The Space Between Two Deaths
by Jamie Yourdon
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 06 Apr 2021 | Archive Date 31 Mar 2021
In ancient Sumeria, only a thin veil separates the living from the dead.
The lives of Ziz, her mother, Meshara, and her father, Temen, are disrupted when a mysterious crevasse rends the earth. Temen becomes obsessed with the mystery and, capturing a crow to guide him, he follows a path to the netherworld where he hopes to gain wisdom from his dead father. Yet he soon finds that ancestors don’t always provide the answers we need.
In his absence, a grisly accident occurs on their farm — Meshara and Ziz are forced to flee. Friendless and alone, they must find a way to survive despite the brutalities of their landlord and devotees of the religious nation-state. Will the women revel in their new companionship or seek to find freedom elsewhere?
Written in a crisp, modern style, The Space Between Two Deaths is a fresh take on the ageless problem of finding your voice when the world is trying to take it away.
From Cody T Luff, author of RATION:
THE SPACE BETWEEN TWO DEATHS reminds us that the dead have voices and the act of living has a price we all must pay. Yourdon’s work is luminous and deeply personal, populated with unflinching clarity and moments of profound compassion. This is a book to return to, to remember, and to take with you into the world.
“Surreal, lyrical, infused with strangeness, Yourdon’s The Space Between Two Deaths rests somewhere between a dark fable and a fever dream. An ambitious, captivating novel.” Keith Rosson, author of The Mercy of the Tide "A pitch-perfect, sinister and chilling to the bone tale of a search for freedom. A gripping and dangerous path to the netherworld that reveals its secrets like night stars winding their way through the dark. The forbidden and unnerving suddenly grow hands, grasping your heart. Yourdon will take you on a journey like no other and make you hold your breath as the dark unfolds." Dziyana Taylor, author of Casting Shadows
There will be a blog tour for The Space Between Two Deaths. If you would like to be included, please mark that you're interested in connecting with the author.
The author, Jamie Yourdon, is interested in doing book events, either virtual or in person (if safety allows) in 2021. He is based in the Pacific Northwest but would be happy to set up virtual events with librarians, bookstore, and bloggers across the country.
Average rating from 54 members
This book was so different than anything I have read before. The story begins in ancient Sumeria with the Earth being rent in two and a giant ravine opening up because the netherworld is too full of the dead. We follow a family of three characters (ten-year-old Ziz and her parents Meshara and Temen) on their journey to find freedom and purpose in both the natural and netherworlds. I don't want to say much more as it would take away from a first reading experience. I loved Ziz as a character. She reminded me of a young Arya Stark (with needle most specifically) or a more outgoing Nona Grey from the Holy Ancestors trilogy. While those are both high fantasy, the characterization is similar and something I am always a sucker for. I also really enjoyed reading from the perspective of the crow. It was rendered in such a unique way and added to the mythology-style feel of the story. It almost felt like I was reading a Sumerian Grimm's fairy tale at times. The themes throughout the novel were excellent. Revolving around slavery, freedom, personal choice, and self-identification/actualization, the setting was perfect for a discussion of such themes and I thought they were handled excellently. Also, the prologue for this book completely hooked me. It is one of the best prologues I have read in recent memory. After reading the description I will admit I was hoping for a bit more of ancient Sumeria in the story. While I think the author showcased some of their mythology and religious traditions well, I just wanted to *taste and smell* the ancient world a bit more and explore it with my senses. I found it a bit hard to picture in my head sometimes which might be influencing my overall feel of the story. (I feel the need to note the author was very descriptive in terms of the plot, I'm just being picky and wanted more Sumeria!) Lastly, there were a few plot points that I wanted answers on and left me feeling a little unsettled. While I felt like Ziz's story arc was perfectly wrapped up (I LOVED her ending) and the themes were complete, I didn't feel the same way for Temen's and Meshara's storylines. I think I needed one more chapter from each of them to glean their thoughts and feelings about what had occurred and to wrap up their connection with other characters. And here's one big question I have:*SPOILER* Why didn't WantsForNoOne pluck his tail feather out of Temen when he was tied up as a scarecrow?! One final note: This book has some body gore that I was not expecting. You may want to be aware before reading that there is some self-mutilation and an incident with eyeballs! I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A page turner deep into the night - you won't put this one down!. This was a very pleasant surprise, I didn't know what to expect and found one of the best reads I've had all year, and I read a lot. Almost a modernish fable, akin to The Alchemist in the joining of actual and supernatural elements. Enjoyed every minute and rejoiced at the end.