Disappointing but unique take on demon mythos
In Brenna Yovanoff's sophomore novel, The Space Between, Daphne has spent an apathetic life within the metal city of Pandemonium. As the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lilith and Lucifer, she lives in a space where little changes and love doesn't matter. When her brother Obie goes missing, Daphne realizes she must travel to Earth in an attempt to save him. Putting her own demon nature to the test and relying on Truman, a human boy with problems of his own, Daphne risks her life to find out what love really means.
Though I really wanted to enjoy THE SPACE BETWEEN, I had a hard time connecting with its characters and its world. Daphne and Truman were sympathetic characters, but their problems were resolved too easily and too quickly for me to find it believable. For example, Daphne never really seemed to struggle with her humanity. She was too good for my liking, as were all of the other demons. World building flaws also pulled me out of the story. Much was made about how Pandemonium was a world without time, but many things were mentioned that denoted the passing of time. There were also confusing points regarding parentage and who/what made someone a demon. If these had been small things, instead of integral parts of the story, I could have let them slip, but they weren't.
Other things that tripped me up while reading included the change in point-of-view from first-person to third-person between chapters and the quick pace of the romance. While I liked that this was a stand-alone novel, the conclusion left things wrapped up too neatly for my taste, especially given the harrowing events that happen shortly before the end. I was also put off by the nature of some of the things that happen in the second half of the book. It's a personal aversion, but it unsettles me whenever religion gets mixed with with creepy stuff like torture.
Even with these problems, I can appreciate that Yovanoff is a good writer, and it showed in many places. Her descriptions of Pandemonium were detailed and vivid, and her unique spin on the tale of Lilith and Lilith's children pulled me in during the prologue. I also appreciated the story's focus on the sibling bond between Daphne and Obie. Even when the relationship between Daphne and Truman took over the latter part of the story, most of Daphne's actions were still motivated by her love and concern for her brother.
Though I haven't enjoyed Yovanoff's writing as much as I had hoped (either in this book or in her debut, [b:The Replacement|7507908|The Replacement|Brenna Yovanoff|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51YK5JMd-WL._SL75_.jpg|6911742]), I'm still willing to keep reading her work in the future. I hope I can find that spark that so many of my friends see in her work.
Note: This review refers to an advance review copy.