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Review: White Space by Ilsa J. Bick


Seventeen-year-old Emma Lindsay has problems: a head full of metal, no parents, a crazy artist for a guardian whom a stroke has turned into a vegetable, and all those times when she blinks away, dropping into other lives so ghostly and surreal it’s as if the story of her life bleeds into theirs. But one thing Emma has never doubted is that she’s real.

Then she writes “White Space,” a story about these kids stranded in a spooky house during a blizzard.

Unfortunately, “White Space” turns out to be a dead ringer for part of an unfinished novel by a long-dead writer. The manuscript, which she’s never seen, is a loopy Matrix meets Inkheart story in which characters fall out of different books and jump off the page. Thing is, when Emma blinks, she might be doing the same and, before long, she’s dropped into the very story she thought she’d written. Trapped in a weird, snow-choked valley, Emma meets other kids with dark secrets and strange abilities: Eric, Casey, Bode, Rima, and a very special little girl, Lizzie. What they discover is that they–and Emma–may be nothing more than characters written into being from an alternative universe for a very specific purpose.

Now what they must uncover is why they’ve been brought to this place–a world between the lines where parallel realities are created and destroyed and nightmares are written–before someone pens their end.

My thoughts

I’ve never been so confused by a story like this one. That’s why I loved this one so much. The worldbuilding is fantastic and so detailed so that all these different parts of the story are hard to follow. This is a story you have to get yourself completely into. It’s not a story you can rush through and it’s everything but a light read.

This book is described as “Matrix meets Inkheart” for a reason. It is not only just as amazing, complex and confusing as Matrix or Inception and just as mad as Alice in Wonderland but it also has a lot of actual Matrix references.

If you already read Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick you know that you’re in for an action packed story and that you won’t have a single moment to calm down. What seemed rather exaggerated in Ashes in my opinion worked out just fine in this case and makes for a great story.
Every single page is chaos, action and encounters with life threatening things. There was not even a single page where the characters got some rest and you could calm your mind in-between this constant epicness.

A book inside a book, characters who might not be real isn’t even a new idea I’ve never read about before. The package all this comes with is something unique and thrilling though. Just like the characters I had no idea what is going on, no idea about what is real and what isn’t. This story is completely unpredictable. Even after finishing the book I’m still somewhat clueless. This is a story I might reread a few times to be able to take in every single detail.

White Space is a book you should read when you have a lot of time because once you start it, you won’t be able to put it down. It is just one enormous cliffhanger. Every chapter ends in one. There wasn’t even one chapter where I felt like that would be a good point to take a break. There were chapters that ended in the middle of a sentence. Of course the end itself was a cliffhanger too.
It’s not only this what kept me reading though. The story itself is addictive and I just wanted more and more and finally get to know what is going on and make sure these characters were okay.

There are a few different characters and point of views who all collide at some point or other. I was fortunate enough to like all of them and found them interesting enough to like to read from each pov rather than preferring one or the other. Everyone of them has their secrets I wanted to get to know more about and I worried about all of them all the time.
If you don’t like to read about instalove you might stay away from this. I thought in this case it was just fine like this. Ilsa. J. Bick included this in a neat way so that I didn’t mind.

Characters from parallel worlds who might be nothing more than characters from some stories have to fight for their lives against different nightmares and maybe the end of their own story. This is a story of epic proportions that will make you puzzle over what is going on and what is real from start to end. Even with over 500 pages I wish there would have been more and I can’t wait to read its conclusion.

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  • I am really excited to read this book. Everyone says it is a bit confusing at first, but then it becomes awesome. :)

    • I think being confusing is what makes this book so awesome :D I like reading a book without having any idea about what is going on and this one is the best one in that category!

  • Wow! I haven’t read Ashes or any of Ilsa J. Bick’s books to say, but White Space does sound very epic. I love complex movies like Inception and am always looking for new favourites, but I’m not sure that I’m prepared for a book like this now. I’m thinking about saving this for sometime later this year, but I’m definitely keeping my eye on it now after your awesome review. Thanks!

    • It might be a good idea to wait until the second=last book comes out/will come out soonish. I will definitely need to reread the book before I can read the next one. There is just too much to forget.

  • ich fand die Idee ja so cool, und der Anfang war auch super, aber irgendwie hats mich dann nach ner Weile nicht mehr gepackt >-< und dann hab ich auch den Überblick komplett verloren… vielleicht bin ich da auch mit zu großen Erwartungen rangegangen, aber irgendwie schade, wenn man dann so enttäuscht wird :/

    • Hattest du abgebrochen? Vll irgendwann nochmal versuchen? Ich hatte meine Erwartungen nach meiner Enttäuschung mit Ashes auch etwas runter geschraubt, aber ich bin dann ja super begeistert gewesen, bei mir hätten selbst hohe Erwartungen glaube ich nicht geschadet :D

  • Gosh, this sounds completely mental! Never looked at it twice but now I have to put it on my wishlist. I love confusing and chaotic stories.

Feb 14, 2014