Halloween Review: The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

Hardcover: 365 Pages

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Razorbill

Find on Goodreads

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.

God created Adam first, then Lilith. Lilith didn’t love Adam and she left him, only to come back later with his child. But Adam already had Eve by that time, so he refused to acknowledge his kid, Obie. Lilith once again left and not much later, she met Lucifer, with whom she had Daphne, after many, many other girls.

Daphne, the MC, lives along side her parents, Obie and the Lilim ( all her other sisters), in Pandemonium. A hell made of steel and brimstone, with The Pit in the center of the city, full of punished souls and Pain demons.

She lives a timeless existence, refusing to go to Earth and feed off men, like her succubus sisters do. Her brother, Obie, leaves Hell to live on Earth, with the woman he loves. Not long after his move, he disappears. Unable to look for him herself, Lilith sends Daphne to try to find out what happened to Obie. A dangerous quest, seeing as the archangel Azrael’s only mission is to make sure demons don’t overstay their welcome on Earth.

Daphne’s only lead to her brother comes in the form of one Truman Flynn, a half-human/half-angel damaged boy, who Obie once looked after.

I’m not going to lie and say The Space Between counts as horror, because it’s more of a Paranormal/Fantasy novel, but I think it’s a perfect read for Halloween.

Yovanoff’s writing is hauntingly beautiful, precious, very detailed and descriptive. She doesn’t shy away from the gory and the bloody scenes, scenes that give the novel a very eerie, creepy feel. The world-building is masterfully done and yet, so simple. In this case, more is less, I say. Couple her writing with that gorgeous Nekro (the artist) cover, and it’s impossible not to vividly imagine Daphne’s Hell.

She brings to life some fantastic characters, like Daphne, who’s innocently naive about life on Earth, so sweet, so detached at times. Like Truman, such a sad and scarred boy, whom you can’t help but feel for. Like Lilith, so inhuman and cold, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, but a character you’ll like nonetheless.

Also, I was pleasantly surprised by the demon/angel lore the author used. For example, demon blood is a powerful tool on Earth. When spilled, it can burst into flames, burn like acid, create replicas of the demon in order to protect him/her.

I admit, I was taken by surprise when the narrative changed. The author switched between a first person narrative, from Daphne’s POV, to a third person narrative, from Truman’s POV. The change was smoothly done, I wasn’t bothered by it, I just didn’t really see the point.

If you’re a fan of novels chock-full of action, then The Space Between is not for you. The plot unfolds slowly, with roughly 50 pages or so of world building and setting before things start moving.  However, slow as the book is, it’s never boring. The characters, the relationships and the writing make up for that, big time.

Speaking of relationship, I couldn’t help but love Daphne and Tru. They have such a sweet connection, from the moment they first lay eyes on each other. Much like the plot, it developes slowly, no insta-love here and can we just take a moment to say, YAY?

There are a few absolutely exciting twists, especially towards the end. Shocking and bittersweet, the end delivers blow after blow that I guarantee you won’t see coming.

I loved it. Why did I choose it as a Halloween read if it’s not “boo” scary? Because we’re talking about the daughter of Lucifer, on a quest on Earth, a shocking and bloody string of murders, and a very faithful, very deadly archangel attack dog.

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