If you liked reading The Space Between then you will probably like reading this book. To me it had a similar vibe of sadness/otherness and trying to figure out if you could love even if you were not designed to do so, that I enjoyed in the other book.
The main character, Desolation, is the daughter of Lucifer and she likes Hell because it is comfortable/predictable. She really has nothing to fear there, nothing that really complicates her life. Oh she has her duties as Lucifer's daughter, but she since she has a fear and dislike of Earth, Hell is, in a sense, a place where she can be at peace even though she always has this doubt that she doesn't really belong there. She feels like there's this little part of her that is warmth, warmth that she isn't supposed to have. Why does she even have this bit of warmth in her? She knows she's Lucifer's daughter, so what can she possibly do about this warmth? Can you really fight against your nature?
A quote that explains well her fear and dislike of Earth is this:
"When he turns back, the look on his face is like a fist to my gut. The loss and betrayal in his eyes belongs to me—I’d put them there. And the crushing knowledge that I can inflict pain without even trying wracks my body with shame."
Desolation has been on Earth before, which is why she fears it and dislikes it. Not because she hates people and their emotions of love and other things, but because she knows that she is supposed to be bad, but there is a warmth in her that she shouldn't have. She feels connected to people and she shouldn't care about them at all. I like her constant struggle between her emotions and her thoughts. They don't correlate and they are supposed to. They should correlate because of who she is. She is Lucifer's daughter. She should only embrace darkness, only think darkness, but it doesn't happen this way for her.
If your emotions and thoughts don't correlate, then they say separating mind and emotions are what you should do, but this is hard to do and not many can do it. It's like when you go to war. You might support the reason for the war, but you are not good at hurting other people without feeling remorse. So what do you do then? Separate mind and heart, so you can do what you have to do. And this is what Desolation struggles with. She can't really do this and she "needs" to because she is Lucifer's daughter and her heart should be completely centered on darkness. At the same time though, she really doesn't want to be like her father, but she fears that she isn't good enough. That the warmth she carries is minuscule and isn't enough not to hurt people. It isn't enough to love people properly, to do what is right.
Her back and forth internal struggle is one of my favorite aspects of the book. I also like that even though this has romance in it, an emphasis was placed on the power and beauty of friendship. Desolation is not supposed to want or need friends, but she does and the portrayal of the friendships she has with Miri and with Lucy are well done. They felt real to me. And they were also good in showing the pain she goes through because of her internal struggle.
A quote that I think describes the type of friendships she formed with some of the characters of the book is this:
"So brave. So foolish. Miri smiled and it was like the sun shone on her face—even though she was just a girl, a broken girl caught up in a living, breathing, horror story. I looked at these people, none of whom I really understood, and they certainly didn’t understand me. And yet I felt surrounded by the one need I’d never expected to feel for myself. The one need the selfish never knew was the one you couldn’t take but could only give. Love."
The reason I only gave this book 3 stars though was that I felt the first half of the book was way more interesting than the second half. I love angels and demons, but for some reason they weren't that interesting to me in this book. Well I think it was more like, since I really enjoyed the internal struggle that was the first part of the book, the second half which was mostly about preparing for battle and fighting, wasn't that great to me. I didn't really care. I mean, she's going through this all this depressing internal stuff and then it's like "Well now that Desolation is starting to accept herself for who she is, let's throw a lot more of this supernatural stuff and let's make this about some epic battle that needs to be fought or else very terrible things will happen." Didn't really work for me.
I did enjoy though that during this half of the book we got to learn more about the angels and demons involved in this battle. We got to learn more about Norse mythology, which was interesting to me since I wasn't too familiar with it.
To end my review, I leave here a link. This is the song I kept listening to while reading this book. I think it does a good job at describing the atmosphere of the book, of Desolation's struggles.