Review: The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

The Space Between
by Brenna Yovanoff

ISBN-13: 9-781595-143396
Publication: November 15, 2011 from Razorbill (Penguin)
Rating: 3.5 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I liked it

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.

Brenna Yovanoff has a way with writing the dark and gritty, and The Space Between is just that. Daphne – half-demon, half-fallen angel – is content to stay living in Pandemonium. She has no need to travel Earthside, until the day she discovers her brother Obie missing – kidnapped. Aware of the last person to see Obie, Daphne heads to Earth armed with only his name, address and a few supplies. Determined to have Truman help find her brother, Daphne barges her way into Truman’s life – but demons aren’t safe on Earth, and Daphne may be in for more than she can handle…which means Truman is in for one quick crash course in demons and angels.

I’m not going to lie, I was a little disappointed with The Space Between. From the synopsis, I was expecting more than I felt was delivered, especially on the demonic powers and archangels front. But on the other hand, I loved what was there – the relationship between Daphne and Truman was both fast and yet slow at the same time in a way that really worked for me. The demons, like Moloch, Beelzebub and Daphne’s sisters (succubi) were rather interesting. They seem at first rather set in their ways and yet you can tell they are quite complex in their emotions and rationals. Daphne is unlike her sisters, being the daughter of Lilith and Lucifer (while her sister’s are daughters of minor demons), and has until now never been to Earth. When she does go, it’s for loyalty and love of her brother Obie. Daphne’s views on life change completely throughout the course of the book and she does a bit of growing up – and for a demon, that’s pretty good. She is often clueless but determined, and she grows to love Truman, who is as damaged as anyone can be. Daphne helps him live again, and introduces him to a whole other side of himself.

The Space Between is, at its heart, a book about love – love for family (Daphne for Obie, and others), and romantic love (Daphne and Truman, for example). That’s not to say it’s just that, though. There is also mystery, fear, some running for their lives, and of course the demon/angel mythology that is the backbone to the whole book. Brenna Yovanoff knows how to write to catch your attention. While it may not have been everything I was expecting, I did enjoy The Space Between. If you’re looking for a book that offers a unique view on angel and demon lore paired with some gritty angst and a whole lot of learning to love, than I definitely recommend this one (especially if you liked Brenna’s first book The Replacement).

ARC received from Penguin Canada in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!