Thursday, 12 July 2012

Read and Re-Read - Smoulder

This is where I'll show books I read over and over again, because I just love them!
(Also known as 'The Space Between' outside the UK)
Brenna Yovanoff
10 / 10

From the blurb: Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time - until her brother Obie is kidnapped, and Daphne realises she may be partly responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. 
With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie's whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be. 

The mythology in this book is so in-depth and fascinating - there's a whole host of demons and angels and somewhere in between lies Daphne. Lilith is given a new lease of life; she's a real person under all the evil and though she is often cruel and careless, she truly cares for both Daphne and Obie. It's also interesting to see Brenna Yovanoff's museum of human artifacts, which mundane items are held up to show human life, and her terminal - it's the only way to travel from Pandemonium to Earth, and is laid out much like the London Underground. 

Once Daphne's on Earth, she's hilariously clueless. Instead of being slapstick, though, it's curious and terrifying. Despite being so dangerous, she is utterly naive and I felt a need to take her hand and lead her through our world. It's great to see the world through her eyes, the eyes of someone who can see all the beauty and horror and hope we've grown accustomed to. 

But what really steals the show in this book is the relationship between Daphne and Truman. It's breathtakingly fragile and they're both such destructive people. I found myself rooting for them from the beginning, wanting them to join in a crash of light and fireworks and excitement. They start in a spiralling descent, though, each unwilling to rely on the other, instead preferring to fall apart. There are so many beautiful moments between them, and each one feels breakable and brief. 

Teaser quote: I pull back the shower curtain and take Truman's hand. When I close the curtain around us, he raises his eyebrows but doesn't say anything. Behind the curtain, everything feels safer, like the world is very small.
We stand facing each other in the bathtub and he watches me intently. Moves his lips but no sound comes out. He raises his hands and mine rise to meet them, fingers tangling. Here is the best - the realest thing of my life and I don't know how to let him touch me. It scares me, how much I want things. 

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