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Eternity’s Wheel (InterWorld #3) | Review

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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.

Minor Spoiler:

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.

InterWorld review
The Silver Dream review

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The Silver Dream | Review

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The Silver Dream (InterWorld #2) by Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves, and Mallory Reaves

The Silver Dream picks up two years after InterWorld left off, and Joey Harker is, if not well-liked, at least a substantial member of the group. His team is out on a mission when things go wrong and they’re saved by a strange female named Acacia, who turns out to be more important than she’s letting on. In addition, the evil forces of HEX and Binary are coming together and not everyone at InterWorld can be trusted.

Whereas InterWorld was filled with heavy scientific jargon, The Silver Dream was a bit easier to understand on the whole. Sure, there was still some space-time stuff mentioned, but the details were for the most part glossed over in a need-to-know way.

Joey, Joe as he now likes to call himself, is now sixteen, and has matured a bit from the first book. He’s not as caught up on himself and his own losses as he was, though he does still suffer from what other people think of him, and he seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time a lot.

The_Silver_Dream_by_Neil_Gaiman_Michael_Reaves_and_Mallory_Reaves_Interior_Number_TwoI felt like the story was easier to follow this time around too, even if some of the situations are hard to describe, and I really liked Acacia (not to mention, I still love Hue). The different variations of Joey were some of my favorite as well, and I’d love to see what life is like on all those different planets (wolf-Joey! vampire-Joey! angel-Joey! bird-Joey! robot-Joey!), even if all the J names can be confusing. I did like that there was a Cast of Characters in the beginning of the book, though, to help sort that out.

Also, how is this Joey all that special, and why do the others not like him as much? Aren’t they all pretty much the same? Isn’t that kind of the point? If they’re all still hung up on accepting him because of what happened in the first novel, isn’t it about time to get over it? It wasn’t his fault, anyway.

One thing I was bummed about was the publisher’s implying the novel was written by Gaiman, when in fact, it was written by Michael and Mallory Reaves, with the “story by” credit going to the original duo from InterWorld. It explains the different writing style and weak plot points, but was a cheap shot to have Gaiman’s name grace the cover in such big text when he didn’t actually write it.

The novel does end on a cliffhanger, setting up the final installment, Eternity’s Wheel.

InterWorld | Review

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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.

Interworld_Interior_number_twoI 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.