21 November 2009
Book Review: Interworld
Author: Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves
Published: 2007 Pages: 239
Genre: YAL, SFF
Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid
Joey Harker, a normal boy, stumbles into another dimension, and so begins his journey, fraught with peril, as a Walker. The other Walkers are Other Joeys from various worlds in the Altiverse, and as if that isn't enough for Harker to contend with, the army of magical beings wants to boil him up and use his soul as fuel.
I love the premise for the fight in this book. It isn't good versus evil; it is science versus magic, and they are both evil. Each side wants to conquer and control the gazillion other worlds, pushing each to one side or the other. The good guys belong to a understaffed, underprepared, oddly young group of Walkers, who are committed to ensuring the balance between science and magic in all the worlds of the Altiverse.
The premise of the Pendragon series is eerily similar, and I found myself thinking about this similarity while reading (I reviewed books 1-8 in the series in May and June). In Pendragon, the lead character is not leaping through various versions of Earth, but in fact is going to entirely different worlds, but still both main characters are walking through wormholish thingamabobbers in order to fight an entity/group that wants to control all worlds. And of course both are mid-teen males who have the whole reluctant hero thing going on.
My favorite character in this book is not the lead, but rather Jai, an enigmatic sesquipedalian (logophilia baby). Every sentence he utters is like taking a trip through a thesaurus. Afterall, "What good is a vocabulary that isn't used? My second favorite character is Hue, a blob of somethingoranother that communicates through color changes. My third favorite...okay, I liked the characters.
The story is quick, moving from action-sequence to action-sequence with less reflective abstractness than is typical in Gaiman; in other words, the story didn't make me contemplate any deep universal truths like with American Gods, Anansi Boys, the Sandman series, or Good Omens. But it was just what I needed to keep my attention for a nighttime read-a-book-in-one-sitting-marathon. I quite liked the story in general. I want sequels, a whole series, and the door is wide open for future books. Alas, no plans on that front.
Memorable Scene: Joey's first walk into the In-Between was a setting I will remember. I loved imagining this world which made me think of dropping acid while taking a ride through some strange combination of Disney World's Pirates of the Caribbean and It's a Small World and simultaneously having someone read Edgar Allen Poe's poetry to you. Yep. (Note: I have never dropped acid. And I don't even know where I would drop it if the chance ever came. Seems like something you'd want to hold onto being all expensive and everything.)
Memorable Quote: Commence our intradimensional excursion. I can so picture Spock saying this.
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