Between Burning Worlds || Book Review

Title: Between Burning Worlds (System Devine #2)
Author: Jessica Brody + Joanne Rendell
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Retellings, Dystopia
Publisher: Simon Pulse
No. of Pages: Hardcover, 688 pgs.
Publication Date: March 24, 2020
Date Read: March 28, 2020
Rating: 4.5/5

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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.


Thanks so much to Simon Pulse for sending me an ecopy of the book to review!

Sky Without Stars had always intrigued me and after reading it, I knew I needed to read the second one! If you haven’t read the first book yet, STOP. Go read it. If you can’t read it right now, here’s the summary.

Between Burning Worlds picks up right where Sky Without Stars ends. Chatine is headed to Bastille, the prison moon; Marcellus has gone and decided to join the Vangarde; and Alouette is searching for more information about who she is. On Laterre, Marcellus has been given the task of finding out what weapon the general, his grandfather, is creating. While trying to find that information, the general receives a call that the Vangarde leader, Citizen Rousseau, locked away on Bastille is dead. While in celebration, the general notices that the security video is looped, and so the army under the Patriarche’s orders heads to Bastille to destroy the tower that Citizen Rousseau and her associates are using to escape. Chatine, while in the target tower on Bastille, gets a message that she needs to leave the tower because she’s in danger. On her way to escape, she ends up in an explosion that leaves her injured and rescused by a défecteur. Alouette ends up in Montfer to search for the blood bordel that she knows was one of the last places to see her mother. When she arrives, she’s given more information that doesn’t make sense and is drugged and forced to give blood. When the local police shut down the bordel and transfer those arrested to Vallonay, Alouette finds herself in a fight against the police, gains an accomplice, and becomes a fugitive. They’re stories collide and the story is too much to summarize without reading it. But this book, and what comes next in Chatine, Marcellus, and Alouette’s story is an exciting adventure that you hate to put down.

I think what I loved most about this book was how well written all three story lines were. It just continued from the first book, where each character and their story is absolutely well-written, continuous, and super clear. Not only, were they three individual views (at times when all three were together), but they all seemingly meshed so well together to create a tremendous puzzle. One that is absolutely one that I couldn’t put down. I needed to know how everything and how everyone played a part in a much larger story.

Another thing that I liked was that there was a really good balance between action and places where the action slowed down (but still moved the story forward). Sometimes, I think books like this can get so caught up in the action, that there’s no plot or further movement other than action all the time that ends up being unneeded. Brody and Rendall did such a good job at creating those moments where your heart wasn’t pounding and on edge, but in the slower moments moved the characters and their plot forward by thoughts, actions, and memories of others. Some of my favorite pieces of this is when Chatine is in the défecteurs community. There’s so much freaking character development, but the action wasn’t full throttle and I loved it! Also, I think Chatine needs a break from time to time and deserves all the good things. They all do, honestly.

I think one of my other favorites things about this book was that this is absolutely a book that I would, and will, be recommending to the students that I work with (grades 7-12; but probably more the 10-12 graders). It’s an adventure featuring characters around their ages that are going through hard things. And they don’t back down when those hard things come, but they press on. I would love for my students to have the curiosity to learn like Alouette, the resilience of Chatine, and the kindness of Marcellus.

Between Burning Worlds is an absolute stunner of a second book. It released March 24, 2020 and I can’t wait for y’all to read it. I’m so incredibly blown away by this book and that ending left me wanting the next book real quick.


Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started self “publishing” her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples, and electrical tape.

After graduating from Smith College in 2001 where she double majored in Economics and French and minored in Japanese, Jessica later went on to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development. In May of 2005, Jessica quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author.

Since then, Jessica has sold over twelve novels for teens, tweens, and adults including 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, The Karma Club, My Life Undecided, and the three books in the Unremembered trilogy, the first of which is currently in development as a major motion picture by the producers of The Vampire Academy, Zero Dark Thirty, Life of Pi, and Slumdog Millionaire. In 2016, she will release two new contemporary novels, A Week of Mondays (August) and Boys of Summer (April), and in 2017, her debut middle grade novel entitles, Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up, will hit bookstore shelves.

Jessica also writes books for the Descendants: School of Secrets series, based on the hit Disney Channel Original Movie, Descendants!

Jessica’s books are published and translated in over twenty foreign countries. She currently splits her time between California and Colorado.

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Joanne Rendell is the author of four novels and holds a PhD in English Literature. She teaches fiction writing to teens and kids, as well as online writing classes at and Joanne is a board member for the youth Shakespeare company, New Genesis Productions. With her husband and son, she divides her time between New York City and New Paltz, New York.

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