Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff - Ashley's Review

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Title: The Space Between
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Year Published: 2011

My Pre-Reading

Synopsis: 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.


Review: I cannot believe I waited so long to read this book! I loved Brenna's Paper Valentine, and The Space Between was just as good (although radically different). Her writing is gorgeous and flawless, and everything about this book was just excellent. The characters, the world building, the plot... I loved it all. 

My favorite part of this book was the world building. Brenna puts her own spin on Hell (which she calls Pandemonium), and it's hauntingly beautiful. Everything is made of steel and the only things that can survive when the furnace is open are things that have been made in Pandemonium or are protected behind closed doors. Any clothes or objects from Earth are incinerated or melted immediately. Even the inhabitants of Pandemonium are steel-like (unless they're fallen angels). The fire and brimstone that are stereotypical of hellish settings is still there, but Pandemonium is still its own place, unique and terrifying.

Another thing that I really enjoyed about this book was how we're able to see things happening from both Daphne's and Truman's perspectives. The switch between first person and third person is a little jarring at first, but the chapters are clearly marked and I got used to it after about the second time. After reading this book, I definitely think the third person perspective for Truman's sections really helped develop his character in a way that first person wouldn't have been. He's sad and broken, and I feel like being completely immersed in his thoughts would have been really confusing.

I think that, while Daphne and Truman are complicated and very multi-dimensional, some of the other minor characters fell kind of flat. I wish we knew more about Obie and about Lilith. I kind of just want a whole book about Lilith because I think it would be really interesting to learn more of her thoughts and her wants and her needs. But maybe taking away the mystery about her would take away from her character in this book. 

There are quite a few twists and turns in this plot, and I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I couldn't guess them all. Some were more obvious, but there are some secrets that run pretty deep and aren't as easily deciphered. It kept me hooked, and I found myself staying up until the wee hours of the morning just to finish reading and to find out what was going to happen next. 

This book is pretty intense, and I wouldn't recommend it for a young audience. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in angels and demons and the war between them. I thought Brenna Yovanoff did an excellent job of taking well known entities and making them completely her own, and I can't wait to get my hands on more of her books! I would also recommend this book to anyone who enjoys darker books with love and loss and characters questioning themselves. Definitely a 5/5 from me! 


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