Wednesday 8 March 2023

BLOG TOUR: The Space Between Us - Doug Johnstone

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…

What did I think?

I already know that Doug Johnstone is a talented author but his new novel, The Space Between Us, is absolutely outstanding.  I am completely speechless and I'm afraid that any review I write will not do it justice but I'll give it a go.

Three very different people are brought together when they all inexplicably recover from a severe stroke.  The universe isn't yet done with Lennox, Ava and Heather so when they hear reports of a cephalopod on a local beach, they feel compelled to rescue it.  Lennox names the mysterious creature Sandy and the bond between them is beautiful to behold.

The vivid imagery created by Doug Johnstone's words is stunning, it did actually take my breath away on several occasions.  The bursts of colour that exploded in my mind, simply by reading words on a page, felt so intense and magical that I will never forget it.  I absolutely loved Sandy; their innocence and intelligence reminded me a little of E.T. and their attempts to understand our crazy world were entertaining and amusing.

My thoughts have been well and truly provoked after reading this exceptional novel; it really makes you consider your place in the universe and realise how very insignificant we are.  I wouldn't normally read something that sounds so much like science fiction but I'm very glad that I did.  A highly recommended read and a well-deserved 5 stars.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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About the author:

Doug Johnstone is the author of fourteen previous novels, most recently Black Hearts (2022). The Big Chill (2020) was longlisted for the Theakston Crime Novel of the Year and three of his books, A Dark Matter (2020), Breakers (2019) and The Jump (2015), have been 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, and has been an arts journalist for over twenty years. Doug is a songwriter and musician with six albums and three EPs released, and he plays drums for the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, a band of writers. He’s also co-founder of the Scotland Writers Football Club, and has a PhD in nuclear physics.

Follow Doug on Twitter @doug_johnstone

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