Wednesday, July 5, 2017

*Review* The Space Between the Stars by Anne Corlett

Genre: Science Fiction
Published: June 13, 2017
Pages: 368


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...


I received a copy of this book through Penguin's First to Read program in exchange for an honest review. Truth be told, I guaranteed my copy of this book because I was super intrigued by the synopsis, and I'm glad I did. 

This book was like dystopian science fiction, which seems redundant because dystopia is a sub-genre of science fiction. I've just never really read a dystopian novel where humans had easy access to spaceships and travel between worlds before. But that's what this is. The worlds (yes, plural) end and the people who survive have to figure out how to go on, but first they have to get back to Earth.

At first this story had me really intrigued, but then I started to lose interest. After the initial attention grab, things slowed down a lot for world building. In addition to that, it just felt like it was really dragging for a while with not much actually going on. It wasn't boring, exactly, but it also didn't leave me desperate to keep reading. It just kind of was. I found myself putting this book aside in favor of more actively interesting stories.

There were a few things that I started to suspect early on, that while they were never exactly confirmed, the evidence accumulated by the end of the book strongly supports my suspicions. There were a few somewhat minor details that I had wrong, but I mostly had it pegged. These suspicions made me really not like one of the characters, although the character in question wasn't particularly likable to begin with.

I felt like Ms. Corlett did a decent job of capturing many of the different characteristics of humanity within her characters. The main cast of the story even made me think of a Stephen King novel like The Stand. It was a strange assortment of people with varied backgrounds. The only thing missing was a telepathic character.

Overall I give The Space Between the Stars 4 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

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About the Author

Anne Corlett is a criminal lawyer by profession and has recently completed an M.A. in creative writing at Bath Spa University. Her work has been published in magazines and anthologies, and her short fiction has won, placed, or been short-listed in national and international awards. The Space Between the Stars is her first novel.


  1. I love that you didn't trash this book, even though it sounds like it was not the most pleasurable read for you. I like the element of having to find a balance between the who you are and who you will be, but for the most part this sounds like a miss for me. So strange to say that when I haven't read the book, but from your description it sounds like I wouldn't enjoy it that much. Thanks for your honest review!

    1. Yeah, it was definitely not the home-run I was expecting it to be from the description. And it really wasn't bad, it just didn't work for me. - Katie

  2. The dystopian genre is just not on my radar - it tends to generate a sense of despair and futility that I do not enjoy

    1. While there are feelings of despair and futility at the beginning of this story, things start to turn hopeful towards the end. This one might be worth trying for you because it has a women's fiction feeling to the story as well. - Katie