The Space Between The Stars by Anne Corlett
|The Space Between The Stars by Anne Corlett|
|Category: Science Fiction|
|Reviewer: Luke Marlowe|
|Summary: A journey across the stars and into the soul of a fantastically drawn lead character, The Space Between the Stars takes a while to get going, but truly blasts off spectacularly when it does|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 512||Date: June 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
Jamie Allenby wakes, alone, and realises her fever has broken. But could everyone she knows be dead? Months earlier, Jamie had left her partner Daniel, mourning the miscarriage of their baby. She'd just had to get away, so took a job on a distant planet. Then the virus hit. Jamie survived as it swept through our far-flung colonies. Now she feels desperate and isolated until she receives a garbled message from Earth. If someone from her past is still alive – perhaps Daniel – she knows she must find a way to return. She meets others seeking Earth, and their ill-matched group will travel across space to achieve their dream. But they'll clash with survivors intent on repeating humanity's past mistakes, threatening their precious fresh start. Jamie will also get a second chance at happiness. But can she escape her troubled past, to embrace a hopeful future?
Anne Corlett is a writer from the northeast, who slid down the map and now lives near Bath. She's been published in various magazines and her short fiction has won several awards, but The Space Between the Stars is her first novel, and it's an impressively strong debut. Telling the story of one woman who wakes from an illness to discover that not only her world, but the entire galaxy has been changed by a virus, she embarks on a journey that takes her across the stars, but also a journey that takes her deep into the secrets and issues that she's tried to leave behind her – and it makes for a riveting read.
This is Science Fiction – a large part of the book taking place on alien planets and in the vastness of space. However, Corlett doesn't allow the book to become weighed down by going into too much detail when it comes to exploring this aspect of things, instead keeping a steady aim on Jamie's character and those she meets along the way. Science Fiction often includes grand, far-reaching ideas, and Corlett has no issue touching upon some very interesting points, but does so by using her characters as a lens through which to focus these ideas, meaning that, not only are the ideas and issues raised here conveyed well, but they also form part of a plot which is involving, intimate, and often rather gripping.
Jamie was a character I took a while to warm to, but I think that's a reflection of quite how well she's been brought to life – no everywoman, she's real, damaged, and the emotional change she goes through over the course of the book makes for fascinating reading, and forms the main emotional pull of the plot. Any science fiction book with a strong female lead will always gain extra brownie points from me too, as they still aren't quite as common as they should be. I initially found the book a little bit of a struggle to get into, but am hugely glad I persevered, as this is a read that rewards the reader with real characters, strong emotional beats, and a fantastic journey across the stars. Many thanks to the publishers for the copy.
For further reading I recommend The Things We Learn When We're Dead by Charlie Laidlaw – another read that uses science fiction concepts to explore an emotional and personal journey, to great success.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Space Between The Stars by Anne Corlett at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Space Between The Stars by Anne Corlett at Amazon.com.
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