Burn Bright Book Club: The Space Between (Smoulder) by Brenna Yovanoff


Everything burns in Pandemonium, a city in Hell made of chrome and steel, where there is no future and life is an expanse of frozen time. That’s where Daphne lives.

The daughter of a demon and a fallen angel, she wonders what lies in store for her. Will she become a soulless demon like her sisters? Or follow in the footsteps of her brother Obie, whose life is devoted to saving lost souls on Earth? All she wants is to find a place where she belongs.

When Obie saves a bleeding, broken boy named Truman from the brink of death and then suddenly goes missing, Daphne runs away to Earth to find him. But on Earth, everything is colder and more terrifying, and Daphne struggles between her demon instincts and her growing—yet achingly unfamiliar—feelings for Truman. As Daphne and Truman search for Obie, they must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in their way. But Daphne also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.

Paperback, Australia and United Kingdom, 368 pages

Published January 5th 2012 by Simon & Schuster UK

ISBN 0857070789 (ISBN13: 9780857070784)

Belinda:

Cover

Krista and Lisa have (as far as I know) the US version of this book, the title is different and so is the cover art.

On the UK / Australian version, Smoulder is the title and the cover is reminiscent of the metal garden Lilith is in, in every scene. In the background, is the depiction of Pandemonium; a blazing city. There is also a pleasant looking girl glancing to her right wearing a pink dress. I would assume this is Daphne.

Characters

I was not overly fond of the characters in this book. There seemed to be an overabundance of nasty characters and too few relatable ones I could learn to like.

Favourite

Petra. She’s kind to Daphne and is given hell for it. In an environment so full of nastiness and evil, the kindness is a nice change.

Least Favourite

Beelzebub. Mainly because he knew stuff, and though he thought his actions were deeply rooted in love, the actions, however, are really rotten.

Beginning

Daphne’s brother, Obie, leaves Pandemonium to live on Earth to be with the love of his life Elizabeth.

Storyline

Lilith loses her psychic connection with Obie and the duty of finding him falls on Daphne.

Ending

Daphne must find Truman, one of the only people she knows who may know of the whereabouts of Obie. But finding Obie isn’t the only challenge ahead of her.

Thoughts

It was difficult to get into this novel to begin with. Trying to imagine places that were a little too far out of the reach of my mind and trying to feel compassion for a character I really didn’t give two hoots about made for some slow reading.

When the child, Raymie, came into the mix, I was finally brought into the plot in a way I could grasp, and the storyline picked up the pace.

This wasn’t my favourite book of the year so far; but it wasn’t a complete waste of time. I’m interested enough see what would happen if there is a second book.

Quotes

“Not God,” the baby whispers in a weird, creaking voice, dusty like the room. “I’m Raymie.”

Krista:

Cover

The US cover has a beautiful maroon/reddish coloring and the silver flourish is all raised. I have to say that the cover appealed to me immediately before I read the summary. Gorgeous, and fits the mood of the story.

Characters

Mostly recognizable names from religions and myths. Stories of Adam and Eve, heavenly angels and Lucifer himself.

Favourite

Daphne is my favorite character because she never put on a front. She was always true to who she was, although at times confused. The emotions that humans feel are new to her and she has a hard time understanding what they are. But in the end, she is bold, determined and stands up for what she feels is the right thing to be doing. Raymie was a very close second favorite!

Least Favourite

It is always difficult to find a character that I don’t like unless they stand out. I had a hard time trying to figure this one out in this book and even though he is such a minor character I would have to choose Adam. For turning away his son.

Beginning

The unique setting of Pandemonium in the beginning of the story, really does set the mood of the novel with the stories behind daily routines, and a feeling of unending monotony. It surprised me that Earth could be considered scarier than Hell. I began to wonder how the rest of the story is going to go when the main character would prefer to stay in Hell than experience Earth.

Storyline

Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. When her brother Obie is kidnapped,  Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to Earth. With the help of Truman, the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne discovers clues to Obie’s whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human.

Ending

The ending was a perfect match for this book. I was happy to see a stand alone book that wrapped up well with an ending that made me feel content.

Thoughts

This story ended up to be more than I expected. It was dark and grim and brimming with legends, beliefs, folklore, myths, tales, and symbolism. The writing was beautiful and the characters pensive and haunting. It’s by far one of my favorites reads of the year.

Quote

“I’ve never been impulsive. It’s always been in my nature to consider things carefully and then decide upon the best solution. Except, sometimes the circumstances change. Sometimes things get so complicated and so bad that your nature just doesn’t matter anymore.”

“It’s not the wisest thing – love – but when it happens, there’s not a lot you can do to stop it. Sometimes you just have to soldier on through.”

Lisa:

Cover

The U.S. of The Space Between is like no other; it’s incomparable! The immense detail put into the foreground (looking closely you can see all of the roses scattered around her, and she is even holding one in her hand!), the blood red back drop, and the pale white girl laying front and center all set the mood for the story. Even though, I’m not the girl for scary or creepy covers, I have to admit, I really like this one!

Characters

I really enjoyed all of the characters, including Daphne (and the way she didn’t want to be, who she is; a demon), Truman (and the way he is broken, just looking for a way out), Lilith (and her tendency not to care about her daughter) and even little baby Raymie (and her intelligence). The Space Between did include A LOT of characters, so I do recommend reading it a bit slower, so things don’t become confusing.

Favorite

This is a hard one, I would have to pick either Raymie or Truman. Truman because of how broken down he is. He lost his mother and only has his step-father left (who by all means is a good guy!), and is looking for a way out of his nightmares. Raymie because she’s just a baby, but yet can talk, communicate and understand everything she is told.

Least Favorite

Lilith = bad mothering.

Beginning

The Space Between was action packed and filled to the brim with information and intensity! The beginning of the story was where we learn about Daphne, who she is, who her mother and sisters are, and what they do – entice humans, and use them for their own good. I feel that The Space Between’s beginning did an awesome job at hooking me into the story and it’s characters. It made me want to read more, and see what happens.

Story Line

Daphne is a demon girl, she isn’t like her other sisters, who go to earth to find and seduce men for their own good. The only reason she wants to go to earth, is to get her only brother back.  On her mission, Daphne looks for clues, and the biggest one, is a suicidal boy named Truman. She denies having feelings for him, not wanting to become like her mother or her sisters, but soon she can’t hide it anymore.

Ending

I know this is going to be such a girly thing to say, but even with all of this action going on with Obie being missing, the demons coming after Truman and Daphne, I was more enticed by their relationship than anything else! So in the ending I was extremely happy to see both Truman and Daphne accepting and pursuing their feelings towards one another!

Overall Thoughts

The Space Between wasn’t originally on my “To Be Read” list, but I’m really glad we decided to put it into our book club. This isn’t really a book for summer, it doesn’t include beaches, or the sun, but if you’re looking for something a bit dark but yet romantic in a way, this is the book 🙂 I hope you guys pick it up and enjoy it as much as I did!)


  • Ruby Replogle

    I actually quite liked this book – i got given Smoulder as a present. Great reviews 🙂

  • Kay

    I wasn’t sure if I would like this book or not, beautiful cover (US). I started reading it slowly as I didn’t know what to expect but then I found it hard to put down. It was more than I expected to be and I really enjoyed it. I hope there is a sequel in the future.

  • mdepierres

    thanks for your comments, Ruby and Kay.

  • Glad you girls like the book.
    The US cover looks so impressive on here, I bet it’s even more beautiful in person.

  • lisa

    I hate books that are really boring at first, and you constantly have to remind yourself to push through, hoping it’ll get better. This book is nothing like that, even though it wasn’t on my reading list, the first few chapters grabbed and pulled me in!

  • The Space Between sounds very engaging with a wide array of characters. With all the stories about angels and demons, this one seems to not fit the mold. I’m glad I have it on my TBR list already!

  • mdepierres

    Hi Candy, good to see varied opinions on it.

  • Krista

    Candy-
    This book really is something different. I liked that it was a much darker almost pensive read that really got you thinking.
    And I agree with Kay, at first going into the book your really not sure what is going to happen, but it really pulls you in and keeps you there.
    Thanks girls for joining the conversation!
    Those that read the book, do you think the covers do the story justice?

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