THE SPACE BETWEEN by Brenna Yovanoff
Daphne, daughter of Lucifer and Lilith, has spent her entire life in Pandemonium. She has no stomach for the kinds of things her demon sisters do, prowling about on Earth, stealing bits of the souls of mortal men. Instead she admires her older brother, Obie (son of Lilith and Adam), who finds other half-humans on Earth who are floundering and helps to get them back on the right track. Truman is one such lost child, ending up in Hell after a suicide attempt. From the moment Daphne sees him—bleeding in half-conscious terror beside the demon that “collected” him—she feels an instant connection that she tries to ignore. Beelzebub gives Obie permission to take Truman back to Earth for a second chance. But shortly afterward, Lilith has a vision of Obie being kidnapped. Fearing that her brother has been taken prisoner by the vengeful archangel Azrael, Daphne disobeys Beelzebub’s orders and travels to Earth on her own, seeking the last person that she knows saw her brother alive: Truman.
If you’re ever in the mood for really dark fantasy, turn to Brenna Yovanoff. I loved her NYT bestseller The Replacement, and was not disappointed by her second novel. Her portrayals of Pandemonium and the life of demons on Earth are detailed, believable, and chilling. Because of all of the references to Roman Catholicism in the text, I do think it is worth noting that Yovanoff’s fantasy is not based directly on Catholic tradition/beliefs. Some characters she portrays are figures in mainstream Christian tradition (Lucifer, Adam, Eve, Michael) while others (notably Lilith & Azrael) are not believed to be real by most Christian sects, including Roman Catholics. Instead, Yovanoff taps into the early Gothic literature tradition which pulled some elements from Catholicism (particularly rituals stripped of their religious significance) and some elements from mythology and horror literature to create a dark and ritualistic backdrop for a romance. Yovanoff does this skillfully (while thankfully rejecting the Gothic tradition of weak and useless female characters!) and creates a story that is exciting, frightening, and heartbreaking. I literally could not put it down and stayed up all night reading it! I highly recommend The Space Between to lovers of the Gothic romance!
If you liked The Space Between, you might like The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff or Reckless by Cornelia Funke.