“Don’t think because I feel it differently, I feel it less.”
I grabbed book 2 of this series in hardcover at a second hand bookstore. It’ll be fine, I told myself, it won’t be too difficult to find the rest in matching hardcovers! Turns out, it wasn’t hard, but it would have been pricey, so in a brief moment of fiscal responsibility I ordered the paperbacks instead. I’m still not quite sure I’ve forgiven myself for this.
Anyway … the Interworld series is a trilogy conceived my Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves, with book 1 written by them, and books 2 and 3 written by Michael and Mallory Reaves.
Joey Harker has a terrible sense of direction. One day, though, he finds himself more lost than usual – in a world that looks just like his, but in which his parents don’t recognise him, and have a daughter his age instead. He finds himself under attack, and is rescued by someone who looks just like him. Joey finds himself at InterWorld, an organisation set up to save the multi/inter/universes from two competing evil regimes – Hex, who use magic to combat and control, and Binary, who employ technology. Interworld stands between them, filled with agents who are Walkers like Joey, determined to hold the competing forces at bay. And the agents are VERY much like Joey- all different versions of him from alternate worlds. Like the forces they battle, their worlds are often either technology- or magic-filled, and they all have as many differences as they have similarities.
I really enjoyed this trilogy. It’s an action-packed and engaging mix of science fiction and fantasy, with some complex ideas about the nature of the universe, time travel, and the notion of our responsibilities to ourselves as well as to others.
For those of you who know my feelings about Mr Gaiman, the following might come as a surprise. Brace yourselves. This series won’t be making it into any of my top 10 lists this year. It was good, and if you’re after a fast, engaging read with a unique premise, I’d recommend it. But for me, the ending felt a little rushed and unresolved, and (no shade to Michael and Mallory Reaves at all) it doesn’t have the gentle beauty that I’ve come to expect from Neil’s prose.