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My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

ARC Review: The Space Between The Stars by Anne Corlett

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30981910-the-space-between-the-stars?ac=1&from_search=true
Please Note:  I received an advanced readers copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
All Jamie Allenby ever wanted was space. Even though she wasn’t forced to emigrate from Earth, she willingly left the overpopulated, claustrophobic planet. And when a long relationship devolved into silence and suffocating sadness, she found work on a frontier world on the edges of civilization. Then the virus hit...

Now Jamie finds herself dreadfully alone, with all that’s left of the dead. Until a garbled message from Earth gives her hope that someone from her past might still be alive.

Soon Jamie finds other survivors, and their ragtag group will travel through the vast reaches of space, drawn to the promise of a new beginning on Earth. But their dream will pit them against those desperately clinging to the old ways. And Jamie’s own journey home will help her close the distance between who she has become and who she is meant to be...
  


Review:
I am an emotional reader, which means if a book is well-written, I become deeply invested in the story.  When a character is raging, I am raging.  When a character is confused, so am I.  Haunting and contemplative, The Space Between The Stars, by Anne Corlett, tugged at my soul.  This book explores what it would mean for humanity if all but a handful of people survived a catastrophic epidemic.  Would society reorganize in the same way?  Or would it mean a clean slate, a chance to live exactly as one liked?  The suspense and action of the survivor's journey is peppered with quieter moments of reflection that I found lovely and moving.  This is a book that will make anyone a fan of speculative fiction.

What I Liked:
Characters:
Jamie is an expert at running away from her problems.  After a long-term relationship crumbles, Jamie takes a job on a far-flung planet.  She doesn't want to deal with people, just focus on her work as a veterinarian.  When she finds herself alone after a devastating virus hits the universe, she is surprised to realize that she does crave human contact.  I loved following her evolution from avoiding any strong emotional attachment, to finding what it means to live without baggage.

Eventually, Jamie finds other survivors. Callan, the captain of the spaceship that picks her up, is another strong character with a past he is trying to avoid.  I pictured him as a young Harrison Ford type guy.  

The other members of the rag tag group of survivors all have compelling backstories, particularly Rena.  Rena is a scientist who is also a religious zealot.  She is convinced that the virus is part of God's plan and sees a new world order emerging from the disaster.  But others feel this is just Rena's way of coping with the devastation.

Story:
I thought the story was very compelling.  There was a good mix of showing small details (would people even use money anymore?), and larger issues (would women be compelled to have babies to repopulate humanity?) that would confront the survivors.  I was floored by the class system that was re-emerging almost immediately.  The author is British and I can't help but wonder if this was a statement on the British class system, which is still significant in England today.

Beyond that, the story was full of moments where Jamie questions what it means to be a part of society.  Who gets to make the rules?  Do people have a choice to be part of the survivor group or can they set out on their own.  With few people left, some argue that the survivors have an obligation to stick together.  Others see this as an opportunity to steer their own ship and forge their destiny for themselves.

What I Was Mixed About:
Astronomical coincidences:
The author makes a point to mention that the death rate for this virus is 99.9999%, which means that the survival rate is 0.0001%.  Yet Jamie manages to find several people among the survivors that she knows.  And many of them also are British, and want to go back to Earth to a small village that is conveniently right near Jamie's hometown.  I know that this is essential to the plot, but having all those stars align stretches the story's credibility.


Overall, this is a book that made me think about society and the choices we make to either participate in it, or pull away from others.  I think great science fiction (or speculative fiction?) uses over the top situations as a means to explore deeper questions of humanity, and this book did just that.



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30981910-the-space-between-the-stars?ac=1&from_search=true

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-space-between-the-stars-anne-corlett/1124998287?ean=9780399585111

https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Space-Between-the-Stars-Anne-Corlett/9781509833528?ref=grid-view&qid=1498711824079&sr=1-1

https://www.amazon.com/Space-Between-Stars-Anne-Corlett/dp/0399585117/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498711885&sr=8-1&keywords=the+space+between+the+stars+by+anne+corlett

Rating: 




Release Date:  June 1st, 2017

Genre:  Speculative Fiction

Source:  NetGalley

Format:  ARC E-Book

Recommendation:  A thoughtful story exploring what it means to be a part of humanity.  Well worth your time to read and reflect.
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1 comment :

  1. Ooh, awesome. I have this on my TBR after someone else's review, and this cements the fact that I need to read it soon!

    ReplyDelete




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