Title: The Space Between Us
Author: Doug Johnstone
Genre: Science Fiction
First published: January 19th 2023
Publisher: Orenda Books
Finished reading: February 21st 2023
Pages: 300

“We need someone to hold on to, to keep us going, even if we don’t know why.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Orenda Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***


It’s true that I don’t exactly read a lot of science fiction, and I’m not exactly a fan of stories involving aliens either. Why on earth would I want to try my luck with The Space Between Us then, would you ask? Well, the fact is that I do tend to love Doug Johnstone‘s writing, and there was just something about the blurb that had me intrigued. I’m so happy I decided to give this story a chance now, because I ended up having such an excellent time with it! This is such an unique, well written and captivating read, and I can recommend giving it a chance even though sci-fi/aliens might not be your usual taste.

This story kind of gave me The Humans (Matt Haig) vibes, and you will most likely have a great time with The Space Between Us if you enjoyed that book as well. I think what makes this story work so well for me is that despite the fact that this is science fiction and that there are aliens involved, there is also a significant focus on other elements and humanity in general. The different elements are balanced extremely well, and this makes the whole alien angle feel a lot less daunting. The fact that Sandy is absolutely fascinating only helps of course, and it was interesting to learn more about their background and impact on the main characters. Especially the bond with Lennox, but also with the two women…

The Space Between Us uses a multiple POV structure, and this worked perfectly for this story. With every character being so distinctive with an unique background and development, it is very easy to keep them apart, and they complemented each other perfectly. The switches helped adding suspense as well as more insight, and I enjoyed seeing the characters develop over time. Like I said before: this story isn’t just about aliens. Instead, it also includes the human side of things with topics such as bullying, cancer, grief, death, suicide, (domestic) abuse and gaslighting. These elements gave the story more dept, and it helped turn the plot into so much more than just a group of unlikely characters being chased while they try to protect Sandy.

I think this is one of those stories where it’s best to go in blind and with an open mind, and simply sit down and enjoy the ride. The Space Between Us has so much to offer, and it’s a perfect balance of different genres/elements and heavy topics with lighter moments and even banter. The writing itself is excellent (as always), and I really enjoyed how everything was wrapped up in the end. The Space Between Us is definitely one of my reading highlights so far this year!

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