In The Dark Spaces

Cally Black

Hardie Grant Egmont

August 2017

$19.99 AU

322p pb

ISBN: 978-1760128647

from Hardie Grant Egmont...

The latest winner of the Ampersand Prize is a genre-smashing hostage drama about 14-year-old Tamara, who's faced with an impossible choice when she falls for her kidnappers. 

Yet this is no ordinary kidnapping. Tamara has been living on a star freighter in deep space, and her kidnappers are terrifying Crowpeople – the only aliens humanity has ever encountered. No-one has ever survived a Crowpeople attack, until now – and Tamara must use everything she has just to stay alive. 

But survival always comes at a price, and there’s no handbook for this hostage crisis. As Tamara comes to know the Crowpeople's way of life, and the threats they face from humanity's exploration into deep space, she realises she has an impossible choice to make. 

Should she stay as the only human among the Crows, knowing she'll never see her family again … or inevitably betray her new community if she wants to escape?

If you have read this novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review/comments to YARR-A


Tamara has lived all her life as a stowaway on Starweaver freighters. Cally Black’s science fiction adventure novel, In the Dark Spaces, follows her story as she pursues the Garuwa, who attack her ship, whilst also trying to find her brother, Gub. What she does changes the world forever. The pace is good, not super-speedy, but not so slow that you have to force yourself to read it.

I enjoyed reading this novel. I think that this book is best for people aged 10 and over because there is some fighting and the details are described quite well. This isn’t like other teenage sci-fi books I have read because the love in this story is different from the boyfriend-girlfriend relationships in most teenage novels. It is about finding home and family love not a suitable boyfriend. The language is simple, and conveys the message really well, and the author’s word choice makes it seem like the book was written by Tamara. An enjoyable read.

Ella, age 14

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