Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

Title: The Space Between
Author: Brenna Yovanoff
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: November 14, 2011
Pages: 365 pages (hardcover)
How I Got the Book: Bought it.
Purchase/Pre-order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Promotional Materials and More: book trailer | author website

Everything burns in Pandemonium...

...a city in Hell made of chrome and steel, where there is no future and life is an expense of frozen time. That's where Daphne lives.

The daughter of a demon and a fallen angel, she wonders what lies in store for her. Will she become a soulless demon like her sisters? Or follow in the footsteps of her brother Obie, whose life is devoted to saving lost souls on Earth? All she wants is to find a place where she belongs.

When Obie saves a bleeding, broken boy named Truman from the brink of death and then suddenly goes missing, Daphne runs away to Earth to find him. But on Earth, everything is colder and more terrifying, and Daphne struggles between her demon instincts and her growing--yet achingly unfamiliar--feelings for Truman. As Daphne and Truman search for Obie, they must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in their way. But Daphne 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 is a breathtaking and transcendent new novel about a demon girl's search for love on Earth, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Replacement.


Books that give me ideas for my own books are my very best friends. Books that give me an awesome idea like a contemporary YA retelling of Lilith's myth in just thirteen pages? I expected to fall so deeply in love with The Space Between that I would forge us a marriage license. Though Yovanoff's prose entranced me and her characters made my heart ache, I didn't love this book nearly as much as I should have, and that's a crying shame.

Adorable is the last thing one would think to use when describing a demon, but that word fits Daphne perfectly. I wouldn't want to screw around with her if I saw her on the street, but her quiet sort of steel --I hope that isn't a pun--is contrasted with her straightforward, somewhat naive approach to the human world (which is understandable, considering this is the first time she's been out of Pandemonium and what she knows about the human world comes to her through media). Following her on her quest to find her brother was great fun and I never doubted for a moment that she really loved her brother.

Her relationship with her love interest Truman developed slowly and I think this was . The way I saw it, their relationship is what authors guilty of insta-love were going for and failed at achieving. They have a fascination with one another at the beginning, true, yet it makes sense given the circumstances. A little bit of that fascination is still there when they see each other again roughly a year later, but the way they fall is natural. The climactic scene between them is one I can see myself rereading a few times. It was so sweet!

However, my greatest complaint is that the novel is so poorly paced. All the lovely descriptions, perfect book jackets, and well-defined characters in the world can't make up for that. I spent more than half the novel bored out of my mind and waiting for some developing in the Obie-is-missing-and-in-trouble plotline. I wish a little more time could have been spent in Pandemonium with Lilith, whose great characterization made me swoon the few times she came around, and all the other demons in the steel city within Hell. The great Lucifer himself made one appearance. Just one, and it didn't give me the kind of insight into his character I wanted.

Yovanoff's novel impressed me a good deal more in the second half than in the first, and that's part of the reason why I decided to keep it when my original intent was to get rid of it after I read it Besides, if I ever get around to writing that idea the novel gave me, I'll want The Space Between around. Now then, to figure out how to translate all the pieces of Lilith's myth, from God to her ability to look through mirrors to her children and beyond, into a contemporary YA setting. This will be fun (and I say that without an ounce of sarcasm).

3 stars! (More like 3.5 stars.)

What am I reading next?: Dark Companion by Marta Acosta