The Space Between just blew me away. Lured in by the stunning, creeptastic cover and intriguing synopsis, I expected a lot when picking it up. And I wasn't disappointed. I was impressed and bewitched. From the moment I stepped into the mesmerizing, glorious world of Pandemonium I was spellbound. 10 pages in, I was hopelessly in love, devouring every word, craving more of Brenna Yovanoff's utmost brilliant writing. Fascinating mythology, imaginative world building, deliciously dark atmosphere - these are just three of many reasons why you should read this book. But wait, there's more...
Daphne is a daughter of Lilith and Lucifer, a half-angel, half-demon creature, who looks just like an extraordinarily beautiful, dark-haired girl (well, maybe except for her unnaturally white skin and metal dogteeth). She's never been to Earth, all she knows is the gray world of Pandemonium. World where everything is made of silver and metal - the walls, the floors, the furniture, even plants and flowers! Daphne is having a hard time figuring out where she belongs. She doesn't want to be like her soulless demon sisters, who visit Earth to feed on Lost Ones' feelings of sorrow and despair. But what else lies in store for her? She has no desire to leave Pandemonium, she's perfectly content exploring Earth through the things her brother Obie brings back from his trips. That's until Obie declares that he fell in love with a human woman and he decided to leave Pandemonium forever. Just before he leaves, Obie saves a bleeding boy named Truman and brings him back to Earth with him. And then Obie goes missing. Not even Lilith's powerful mirror-sight can help locate him. It's as if he never even existed... Lilith, eternally trapped in her steel garden, can't go looking for him. The only one who can find him - who cares enough to even try - is Daphne. And the only one who can help her do that is Truman - the beautiful, broken boy, who can't even help himself.
The Space Between is different from the mainstream paranormal YA novels in many ways. It's darker and more complex than most of the stories I've read this year. It's magical and mystical, but at the same time contains a message that is all too real and profoundly significant. It's a stand-alone novel, and an amazing one at that - Brenna Yovanoff told a phenomenal, heart-breaking story without trying to drag it out into a trilogy. She could have done that. She definitely had enough mythology, characters and plot line twists to keep us entertained for a long time. And you know what? I would buy every single volume she'd wrote, I'd even pay double, just so I could spend a little more time in the magnificent world she created. This woman has a wonderful imagination and an extraordinary talent for writing. She took an already interesting myth about Lilith, added some really brilliant twists to it, and then painted it with her words. She depicted everything so well, it felt more like watching a movie (one with really awesome graphic, beautiful characters and intriguing, dark atmosphere) than reading a book. I really didn't want this book to end. But at the same time, I'm grateful that this novel stands alone. It's perfect this way: complete, satisfying and not in the least overdone or overstretched. Reading a good book is like eating a delicious dish, even the most yummy treats - if consumed in too large a portion - can leave you feeling slightly disgusted. Sometimes it's better to be left craving more, cause the feeling of satisfying fullness comes after a while. That's exactly how I feel about this book - I crave more and I really like the craving. The craving is what will keep me coming back to Yovanoff's books.
I'm not a big fan of books that have different POVs, I find them quite confusing most of the time, or at least mildly annoying. I liked the POV switches in Twilight series - but that was my first YA and, honestly, I didn't know any better back then. I absolutely loved what Patrick Ness did in his Chaos Walking Trilogy, alternating between the two MCs and a bad guy - he did a fantastic job and it worked out just great. In The Space Between, the switches between the first-person's narrative voice (belonging to Daphne) and a third-person one were done very smoothly, and, although I could probably do without them, I admit that I enjoyed getting to know Truman's side of the story. Most importantly, Brenna Yovanoff didn't do this unnecessary thing when one scene is showed from two different perspectives, not really adding anything new to the story. There weren't all that many switches, either, just a few of them, and they were quite essential ones.
There are quite a few thrilling twists to the plot, and these are the ones you really don't see coming. The Space Between is definitely a fast-paced story, one that is impossible to put down. I keep wrecking my brain to find at least one thing that I didn't like about this book, something I could nag about not to make this review sound like yet another fan-girl rave, but.. Well, I'm sorry, I come up empty handed. What can I say? I really loved this book. It's a gorgeous piece of literature, a book that you want to have on your shelf so that you could re-read it whenever you find yourself craving something extraordinary. Yovanoff's knowledge of Judeo-Christian mythology is apparent as she skilfully weaves all its fascinating details into the story. The overall atmosphere of the book reminded me of Sergei Lykanenko's Watch series (Night Watch, Day Watch, Twilight Watch, Last Watch), only it was way more elegant, glorious, dreamy and magical.
2011 is a year extremely abundant in fabulous Young Adult books, ones that you simply have to read, and The Space Between is one of them.