Friday, June 30, 2017

My take on: The Space between the Stars

A virus has left Earth and the surrounding planets desolate wastelands. The people left are few and far between. In The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett, one woman, the sole survivor in her community, will have to confront the loneliness that surrounds her physically and the loneliness in her heart.

Jamie, a survivor of a community on planet Soltaire, fled Earth years ago. A miscarriage led to the end of her relationship with Daniel and to her life on Earth. Somehow Jamie has survived a deadly virus outbreak, leaving her to survive on her own. Small amounts of food and a horse are Jamie's only sources of comfort. Solitude could drive some people to insanity, but for Jamie it seemed to be a source of strength. However, Jamie is not alone. Rena, a research scientist, and Lowry, a priest, find their way to Jamie. Soon a ship picks up their distress signal. The captain, Callan, is a bit of an enigma. He wants to help, but he also doesn't want to help. Does that make sense? He wants to do just enough but no more than necessary.

This ragtag group is on their way to the capital, but not to Earth. That's close enough for Jamie. She's now convinced Daniel is alive and needs her. What's this pull Daniel has over her? Is their still some love between them? Or is it because when you're stripped of everything in life you start to reflect. You to start to reflect on the good and the bad in your life. They continue to pick up more people, including a socially awkward young man named Finn and a former prostitute named Mila. This trip to the capital is not without its challenges. They continue to pick up distress signals. They fight about who to pick up and who to leave behind. They fight about who's in charge. They fight about food. In a world where there isn't much in the way of material things, you fight over the smallest things.

Sometimes I wasn't sure how to feel about this book. I wasn't sure if this was trying to be a sci-fi novel? Dystopian? Literary fiction? It reminded me of Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel and I was a bit indifferent to that book too. A lot of the book takes place in outer space, but that element of the story seems like an afterthought. The space angle could have been a fascinating part of the story. It could have been an extra character. But the space portion of the story is more of a backdrop to the characters. Sometimes I didn't understand Jamie. She didn't seem to love anything or anyone. What was with the sudden desire to find Daniel? As a whole, this wasn't quite what I was expecting. Parts of it were good, and with a little more action I think this would have been a great story.

Rating: Give it a try

Note: I received a copy of the book from the publisher (Berkley) as part of a blog tour.

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