In a breathtakingly vivid and emotionally gripping debut novel, one woman must confront the emptiness in the universe—and in her own heart—when a devastating virus reduces most of humanity to dust and memories.
All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit…
Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive.
Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be…
The emergency messages had been clear.
Terminal in almost all cases.
Almost. A lot of life could fit into that one small word.
Mila was standing next to Finn, the back of her hand pressed against her mouth, as though that were the only way she could stop screaming. Finn was hunched over, his fingers shoved in his ears. Speak no evil, hear no evil. Jamie had a sudden urge to laugh. If she covered her eyes they’d have the full set. And she wouldn’t have to see the deepening stain on Callan’s shirt.
I’ve been sitting on this one for a while because I wasn’t sure quite how I wanted to write it up. I’m still not sure but I figure if I start, maybe I’ll be able to edit my way into a decent review. Anyway, let’s start off with the Trigger/Content Warnings, shall we? There might be more but these are the ones I noticed.
- Still Birth
- Attempted Rape
- Nonconsensual Sex
The main character, Jamie, was developed well enough that I felt like I might know her? Maybe? Question mark? I spent most of the book honestly believing she was asexual, if not aromantic asexual, because of the thoughts she had regarding Daniel, the guy she had been dating for years, as well as sex and childbirth. On multiple occasions, she implied that she was only dating him and having sex with him because that’s what was projected onto her as “normal.” The one scene where they do actually have sex, it isn’t consensual on her part and the whole time her thoughts are “this is normal, right?”
But then she started spending more time with Callan and she starts feeling both romantic and sexual feelings for him. Now, this could be a good demi rep? But honestly I still don’t know enough about that topic to say so. I’m researching and learning but still… I don’t know. In regards to this book, it was difficult for me to transition from believing Jamie was ace or aroace to finding out she might be demi. That might just be her journey? I don’t know. I would absolutely love to hear a demi person’s opinion on this so if you know someone who is and has reviewed this book, please let me know so I can go read it and possibly link it in this review.
As for the other characters, some of them felt developed and some of them didn’t. Daniel was not really developed much at all outside Jamie’s thoughts about him when he isn’t there. The crew and passengers of the ship was pretty well developed and I feel like I know them well enough to have gotten through the story.
I loved, loved, LOVED the development of Finn. Oh my gosh, Finn. He is my smol son and if you hurt him I will destroy you. There isn’t ever a specification made as to Finn’s neuro-diversity, but he is neuro diverse. He’s also touch averse, which I love and relate to so hard. He’s probably my favorite character in the entire story. Without the probably. I also really liked how everyone simply accepted him for who he was. It was beautiful because that doesn’t always happen in real life.
The world was a bit difficult to grasp because of how vast space is so a map would have come in handy. However, the space of the ship and buildings or outside spaces on the actual planets is built up beautifully and I was able to at least partially visualize the spaces. The only place I think I might have wanted more world building from would be Soltaire, the planet the story starts out on. In my mind, it’s a desert wasteland with scattered animal farms because there wasn’t enough for me to visualize otherwise.
The story itself started off pretty slow but picked up around Chapter 5. There are a few plot twists, but most of them are fairly predictable. The large twist at the end I didn’t completely see coming, but I had a feeling it had to do with that specific character. It was still fun to read a post-apocalyptic multi-planetary story and I think overall the plot moved fairly well. There were a few slower parts, but otherwise I stayed interested in reading it through to the end. At the same time, I’m hoping there’s a sequel because I still have questions.
Overall, I rate The Space Between The Stars 3 out of 5 bookworms.
Don’t just take my word for it. Preorder a copy of The Space Between The Stars to receive it when it’s released on 1 June 2017 and enjoy it for yourself! A few places you can go to get your hands on a copy are:
- Amazon US
- Amazon UK
- Books-A-Million (US)
- Barnes and Noble (US)
- Waterstones (UK)
- Book Depository
- your local bookstore or you can request your local library order a copy or two
For more information about Anne Corlett and her work, visit her website.
I received a digital ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for this honest review.