The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff(Cover picture courtesy of Bookyurt.)

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.

This second novel by rising star Brenna Yovanoff is a story of identity, discovery, and a troubled love between two people struggling to find their place both in our world and theirs.

After reading and hating The Replacement I was pretty skeptical about reading another Brenna Yovanoff book.  But hey, the cover was awesome and the first chapter had a little more promise than her debut novel.

I liked the main character in The Space Between so much more than I did in her first book.  Daphne lacks emotion and this time it’s not because of poor writing but rather that’s how her character should be (and is).  She’s the daughter of Lilith and Lucifer and her rather alien perspective on the human world makes sense in that context.  When she starts falling in love it’s interesting to see the war she goes through with herself as she tries to discover if she really is capable of love, unlike her half-sisters the Lilim.  Overall I felt her love for Obie her brother was stronger than her love for Truman, but that’s really minor.  I did enjoy Daphne as a character.

What I liked this time is Brenna Yovanoff’s world-building.  She actually tried to explain certain elements and while she didn’t explain everything to my satisfaction, I could actually understand what was going on.  I loved meeting Beelzebub, Lilith and Lucifer and thoroughly enjoyed how tired old heaven and hell tropes had new twists put on them.  The ambiguous nature of both sides instead of the traditional good vs. evil was refreshing.

What I didn’t like, however, was the plot.  It seemed to slow down to a crawl in the most unnecessary places and then was completely rushed where I wanted to know more.  Some of the motives for the characters weren’t very believable to me, but I can’t tell you about that without any unnecessary spoilers.  Let’s just say that I’m not surprised about Truman’s father but his father’s actions are poorly justified when we learn what they are.  The ending was incredibly rushed and I’m still not sure I entirely understand it.  Perhaps that’s just me or perhaps Brenna Yovanoff still needs to work on conveying her story more.

Would I recommend The Space Between?  Sure, it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.  But should you go out, buy it immediately and read it all without taking a break?  No, it’s not one of those books.  It’s good, but not great.

I give this book 3.5/5 stars.

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