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A NOTE FROM THE AUTHORS:
To Our Future Laterrians,
Three years ago when we first uttered the words “Les Mis in Space” to our agent, we never anticipated what would come next: the challenges, the struggles, the fits of delirious giggling, the long Skype calls debating whether or not to kill a character, or if llamas could feasibly live on the new planet we were imagining.
Now, three years later, SKY WITHOUT STARS, the first installment in the System Divine series is here and we couldn’t be more proud. We are thrilled to welcome you into our futuristic sci-fi world of Laterre and hope you profoundly enjoy your visit there.
The excitement around the release of the book has been both exhilarating and humbling for us and nowhere else has it been quite so encouraging than among independent bookstores and booksellers.
As you’ll soon read below, both of our lives have been touched and altered by independent bookstores, which is why we could think of no better partners to team up with for the launch of this book.
Back when my son Benny was little, I juggled my new mum life with trying to write my first novel, and my local independent bookstore in New York City ended up being the place where I got some of my best writing done. In their cozy cafe, surrounded by all their carefully chosen books and friendly staff, I would park my sleeping son in his stroller and hammer out a few pages while sipping on an English Breakfast tea! When my son woke up, I’d close up my laptop and we’d head down to story-hour in the children’s books department. The store was my home away from home, my supplier of great books, my favorite writing spot, and a place where my son and I found a sweet and book-loving community. If I weren’t for that store, I don’t think I’d be a published author today!
In my twelve years of writing and publishing books, I’m fortunate to have visited so many wonderful independent bookstores of every size, shape, and flavor. But the one thing they all have in common is that there’s always someone ready and eager to nerd out about books with you. There’s always a bookseller excited to hear what you read last, and then hand you the book that might change your life. And that’s exactly what happened to me.
I’ll never forget the night, eleven years ago. I was wandering the stacks of one of my favorite indies after a signing for my very first novel, and one of my favorite booksellers said, “Have you read this? It just came out and I think you’ll love it.” She handed me a copy of The Hunger Games and I immediately shook my head. The cover was so not my style. But she insisted, so I bought the book and read it (in almost one sitting). Not only does it remain one of my favorite books of all time, it’s the book that made me (a contemporary author) want to write sci-fi. Two years later, I sold my first sci-fi trilogy, Unremembered, and now here I am releasing my the first installment of my second sci-fi series. And to think, I probably never would have picked up that book on my own.
As readers and fans and booklovers, independent bookstores are our motherships. Our safe havens. Our inspirations. Our accepting and welcoming community. So please join us in celebrating the Indies and showing our love for independent bookstores…where there’s always someone ready and eager to hand you the book that might change your life!
Thank you for traveling beyond the edges of the galaxy with us. Thank you for supporting your community of booklovers. And most of all, thank you for reading.
Jess and Jo
ABOUT THE BOOK: SKY WITHOUT STARS
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.
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