Eternity’s Wheel (InterWorld #3) by Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves, and Mallory Reaves
The final installment of the InterWorld trilogy sees the dreaded FrostNight wiping out all the universes and Joe(y) Harker doing his best to try and stop it.
The end of the second book left the reader on a cliffhanger, with Joe captured by HEX and Binary, the two evil groups working together to ensure the success of FrostNight. Eternity’s Wheel picks up with Joe deposited on his home planet, where he was abandoned to die as it was erased.
With the Harkers split up and the former InterWorld on the run, Joe and his small band of friends/recruits must figure out a way to stop FrostNight and rescue their friends. Throughout the course of the novel, Joe starts to gain more respect than he had in the previous installments, and he slowly takes over as a leader, which was nice to see.
Being the third book in the series (and a middle-grade one at that), it has the unfortunate task of summarizing the previous two books for readers, but I thought the way it was handled was creative and effective. It didn’t feel like I was being weighted down with information I already knew, it was very need-to-know and a helpful reminder of where we left off, but for young or new readers, it gave them enough to be able to understand the circumstances.
The story is still very serial-like, with Joe escaping one situation only to be trapped in another, but it’s entertaining and a fun read, even if some of the escapes are a bit too convenient. I mean, how many times is Joe going to be trapped only to escape at the last minute? The series isn’t afraid to kill characters, however, and this installment is no exception.
The characters are still one of the strongest assets of this series; I love all the different versions of Joe, though I did miss a lot of those familiar characters in this installment.
Throughout reading, I kept predicting that Joe was a younger version of the Old Man (as in, the same person, just in different timelines), and this book puts a lot more details in place of how that could be true, but also tries to explain it away at the same time. Could this be some sort of time looping thing, but the timeline is now changed because of FrostNight? Why else would the Old Man end out his days on Joe’s world? The book leaves this open ended, but for the younger reader this was intended for, it’s not clear enough.
The ending suggests that life goes on for the Harkers of InterWorld, with new villains to defeat and more Walkers to recruit. Not a bad series for tween/teen fans of sci-fi.