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Interworld February 26, 2009

Posted by Brian L. Belen in Books, Reviews.
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Ever wondered what it would be like to have a front row seat for a television series pilot that shows a lot of promise yet ultimately wasn’t picked up by any major network? Well, that’s exactly what reading Interworld is like — and not just because Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves admit as much in the book’s afterword.

It’s an interesting premise, for sure: teenager Joey Harper somehow has the ability to “walk” across parallel dimensions, and each parallel dimension has some alternate version of himself. All these dimension-walking Joeys (who aren’t always teenagers nor necessarily male, naturally) are both hunted and hunter: the former because their abilities can help fuel the technology of at least one empire bent on interdimensional conquest, the latter because they have banded together in the “Interworld” as a neutral cabal working against such forces to maintain the balance among worlds.

Unfortunately, as a novel Interworld is little more than a proof of concept. The plot isn’t nearly as thoroughly developed as one would expect from the authors in question, the choice of language is at once too basic for advanced readers and too sophisticated for the “young adult” readership the book is classified under, and the overall finished product feels altogether rushed and rough around the edges. But these aren’t entirely negatives. In the end, the Interworld can probably be described best as straightforward popcorn entertainment — light, fluffy, and no frills — that leaves one wondering about what might have been had that proof of concept been allowed to develop further.

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