Monday, October 3, 2011

A Book Review: THE SPACE BETWEEN

Summary from Amazon:
Everything is made of steel, even the flowers.

How can you love anything in a place like this? Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped - and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie's whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.


THE SPACE BETWEEN isn't your typical demon heaven-and-hell novel. Brenna Yovanoff brings it big time with a metal-encased setting, a heart-wrenching romance, and a version of demons and good and evil that will keep you up at night turning pages.

Daphne is the daughter of Lilith and Lucifer, but emotionally she's as human as the best of YA heroines. Her driving force throughout the novel is that she cares for people: her brother Obie, and the human boy she meets, Truman. Truman, the other point of view character, is a wonderfully broken person--honestly and truly weak at times, almost ready to give up living. When Daphne finds him he's hit bottom and sunken through the floor, and he's really not sure life is worth it anymore. And I loved the fact Yovanoff let him be weak--there was no glossing over who he was or how he felt about himself...and where those things led him.

The setting and the romance were equally brilliant, and I don't know where to begin talking about either one. Daphne and Truman were so far from perfect, and I think that's what made me fall for their romance more than I have for most others: they were so flawed, and so flawed in front of each other. Within a matter of days, they saw deep into each other and that's where the romance blossomed. Not from lust or physical attraction or mystery, but from what they learned when the walls came down. It was hard for Truman especially, allowing someone else to care about him, when he didn't know that he cared for himself. This might sound funny, but there was nothing romanticized about this romance. It felt real.

Pandemonium was a truly marvelous setting. A city made entirely of metal--it was the coolest parts of PARADISE LOST turned urban and modern, with a huge furnace and a library collection of all the clothes and trinkets of humans that have ended up on the hell side of things after death. It's rich and well-described, a place where what you've done can be stamped on your body for eternity, and to Daphne it's a place empty of life so much of the time. Because what she is in Pandemonium (Lilith and Lucifer's daughter) isn't who she is when she goes to Earth.

The angels and the demons of the novel weren't on either side of some good/evil divide. Both milled around in the middle, neither group clearly morally defined. Yovanoff's depiction of the actions of some of the angels (one in particular) straddled the good and evil line so much, it almost felt like this one particular angel was the real demon, the real being from hell. And the demons were just as complicated and stuck in the gray areas as any human. (Beelzebub was my favorite--really brilliant supporting character.) I really did feel like the line between heaven and hell, or good and evil, was arbitrary in this world in a way it isn't in other angel and demon novels. Everything was gray area.

There's a lot of darkness in this novel, but there's just enough light to balance it out. THE SPACE BETWEEN comes out in November of 2011. Read it, you won't be sorry.

P.S. If you can't wait until November, we've got a copy in our vault right now. Come back any and every Thursday and leave a comment, and if we like your comment you could win the chance to pick whatever you want from the vault.

xox
Fem

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