Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Space Between

The Space BetweenThe Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Before, when Lilith left, she’d been stony and remote. Now, she trembled, outraged that a man could refuse his son. She spit in Adam’s face and cursed the day she ever saw him. It was the day she’d been born. Then she took Obie and left, pelting away through the dark.

In the dark is where she met my father.

First of all, I’d like to take a second to admire the truly marvelous cover art, done by the amazing Spanish artist Nekro. He is responsible for some of my favorite covers, like Anna Dressed in Blood, Girl of Nightmares and Blood Rights. I love that every single one of his covers actually has something to do with the story, and that is especially true for The Space Between. His art made it so much easier for me to picture Hell the way Brenna Yovanoff described it: a huge city entirely made of metal, built above a Pit full of suffering souls and hungry Pain Demons.

The world Yovanoff created is both frightening and beautiful. She writes in exquisite detail, with clarity and completeness, and she does it effortlessly – you can tell that she isn’t even trying, that it comes naturally to her, like laughing or walking. That said, Maggie Stiefvater’s influence is clearly discernible, which isn’t all that surprising considering their friendship and collaboration.

From outside comes the sound of the furnace door slamming open. The sky glows red again and my tears begin to thaw. When I blink, they slip solid from my eyelashes. The sound when they land is like pebbles scattered on the tile, but the floor of the museum is already growing hot, burning my feet through my slippers. The tears melt and sizzle where they fall.

Daphne is the youngest daughter of Lilith and Lucifer, born right around the time when her parents stopped loving each other. Her many stepsisters, the Lilim, are wicked seductresses who walk the Earth taking knowledge and experience from their all-too-willing victims, but Daphne is nothing like them. Her half-brother Obie, Lilith’s first son and the son of Adam, is the only good person in Daphne’s life and Daphne adores him, but she’s nothing like him either. She seems to be stuck in Hell, spending eternity without purpose, until one day Obie disappears on Earth. Lilith, who only tolerates Daphne, despises the Lilim, but worships Obie, can do absolutely nothing to help him as she is unable to leave Hell. It’s up to Daphne to go to Earth for the first time and find her brother, despite the danger of being brutally killed by archangel Azrael and his faithful soldier, Dark Dreadful. The only person who can help her is a broken boy, Obie’s charge Truman, who was once sent back from the very entrance to Hell by Beelzebub himself.

Yovanoff’s talent for bringing horrible creatures to life was obvious to me even in The Replacement, but it was much more pronounced here. If you thought the Morrigan’s ladies were scary, the Lilim will likely give you nightmares that won’t easily go away. It was so easy to picture Lilith sitting on her filigree bench, her skin startlingly white, her head moving in a distinctly non-human way.

I had almost forgotten how her voice has the power to cut through me. She looks over, looks right through me with grim, silvery eyes and I see a black hollow in her, like seeing the future. Like looking down the barrel of a gun.

If you’re in the mood for a dark, eerily beautiful and haunting story, The Space Between is what you should read. Brenna Yovanoff just made it on my very short list of authors whose books I preorder without a second thought.


  1. I haven't read this yet, but I have been wanting to for a long time! Nicely reviewed, Maja. It's great that you mentioned the cover artist. Now that I think about, all of those covers he has done do look incredibly beautiful.

  2. Oh wow Maja! This sounds incredible! I'm definitely going to be reading this very soon! I have The Replacement too which I haven't read yet but is getting moved up the to-read pile. That cover is gorgeous, I didn't know the artist had also done the covers for Anna which are among my favorite covers ever. Awesome review!

  3. Thank you so much, ladies. This is one of those stories that stays with you for a long time.
    And Nekro, OMG, just follow the link to his website, he is amazing! I'm in love (with his art).

  4. That sounds so cool! Never heard of it before. Another add to my TBR!

    Ana @ BookSpark

  5. Hi Maja,
    Lovely review as always, I loved the info about the cover. I am a big fan of Kendare Blake's covers. I have been curious about this book as well as the Replacement. I loved the clipped quotes. I definitely want to check it out for the writing. If you are looking for another book with beautiful writing check out the Near Witch by Victoria Schwab.

  6. Maja, This book has definitely moved up my TBR pile! I've had it and just keep reading books before it...a must read now. :-)

  7. Seriously, you have a knack for making people want to read something. This is the second book you have convinced me I will love. It should arrive soon -- I can't wait =)! I also love that you have similar taste to me and enjoy reading really creepy stuff. Would you recommend her first book? Goodreads seems to point towards people not enjoying it but the premise sounds so great! And you've spoken about it a few times. If you say it's good -- I trust ya!

  8. Maja, this looks really good. Just added it to my to-read list. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  9. I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this book, but after reading your review I totally want to now! I agree, I love the cover too and that's awesome it's the same artist from Anna Dressed in Blood! That's awesome that the main character is the daughter of Lucifer and Lilith and that she isn't like most of her family. Thanks for the review, I'm definitely going to be picking this one up now! :)

  10. I'm glad you enjoyed it. It sounds like a good book; I might have to check it out! Great review!

  11. This one looks intriguing and I don't know why but I've always thought retellings are interesting. Wow, you gave it 5 stars on Goodreads so that definitely makes me more curious.

  12. Awesome, awesome review!!! And after you mentioned Nekro last time he had a cover, I went to his website (and I checked out his partner's, too) and OMG!!!! Absolutely amazing!!! Freaky but stellar work!

    Now, about my TBR pile... you're killing it!!! :)
    Kristin @myparahangover


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