Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Smoulder by Brenna Yovanoff (Also known as 'The Space Between')

Pages: 364
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Release Date: December 2011
RRP: $19.99
Received from publisher.

Being the youngest daughter of the Devil has never been easy. Daphne's father has no time for her, her mother no interest, and her status in the upper echelon separates her from the working-class demons that populate Lucifer's metropolis. When her brother and only confidante goes missing, life in the restrictive city of Pandemonium becomes intolerable. Now, in an attempt to find him, Daphne sets out for Earth - and finds it larger and more chaotic than she imagined: a dazzling expanse of noise, dirt and random violence. Despite her bewilderment, she navigates the mortal world with growing fascination, gaining an ally when she saves a dying boy from her father's minions.
For Truman Flynn, the last year has been one long downward spiral, but when Daphne arrives just in time to save his life, he finds himself unexpectedly glad to have another chance. Together, Daphne and Truman go in search of her brother, braving the hazards of Las Vegas and the perils of first love, even as it becomes increasingly clear that her brother might have had a secret and compelling reason for leaving. Lucifer's agents aren't the only creatures on the prowl, and Daphne soon finds herself the target of a plan to rid the world of demons for good. Now she must evade a demon-eating monster, rescue her brother from an angelic zealot, and save the boy she loves from his greatest enemy - himself.

I have always been a little apprehensive about reading a book by this author. 'The Space Between' and 'The replacement' both had such creepy covers that I immediately placed both books in the imaginary too-hard basket. Luckily for Brenna Yovanoff 'The Space Between' is also being released from Simon and Schuster under another title 'Smoulder' and with a much more eye friendly cover. The result? Her writing isn't as scary as I would have thought it to be. And, I enjoyed the novel so much as to want to go back and read 'The Replacement'.

I really liked the way that Yovanoff wrote this book. I enjoyed the different perspectives or Point-of-view that took place from chapter to chapter. Also I found the writing style to be quite interesting. I thought the writing style was very observational in terms of description. This could have been annoying, but the writer used this idea minimally. I thought the writing style really suited the character because she had never been to earth before and everything was new.

The characters seemed very genuine. 'Smoulder' didn't seem like a 'novel' because the characters felt more like real people rather than made up ones. Obviously a half demon teenager, the devil's daughter and a talking demon baby aren't real, but in this context the characters were very believable.

One of my favourite things about this book was the imagery. I thought Daphne described the Pandemonium beautifully. My favourite thing though was the way she described earth. I really enjoyed seeing boring old earth through new eyes. This is where the observationalist writing style really won me over.

The relationships between the characters in this book were perhaps the most real thing. The book wasn't just about falling in love, but about defining love and about different definitions of family. That old ideology about how "love overcomes all obstacles" was very present in this novel.

I also thought that some of the social issues that were presented in 'Smoulder' were quite realistic. The book conveys issues like suicide and loneliness and shows how the characters accept or deal with the issue. I've noticed this alot in recent Young adult fantasy novels and really appreciate the way that writers can incorporate real issues into a fantasy book.

Overall I really enjoyed the novel. There were a few times that I thought some things were a little obvious or vaguely written, but aside from that 'Smoulder' was great. I rate this book 5/5 stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys books about fantastical courts or species who have rules about their interaction with the human world. I think Melissa Marr fans will definitely get a kick out of this novel.

Also by this author: 'The Replacement' by Brenna Yovanoff

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