Ahoy there mateys. It’s time to walk the plank . . .
the space between the stars (Ann Corlett)
This was the author’s debut novel and has a wonderful cover:
But I found this to be an highly disappointing read that never lived up to its promise. The premise is that a woman named Jamie has always felt hemmed in by society and other people, so she flees to the far ends of the universe to live in a colony with few people and a lot of space. Life is working out until a virus devastatingly hits the universe. She believes herself to be the only person alive on her planet in that part of the solar system and suddenly finds that there is too much space in between the stars. Is she doomed to be alone?
Jamie does end up finding other survivors who aim to make it back to Earth. The rag-tag crew of misfits that Jamie ends up with go through a series of “adventures” to make it back to Earth. The introduction of Jamie recovering from the virus until she finds the first survivors was wonderful. It was suspenseful and sad and made me excited to read. But once the whole gang is gathered up the novel began to fail me.
Basically, without any spoilers, Jamie is a very annoying waffling character. The space and science elements were barely there and instead it became about Jamie fighting her feelings about her old and new love interests for basically the rest of the novel. Ugh. Also the other characters seemed to be mostly caricatures who didn’t get explored nearly enough. The exception was Finn whom I found to be the most compelling and interesting character.
It’s odd that while reading this, I kept wishing that we could get out of Jamie’s head and actually have other point of views. I was so tired of her whining. There also was relatively little real action. What did happen also seemed rather bland and predictable. The upside, I guess, was that every time I thought I would put it down and not finish, there would be a snippet of an interesting idea that made me continue. None of the ideas panned out for me but they did keep me going. How different groups of survivors chose to live in the new world were compelling. But a lot of the connections and consequences seemed coincidental and stretched credibility.
Basically I felt this was a triangle romance from an unappealing point of view with a slight veneer of space and post-apocalyptic universe. However I would be willing to give the author’s next work a chance.
Of course me crew has some varying and better opinions of this one so check out:
Lynn @ lynnsbooks gave it a 3.5 stars – click here.
Shannon @ itstartsatmidnight gave it 4.5 stars (and says it is a favorite book of the year) – click here.
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
In a breathtakingly vivid and emotionally gripping debut novel, one woman must confront the emptiness in the universe—and in her own heart—when a devastating virus reduces most of humanity to dust and memories.
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…
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