The Space Between the Stars. Anne Corlett. Penguin Publishing Group. June 13, 2017. 368 pp. ISBN #: 9780399585111.
99% of the world is dead! A terrible plague has decimated innumerable planets where human live and all that is left are piles of dust. Before the plague, Jamie Allenby moved to a quiet planet with that huge space that she so desired after leaving a suffocating, congested Earth. The reader immediately thinks, “What would I do if I found myself in such a circumstance?” Jamie initially thinks she’s the only survivor but after a week manages to pick up a signal from out of her planet. This then is the story of the survivors who find each other, their complex personalities, and their desire to form a new society. The only problem or problems involve different ideas of what should happen next.
We meet some who are curious about transporting survivors to where they want to go, allowing others to make choices, to be free. However, we meet a group who believe they, the “upper echelon” of society, should form a new society under their control because they are better in so many ways. We meet a religious woman who has a horrible secret from the past and is now finding her own survival totally dependent on “God’s will.”
Jamie’s past lover is one of the leaders who is unable to accept that Jamie no longer loves him and tries to block her escape from this new world order that borders on a “1984” novel scenario. Violence and blocking anyone from leaving become the norm which some characters manage to elude.
All the characters have lost other human beings and each reacts differently, yet somehow the focus seems to remain on the present and future. It takes quite a while before these people realize they must face these losses and what their present and future lives could be in order to truly create a new society.
Another perspective on those in this story is how strongly human desires haven’t changed at all, even considering the disaster all have experienced.
The plot is simple herein, but what holds the reader’s focus is on the static or dynamic evolution that dramatically changes Jaime and a friend she begins to draw closer to, the opportunity to become freer now they cannot take life for granted.
Interesting, recommended post-apocalyptic sci-fi read, indeed!