“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…”
Title: The Space Between the Stars
Author: Anne Corlett
Genre: Adult Fiction, (Science Fiction)
Publication: June 1st 2017 by Pan Macmillan
*I received a free ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion in any way!*
The Space Between The Stars is an Adult Fiction novel set in a world that has been infected with a virus that is bound to wipe out all of humanity and quite literally turn them into dust. Jamie has seeked space from people all her life and found a new workplace on an almost deserted planet. When she wakes up and finds herself all alone after the virus hit, she panics as she thinks she is all alone in the world and this wasn’t how she imagined it to be. Soon enough she meets other survivors and together they travel in a spaceship and make their way to Earth for the chance of a new beginning.
I went into this story not knowing or expecting anything and I was pleasantly surprised at how great of a read this was!
I usually read Young Adult novels so I felt it was very refreshing to read this Adult novel. In YA you often get teen characters that make foolish decisions and don’t think before they act and all that jazz. But most of the characters we meet in this book are around 30+ and it was delightful to read about these mature characters! I’m not saying that I don’t love the foolish, reckless teens in YA because I DO! Very much! But I’ll have to pick up more adult books in the future for sure! 😀
This wasn’t your typical science-fiction book and if you’re expecting action-packed spaceship fights and a plot-driven story, this isn’t the book for you!
But that wasn’t a bad thing at all! The space aspect is a very minimal part of the story as this is a more character-centered story. It’s about the journey of a mix of different people and the only thing they have in common is the fact that they survived the virus and have to try and adjust to the new world. They have the chance of a new beginning but people’s opinions are clashing and leading to conflicts.
There is one particular character, Rena, who basically represents the religious fanatic whose opinion clashes with everyone else’s. She believes that certain people are impure and broken and not deserving to have survived the virus and she discriminates them using God as an excuse. That obviously leads to constant arguments between her and the others. Rena aggravated me to no end because she represented all the close-minded people in the world who judge someone without really knowing them.
I was a big fan of the main character Jamie and her character development. Jamie is in her mid-thirties and she is a broken and confused woman who has had a rough past, both family- and relationship-wise. The experience of waking up and believing to be all alone on the planet has left her traumatized at first. She is very headstrong and stands for what she believes in, especially when confronting Rena about her discrimination of Jamie herself and some of the other passengers on the ship. I loved that she found her place and who she really is at the end of the story!
Another character that I loved was Finn. At 18, he is the youngest member of the group. Finn is a (most likely) autistic character. It wasn’t specifically mentioned by any of the characters but it is confirmed by his behaviour.
It was a very positive representation of autism which I loved. He was accepted and treated with care and love by everyone and there wasn’t a moment where he was seen as the odd one out or any of that! Everyone catered to him and his needs and was there for him when he was scared or couldn’t deal with a situation. And I love how his relationships with the others developed and to see the person he’s become at the end of the story!
This is a character-centered story but I won’t go into detail and talk about every single character in depth! Just know that there are a lot of great characters that I loved!
I don’t want to say too much about the story because this is definitely a story that needs to be experienced when you barely know anything about it! The journey that the characters go through together was great to read about and I was a big fan of the character development and how the whole story played out in general!
The one thing that could have been done better was the world building in the first few chapters. It was very confusing to understand how the world worked at first! It took me a while to figure out that there were tons of different planets that different people lived on and that each of them had gravity. When Jamie first describes the setting and talks about green grass, a clear blue sky and cows I did a double-take (or was it a triple-take?)! I kept thinking of flying cows floating in the sky 😀
Or maybe I was the only one who was too stupid to grasp the concept of the world #myfault 😛
Overall, this was a refreshing and delightful read with loads of great characters that I’ve grown fond of (I know how vague this sounds lol BUT IT WAS GREAT).
While this isn’t your typical sci-fi story, it has some exciting and shocking plot twists, an interesting group dynamic and character developments which were done really well. It is a story about survival, new beginnings and finding yourself.
(4 OUT OF 5 STARS)
Do you plan on reading this book? Technically, this wasn’t really a Sci-Fi book but what are your favourite Science Fiction books? Let’s chat in the comments!