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In the Dark Spaces

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  635 ratings  ·  145 reviews
"What will happen when you don't come back?"

A genre-smashing kidnapping drama about Tamara, who's faced with an impossible choice when she falls for her captors.

Yet this is no ordinary kidnapping. Tamara has been living on a freighter in deep space, and her kidnappers are terrifying Crowpeople – the only aliens humanity has ever encountered. No-one has ever survived a Crow
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Hardie Grant Egmont
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Bren MacDibble I would say it sits best with 13-16 year olds. There are war scenes in it that have not been prettied up for the sake of fiction. It's a less violent …moreI would say it sits best with 13-16 year olds. There are war scenes in it that have not been prettied up for the sake of fiction. It's a less violent concept than Hunger Games but more graphically written, putting it maybe on a par.(less)

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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  635 ratings  ·  145 reviews

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Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
In The Dark Spaces obscures the boundaries of morality, humans and Garuwa have created a hostile environment and interspecies conflict. It also explores colonisation and the mining of resources, a reference to the aggressive infringement on Indigenous land. An ingenious, introspective and remarkable young adult debut.

Check out my full review here In The Dark Spaces on Diva Booknerd
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: australian, ya, sf
Geez that was good! We so rarely get smart, engaging, space-set science fiction for middle-grade / young adults where there are aliens and politics and economics and first contact no freaking romance! This is a brilliant book and I loved every bit of it. Cally Black (and her alter ego Bren MacDibble) has an amazing talent for worldbuilding and narrative that twine together with distinctive and unique characters to create something truly special. I can't wait to see what she writes next. ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Tamara has lived her life secretly stowed away on a space freighter. When that ship is attacked by a force of crow-like aliens (the Garuwa), she is captured and taken to the hive they live in. She learns to speak their whistle-like language which is what ultimately keeps her safe. She goes on missions with them to attack other spaceships as she is able to communicate both with them and the humans on board. Tamara is exposed to lots of violence during these missions to capture the human spaceship ...more
Trigger warnings: Kidnapping, murder, violence, death of a loved one, dismemberment I guess??

So here's the thing. I was REALLY excited to read this because I'd seen so many people I know and trust give it five stars. But I was also really apprehensive because the blurb tells you literally nothing and all I knew was that it was sci-fi and involved a kidnapping.

And in the beginning, I was hooked. I mean, a girl who's a stowaway and who's looking after her baby cousin when their ship gets invaded?
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars, fast paced YA sci-fi. Focused on friendship, family and kindness in an unkind world. Refreshing to read YA with no love story plot. Definitely a book that will appeal to a wide range on readers, from early teens up.
Blake Polden
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Everyone read it. Read it now, and then pass it onto your friends. This was something else.
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, science-fiction
Fabulous read, moving and memorable.
Mar 25, 2021 rated it did not like it
20% DNFing, can't get into the writing, can't get a description of these Crowpeople, can't picture the setting. ...more
Solid world-building, fresh narrative voice, and a strong emotional core.

Might review later.
♠ TABI⁷ ♠
Jul 05, 2019 marked it as to-read
I don't remember adding this to my tbr but now I'm shaking with the desperate need to read this ...more
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
An interesting exploration into an alien species learning to understand humans - through a young girl who has no choice but to learn how to survive with them. Getting inducted into the alien world was pretty strange, with the alien crow's way of life and their whistling language, but it all definitely serves a purpose. I struggled during this phase which happens after a solid beginning, however it did speed up towards the end.

I loved how the plot centered on finding your place in the world, wher
Zitong Ren
This book managed to surprise me quite a fair bit. Some things that I say might be spoilerish, but I don’t know so read at your own risk(but I’m not turning spoilers on as I’ll keep it to a minimum.

In the Dark Spaces is by the Australian author Cally Black in which this novel won the Ambersand prize and was long listed for the 2018 Gold Inky Awards. I will actually have the pleasure of going to one of her book talks soon of which I’m hyped for after reading this book.

It was a little hard for me
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
It took me a while to get into this book, and a big part of that was my general aversion to Books That Happen In Space, but I was encouraged to continue by the strength of Black’s narrative voice which is so unique and consistent that even when I wasn’t necessarily enjoying the book I was impressed by the sheer quality of it. In the Dark Spaces is ultimately a post-colonisation narrative and while the ending felt quite idealised it worked well as a single volume story.
Gabrielle Summerson
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Not everyday I pick up a book like this and actually read it and then actually LIKE it! Not normally the genre I’d go for but gosh this surprised me! Really clever, well written and kept me wanting more!
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read most of this on the train between Central and Springwood, and discretely cried pretty much the whole time. This book is powerful.

This was my read for AusYABloggers January prompt 4: amongst the stars
Kate Whitfield
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Gripping and sophisticated YA scifi. Loved it.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such an addictive book, I loved it! Love how different it is, yet not difficult to follow.
Despite the book description, I really had no idea what to expect from this novel and while the opening scene is so touching, the beginning of the book was quite strange. However, as you got used to the way the protag speaks and the action begins, I just couldn't put the book down and had to finish.

The novel opens with Tamara caring and playing with her toddler cousin, Tamiki. Her description of and love for Tamiki reminds me of my own boys when they were toddlers. Hence, this being my fave & mo
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dark spaces

This was such a different story especially for the YA genre, so simple yet so complex if you wanted to delve deeper. The story of the poverty of the working people, rich mining giants happy to push whoever they want out of the way to achieve their goal of making more money, an alien race who have had enough of said company stealing the minerals they consider theirs and that they need to survive. It seems that the aliens have it the right way in that they look after their hive, everyon
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I was really unsure and reluctant to continue this book at the start but I ended up loving it! A really unique story that bring up interesting questions about morals and ethics and the sacrifices you make for those you love.
Alison Evans
Jeez this is great!!! Warm and gentle with the vastness of space sprawling everywhere. At its heart there is kindness and love and, just, it's so good!!!! ...more
Lucinda Edwards
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Swa tu tzaar
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great story that I'm sure many of my students will enjoy. Loved it ...more
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen, sci-fi, loveozya
Fantastic! A fresh, new story and one that will appeal to many readers especially as there is no romance or distracting love triangle in the narrative.

A gripping adventure story within the sci-fi genre. The ending seemed to come too quickly.
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. So, so good. If I could have read this in one sitting, I would have, but the need for sleep got in the way.

Review now up on www.nicolehasread.com
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In The Dark Spaces is a dark (pun not intended) and at times creepy space opera, but that darkness is perfectly offset by the brightness of hope, love and family that lies at its core.
In the Dark Spaces is a contemporary sci-fi telling the story of Tamara, a teen stowaway on a freighter with her aunt and equally illegal toddler cousin. One day Tamara’s freighter is stormed and decimated by a species of Crowpeople, and Tamara is taken hostage. Tamara does everything in her power to learn from and assimilate with these Crowpeople because it means the difference between life and death.

This was a really interesting concept! The Crowpeople are unlike anything else I’ve read in sc
Maree Kimberley
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Cally Black's In the Dark Spaces is the most original young adult novel I've read in some time. A gripping read from start to finish, with a narrator who grabs your attention and your heart and doesn't let go, this is a sci-fi novel about family, love and so much more.

One one level, In the Dark Spaces can be read as a fast-paced space action adventure story. There is a weird alien species, hard fought bloody battles (the author doesn't hold back on the violence) and plenty of "hold your br
There were lots of things I liked about this debut sci fi novel. Tamara is something of a rebel who is used to staying under the radar and she's tough enough not to to give up when she is captured by aliens who invade the space freighter that she's on. But I didn't empathise with her as much as I would have have liked. Maybe if we'd had a a few more chapters to get to know her and her family before the action really kicked off it would have been easier to see why she was totally devoted to her b ...more
Emily Mead
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
I keep saying "Oh, I don't really like sci-fi, but I really loved this book!"

At this point I have to conclude that I do, in fact, like sci-fi. And this is an excellent example - dark at times, but so interesting, and plenty of moral grey area.
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Lives in Melbourne, Australia, works with gifted children, teaches at Tafe, and writes for Young Adults.

Her first ever YA, In The Dark Spaces, won the 2015 Ampersand Prize and a publishing contract with Hardie Grant Egmont and hit the shelves August 2017. It is an SF Thriller.

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