Book Review: All the White Spaces – Ally Wilkes

Book Review: All the White Spaces – Ally Wilkes


Release Date:
January 25th 2022
Publisher: Titan Books
Pages: 494
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis

In the wake of the First World War, Jonathan Morgan stows away on an Antarctic expedition, determined to find his rightful place in the world of men. Aboard the expeditionary ship of his hero, the world-famous explorer James “Australis” Randall, Jonathan may live as his true self―and true gender―and have the adventures he has always been denied. But not all is smooth sailing: the war casts its long shadow over them all, and grief, guilt, and mistrust skulk among the explorers.

When disaster strikes in Antarctica’s frozen Weddell Sea, the men must take to the land and overwinter somewhere which immediately seems both eerie and wrong; a place not marked on any of their part-drawn maps of the vast white continent. Now completely isolated, Randall’s expedition has no ability to contact the outside world. And no one is coming to rescue them.

In the freezing darkness of the Polar night, where the aurora creeps across the sky, something terrible has been waiting to lure them out into its deadly landscape…

As the harsh Antarctic winter descends, this supernatural force will prey on their deepest desires and deepest fears to pick them off one by one. It is up to Jonathan to overcome his own ghosts before he and the expedition are utterly destroyed.

Book Review

All the White Spaces is the brilliantly told story of Johnathan Morgan who stows away on the ship of renowned explorer James Randall and his expedition to the Antarctic. Johnathan’s brothers were obsessed with Randall and his daring exploits, wanting nothing more to return from the war and join his crew. When both Rufus and Francis die from their wounds overseas, Johnathan knows he must fulfill that dream for them. As their ship gets closer to the Antarctic, there is a strange sense of unease on the ship. When disaster strikes the crew has no choice but to abandon ship and find somewhere to survive in the frozen landscape. As darkness descends the expedition soon fear they are not alone – is there something hunting them or is the cruel frozen landscape driving them mad?

This book sucked me in right from the very first page. All the White Spaces is my first five-star read of 2022 and it’s such a compelling story. It was brimming with atmosphere, I loved the way the tension built and built as things progressed. The writing really brought the frozen tundra to life and there were more than a few scenes that sent a shiver down my spine. I honestly couldn’t put this book down and I ended up reading right into the middle of the night because I had to know how it was going to end.

This book has such fascinating characters and I think they’re what captivated me so much. Johnathan – dealing with the loss of his brothers, finally feeling like he’s in the place he’s supposed to be. There were so many characters that I liked and each was dealing with their own trauma from all that had happened during the war. All the White Spaces is an incredible book, one I cannot wait to reread in the future. This book is a must-read and I cannot wait to read more from Ally Wilkes.

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