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All The White Spaces by Ally Wilkes review

While on the surface it may seem like Ally Wilkes novel All the White Spaces is simply a frosty tale of despair, there are far more layers to this chilling tale.

So, wintery puns aside, All The White Spaces is more about the survivor guilt of Jo, the sibling of two brothers who didn’t return home from the First World War.

They had planned post-war to travel to Antarctica on an expedition, so Jo decides to take upon themself to hitch a ride there alongside one of their campmates.

At closer to 600 pages, it takes a while before the expedition, with its ragtag group of crew members hits the ice, with plenty of time reserved to get to know Jo and explore life aboard their boat.

The supernatural element of this story is only hinted at throughout until things really go south in Antarctica, and the crew are forced into some hard truths about themselves.

Wilkes writing is excellent here, and you can really feel the frosty winds biting at your skin as you read plus they don’t hold back on the gruesome and brutal nature of potentially freezing to death.

There are hints of inspiration to materials such as The Thing, but All The White Spaces is more understated and subtle in its approach, as the terror really creeps under your skin.

Wilkes also provides a commentary on gender and what that meant during this time (the 1920s) and how people perceive men and women, especially within expeditions.

All The White Spaces is a multi-layered novel that will grab you and not let go until its icy grip has seeped into your veins.

All The White Spaces by Ally Wilkes is released on 25th January 2022 by Titan Books.

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