InterWorld (InterWorld #1)

 
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InterWorld (InterWorld #1)
Publisher
Age Range
10+
Release Date
June 26, 2007
ISBN
0061238961
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Joey Harker isn't a hero. In fact, he's the kind of guy who gets lost in his own house. But then one day, Joey gets really lost. He walks straight out of his world and into another dimension. Joey's walk between the worlds makes him prey to two terrible forces--armies of magic and science who will do anything to harness his power to travel between dimensions. When he sees the evil those forces are capable of, Joey makes the only possible choice: to join an army of his own, an army of versions of himself from different dimensions who all share his amazing power and who are all determined to fight to save the worlds. Master storyteller Neil Gaiman and Emmy Award-winning science-fiction writer Michael Reaves team up to create a dazzling tale of magic, science, honor, and the destiny of one very special boy--and all the others like him.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
A Middle-Grade Multiverse
Overall rating
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
3.0
A solid sci-fi/urban fantasy adventure premise, ideally targeting the mid-to-upper Middle Grade demographic. It’s a quick read—overall fun and fast-paced.

While Gaiman’s name is on it, I tend to agree with those who are asserting it doesn’t feel like a Gaiman book. It lacks a certain air of depth, whimsy, and morbidness that usually permeates his books (including those for younger readers.) I’m going to chalk this up to the co-writing.

Joey is a likeable enough character. He’s pretty bland and unremarkable, outside of the apparently stellar world-walking abilities he’s just discovered. He’s introduced as a heartsick high schooler whose primary interest in life seems to be his unrequited crush on a girl. The story then jumps into the preternatural before we can learn much about any other of his hopes, dreams, interests, or goals. We know he has a family he seems to have a good relationship with, but there’s very little interaction with them on-page.

There are times the inter-dimensional villains come off as a bit… well.. one-dimensional. >.> The plot itself is pretty formulaic: coming-of-age, worlds at stake, only our under-qualified protagonist can save the day… etc. Joey ends up attending a training camp for agents, most of whom are young alternate reality versions of himself. (Some of whom are VERY alternate.) And here I’d hoped to experience more of the culture and community seen in books that take a similar route. (Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Hex Hall, etc.) But alas, not so much. Hopefully the later books may work their way into more of this aspect.

Don’t get me wrong--there’s plenty here to both satisfy and entertain a MG audience. I’d happily recommend it for them. But older readers and established Gaiman fans may want to “walk” into this particular literary dimension with some bracing knowledge.
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Fascinating Look at Alternate Universes
(Updated: April 18, 2013)
Overall rating
 
3.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What I Loved:
In an ideal world, all books would be heavily into both world building and character, but accomplishing even one is a feat. The world building in InterWorld is well done, and will appeal to those who enjoy So You Want to Be a Wizard and A Wrinkle in Time. Gaiman and Reaves put their own twist on the multiverse, adding the fascinating concept that some earths are magic-based and some science-based, and then running the gamut between those two. Also awesome are the scenes in the InBetween, which is sort of like Flatland but more fiction, less math.

Joey Harker, the novel's protagonist, does not start out as a particularly impressive specimen. He gets lost easily, so much so that he's gotten lost in his own house. His grades are unexceptional. In no way does he seem like a hero. One day, though, he walks through some mist and into a whole new world, one where his mother doesn't recognize him and he meets the female version of himself. Soon, he finds himself instrumental in a war between the different factions in the multiverse.

Readers who really love world building and science fiction will eat this up like I eat chips, but, for more character-focused readers InterWorld is a bit challenging. For one thing, in some ways, there is almost just one character. In a sort of twist I saw coming from the beginning, most of the characters in the book are alternate universe versions of Joey, which is cool, but a bit limiting at the same time.

What Left Me Wanting More:
Joey does grow a bit as a character, receiving better education, developing a skill (Walking between universes), and becoming braver generally. Still, there's not much of an arc to his development. Reave and Gaiman skip some time, like most of Joey's training. He goes from untrained to more trained without any transition, so it's hard to feel convinced or proud of his development. In fact, I never really had a sense of who Joey was, or of any of his alternate universe incarnations. The character I bonded with most, Hue, never said a word, mostly because he/she/it is a bubble of color. Hue had much more vibrancy and personality than I ever felt from the other characters.

The Final Verdict:
Science fiction fans a bit more hardcore than I am will want to check this out. If you like the concept but want more characterization, try E.C. Myers' Fair Coin.
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User reviews

2 reviews
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0(2)
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N/A(0)
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Crazy and brilliant
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0
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N/A
What I would give to have an imagination like these authors. How the hell do they come up with this stuff? And how do they make enough sense of the craziness to write such a compelling novel? Crazy and brilliant! But don't bother reading it if big words or weird worlds scare you....more
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He stepped into another world...
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0
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0.0
Reader reviewed by Krista

Joey Harker is just an ordinary boy, until one day his social studies teacher, Mr. Dimas, sends his students, in groups of three, to different sections of the city. Together, they need to find their way back to school. Joey soon gets separated from his teammates, and the next thing he knows, he is in another dimension. Joey meets Jay who explains everything to Joey. He has the ability to Walk, meaning he can travel to different worlds. With this ability, Joey joins the InterWorld, an organization whose goal is to stop HEX and Binary from taking of worlds. HEX wants to take over worlds using magic, while Binary chooses science.

InterWorld is just plain fun. I loved all the different worlds. Its like this: Science Worlds <> Magic Worlds. A new world is created whenever a major decision is made. Its a great play on what-ifs. There were also some great quotes like:

Good. For a moment I thought you were going rational on me. Always remember: In an infinity of worlds, anything is not only possible, its mandatory.

While I definitely recommend this book, just be aware that it isnt anything life-altering.
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