review.

Sky Without Stars launched me onto another planet last year with the authors’ retelling of Les Misérables in space.

I’m super excited to get the chance to read the sequel in the System Divine trilogy because the first book promised some shenanigans are going to be in store. And I definitely don’t remember what happened in the first book, so cracking open to an overview of the first book is a blessing. If you’re like me and you reread maybe 1% of the time, you’re in good hands.

The second book in the System Divine trilogy starts right where Sky Without Stars ends, with each of the characters on their own path:

  • Marcellus secretly working with the Vanguarde, with the desire to stop General Bonnefacon from overthrowing the Patriarche of Laterre and taking the planet for his own.
  • Chatine ends up on Bastille’s harsh working conditions and wants to get out; even if it means getting herself indirectly involved with the Vanguarde.
  • Alouette is searching for the answers of her past with what little information she has; she’s not thrilled she’s been lied to by the sisters her entire life… but let’s be honest: who’s ever thrilled?

Much of Between Burning Worlds is further building up the world Brody and Rendell first introduced us to in Sky Without Stars, taking us to other planets and unknown places of Laterre. While it may seem the trio are on different paths, they’re more intertwined than they think.

Brody and Rendell kept me on my feet constantly.

I never liked General Bonnefacon, and if you want my honest opinion, he deserves charred bacon and nothing but charred bacon. Everyone just gets screwed over by him for his own gain. But Marcellus’ grandfather is seriously one of the most cunning characters of the series; he’s always upending everyone’s plans. It’s no wonder he’s still going. In this sequel to Sky Without Stars, the General continues being a key character constantly plotting his next move.

What a strategist and sharp mastermind. If I had to stan villains, he would be one of them. 11/10 would not mess with grandpa.

I’m in love with the new characters.

Between Burning Worlds introduces us to quite a few new characters in addition to the returning cast: Cerise, Gabriel, Etienne. I loved every second they were on the page; there are moments of banter and humor involved and it made this whopping sequel go by much quicker. 600+ pages felt like nothing. Someone protect Gabriel though, he’s such a cinnamon roll and I’m worried about what will happen to him in the third book. 🥺

Then again, none of the characters get a break or room to breathe, not with General Bonnefacon around at least. While Chatine and Alouette grow as characters from when we first meet them in book one, Marcellus undergoes the most character development here as he goes head to head with his grandfather. Gabriel should still be protected though. I’m hoping for the chance to see the three of them again in the next book.

Between Burning Worlds is an absolute trip, and it’s a good type of trip.

With new characters to the series and a brewing revolution on a corrupted planet, Brody and Rendell continue bringing readers on a trip through space while constantly keeping them on their toes until the very end.

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Sophia started blogging in February 2012 for the hell of it and is surprisingly still around. She has a GIF for nearly everything, probably listens to too much K-Pop and is generally in an existential crisis of sorts (she's trying her best). In 2020, she graduated with a Bachelor's in Communications and minor in Women's Studies. More of her bookish reviews and K-pop Roundups can be found at The Arts STL.

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