The Light Between Us by Katie Khan
Publication date: 09 August 2018
Genre: Adult science fiction
Page count: 320 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free.
I’ve been shouting at you all ever since reading and loving Katie Khan’s debut novel Hold Back the Stars last year. In fact, it was one of my favourite books of 2017 — I hadn’t read anything else quite like it and Katie became an auto-buy author for me. When I learned her new book was going to be about time travel and missed opportunities, I was naturally all on board. I love the way she blends science fiction and romance into an incredibly readable and accessible narrative.
Isaac and Thea were once close, but they’ve grown apart.
Thea works tirelessly, convinced she can prove everyone around her wrong – convinced she can prove that time travel is possible. But when one of her attempts goes wrong, she finds herself picking up the phone and calling her old friend.
Isaac is in New York – it’s the middle of the night, but when he sees who’s calling him, he cannot ignore his phone. At Thea’s request, he travels home, determined to help her in her hour of need. But neither of them are prepared for what they will discover when he gets there.
The Light Between Us is an incredibly captivating tale that perfectly balances the science, romance, and character experiences. I can’t speak for the accuracy of the science, but I found it easy enough to follow and it wasn’t overwhelming to a reader with no scientific background, such as myself. The story splits into three different paths as the narrative progresses, and I found myself compulsively turning the pages to see what happened next. This is a book that sticks with you and really makes you think — I continue to find myself returning to the plot and ending.
For me, it is really the characters that make the book come alive. The Light Between Us has one of the most accurate and delightful friendship groups I’ve read in a long time. I often find, particularly in contemporary settings, that heroines just don’t have friends. Or if they do have friends, they’re more like window dressings that help push the heroine’s story along. This wasn’t the case in The Light Between Us. I really loved Thea, Ayo, Urvisha, and Rosy’s relationship. From cheesy jokes and banter to incredible support for each other, I just loved that they were so integral to the story and to Thea herself as a character. They felt so real and their unwavering support of Thea and her work was one of the best parts of the book for me.
Thea and Isaac are our main characters, and I really enjoyed watching their relationship evolve and change — this is something that is particularly well done toward the end of the book. Thea was my favourite –she just felt so natural, like someone I could actually know in real life. She’s quirky, flawed, and single-minded in the way that only a PhD student can be, but she also has incredible depth. I really liked Isaac, who is much more like a regular person and someone I really can’t talk about without spoilers, as well, but Thea really came to life for me.
The Light Between Us is a fascinating and bittersweet story of time travel and second chances with Khan’s signature twist. If you enjoy science fiction or contemporary fiction, The Light Between Us is a book you should absolutely try. It will lift you up and break your heart.
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