Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves (4/5 stars)

I will start by iterating that I love Gaiman. So I am a little biased toward expecting this to be a good book; and it was a good book. The concepts were amazing, the plot packed full and fast-paced. The writing was not as amazing as it could have been though. I expect some level of elegance in a Gaiman book and this elegance was intermittent in this book.

Joey is wandering town for a school project when he ends up somewhere else. He knows the people but they don't recognize him and somehow all of the people are a bit different from how they should be. Then a man in a silver mask shows up to rescue Joey from this other place, that is until Joey is taken captive by an evil Sorceress. Soon Joey finds out he a Walker and can Walk between different versions of Earth. He finds himself in the organization of Interworld; and organization dedicated to keeping balance between the Hex (magic world) and the Binary (science world).

This book is a very creative concept. I loved the idea of Science Fiction and Fantasy lying on opposite ends of the spectrum and the idea of a multitude of Earth's being at different points of the spectrum. There were a lot of great ideas in here and great characters. Unfortunately the novel is very short, and while an amazing amount of plot is efficiently covered in this small space, not enough time was given to some of Joey's more interesting counterparts.

I agree with other reviewers that this book was not in the typical Gaiman style of writing. There is a lot of techno-babble thrown in the book, and while some of the quantum theory explanations are interesting, mostly they seem contrived and they take away from the elegance of the story. Gaiman is a top-notch story teller and while his creativity was present in this book, his polish was not.

Still I really enjoyed the story and would love to read more about these characters and about Joey's adventures Walking between alternate realities.

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