InterWorld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves
InterWorld is basically a story about a boy named Joey who can Walk between different dimensions, and the InBetween which connects them all. There are Magic-based worlds and Science-based worlds, two opposing groups trying to control them all, and an army of Joeys from all the different worlds trying to stop them. Or something.
To be honest, some of the sciencey stuff was lost of me. I tried to understand. I felt like I SHOULD understand, but I didn’t. I mean, I got the basic gist of it, but most of it was over my head There was too much jargon and trying to sound smart, but what doesn’t fit is the story is geared towards younger audiences. If I’m having trouble understanding it, and I consider myself fairly well-read and adult-like, how will a tween fare?
I liked the idea behind the story, the science vs. magic (though I wished that had been developed more), the multiple universes, and the ability to Walk between them. I liked the Hero’s Journey feel of it all (I’m a sucker for those), and I liked imagining what the different worlds would look like. I wish we’d seen more of the other Earths, however, and some of the backstory was quite confusing. Or maybe I just skimmed over it.
I really liked the idea of the multiple Joeys, and even though they’re all technically the “same” character, the authors did a good job at giving them differences and standout features, though because they all have similar names, it took some time to remember who was who and for their “personality” to shine through. It’s something to say, however, when my favorite character (Hue) was one who only spoke in colors and acted more like a pet (albeit a super awesome one).
As I get older, I have a harder time going back and reading books suited for younger audiences, because so much of the story is glossed over and skipped, and InterWorld was no exception. I wanted more depth to the story and to SEE the scenes and the action rather than just hear that they happened.
There’s a lot that can be done with this world and concept, discussions on magic vs. science, nature vs. nurture, parallel and multiple dimensions, etc, and I’m hoping the next two books in the series mature a bit and go into them. I’m curious to see how the story will develop as well.