#BlogTour – #BookReview of #TheSpaceBetweenUs by Doug Johnstone @doug_johnstone @OrendaBooks @RandomTTours #RandomThingsTours #MeetSandy

I’m excited to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for incredible sci-fi mystery The Space Between Us by Doug Johnstone. Thank you as always to Anne Cater and Orenda Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this fantastic book.

About the book:

Lennox is a troubled teenager with no family. Ava is eight months pregnant and fleeing her abusive husband. Heather is a grieving mother and cancer sufferer. They don’t know each other, but when a meteor streaks over Edinburgh, all three suffer instant, catastrophic strokes …

…only to wake up the following day in hospital, miraculously recovered.

When news reaches them of an octopus-like creature washed up on the shore near where the meteor came to earth, Lennox senses that some extra-terrestrial force is at play. With the help of Ava, Heather and a journalist, Ewan, he rescues the creature they call ‘Sandy’ and goes on the run.

But they aren’t the only ones with an interest in the alien … close behind are Ava’s husband, the police and a government unit who wants to capture the creature, at all costs. And Sandy’s arrival may have implications beyond anything anyone could imagine…

About the author:

Author Doug Johnstone poses for a portrait near his home in Edinburgh, Scotland. ©Duncan McGlynn

Doug Johnstone is the author of twelve previous novels, most recently The Big Chill (2020). Several of his books have been bestsellers and three, A Dark Matter (2020), Breakers (2019) and The Jump (2015), were shortlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Novel of the Year. 

He’s taught creative writing and been writer in residence at various institutions over the last decade – including at a funeral parlour ahead of writing A Dark Matter – and has been an arts journalist for over twenty years. 

Doug is a songwriter and musician with five albums and three solo EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of crime writers. He’s also player-manager of the Scotland Writers Football Club.

He lives in Edinburgh.

Follow Doug on Twitter @doug_johnstone and visit his website: dougjohnstone.com.

My Review:

As someone who is a huge fan of Doug Johnstone’s brilliant series of books featuring The Skelfs, I’ve been eagerly anticipating The Space Between Us, his first foray into the world of science fiction. And wow, what a fantastic read it is! An incredible, character driven story that is everything I hoped it would be and more, The Space Between Us is Doug Johnstone at his very best.

Told from the alternating points of view of Lennox, a troubled teenager with no family, Ava, who is heavily pregnant and trying to escape her abusive husband, Heather, a grieving mother who is fighting a personal battle of her own and Ewan, a journalist with his eye on the next story. All unconnected until a bright light streaks across the night sky, causing Lennox, Ava and Heather to suffer a catastrophic stroke. A stroke that should have killed them, but instead they wake up the following morning completely recovered…

When they learn that an octopus has washed up on shore near where the meteorite hit, Lennox is instantly convinced that an alien force is at work. So with the help of Ava, Heather and journalist Ewan, who unexpectedly finds himself caught up in the drama, Lennox rescues the creature he calls Sandy and goes on the run.

What follows is an exciting, character driven story that keeps the surprises coming from beginning to end. With not only the police, but also Ava’s bully of a husband and a government agency hot on their tail, Sandy’s arrival may yet prove to have far reaching consequences that no one could ever have anticipated. My heart was in my mouth as the quartet find themselves being chased across Scotland, with the enigmatic Sandy, who appears to be able to speak to them, in tow.

The Space Between Us is certainly a departure from Doug Johnstone’s previous work, but everything I’ve always loved about his writing is still there, with the addition of a science fiction element that I loved. With strong, empathetic characters and a compelling storyline, I found myself completely immersed in the lives of Lennox, Ava, Heather and Ewan as they seek answers to how Sandy came to be here and to find out what exactly it is that they want. With a varied cast of supporting characters to keep me on my toes and a storyline that kept me guessing throughout, this is a science fiction book that I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end.

As I’ve said in previous reviews, I think one of the things I love most about Doug Johnstone’s books is that they don’t necessarily fit into just one genre. The Space Between Us, as well as being an intriguing tale of science fiction, also tells the story of what it means to be human, touching on hard hitting themes such as domestic abuse, grief and how it feels to be caught up in the care system as a vulnerable teen on the cusp of adulthood.

I fell in love with these characters from the moment they were introduced, with Sandy taking centre stage as the link between all four begins to grow as the story continues. Fast paced, intense and at times moving, The Space Between Us is a story with humanity at its heart, with Doug Johnstone’s sharp wit and dark humour shining through with every page.

I’ve loved every moment of this brilliantly written and deftly plotted science fiction tale and can’t wait to see where Doug Johnstone is going to take the story next!

Highly recommended.

The Space Between Us by Doug Johnstone is available to buy now:

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