Interworld – Neil Gaiman & Michael Reaves

Interworld - Neil Gaiman - Michael Reaves

Interworld is the first book of the Interworld series, this one penned by both Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves. Sadly, the second book in the series, The Silver Dream was only penned by Michael Reaves and his wife Mallory Reaves; leaving Gaiman’s moniker on the title as only the original creator of the story. It reminds me of the direction that comics take after their original creator jumps off. To Reaves credit, he has worked on various teleplays for Sliders, Batman The Animated Series, The Twilight Zone and Star Trek TNG, which would get many of you interested in that second novel probably before even reading this first. He’s also written some Star Wars fan-fiction that’s been passed off as canon somehow.

At any rate, Interworld is about Joey Harker; a boy who just starts walking one day and ends up walking into another dimension. He learns about the “In Between” which is a realm that exists between ours and well, ours – just in one of countless alternate dimensions. He also learns about the forces of magic (HEX) and technology who control most of these worlds and are constantly fighting each other in order to obtain them. But this book isn’t about battling the forces of technology, it’s about Joey Harker’s battle against the forces of Hex and the revolting Lord Dogknife who commands them with an iron fist. Lady Indigo first seeks to control the youth by possessing him due to her use of magic and sigils, all in an effort to turn his essence into fuel for the great ship¬†Malefic.

But what’s really interesting about this novel is the way that it seems certain about things that don’t even sound theoretically plausible. For instance, how there are more directions than the ones we are aware of; as well as highly complex mathematics which would even blow the mind of MIT students. Yet what is truly bizarre about this book is that everyone in the Interworld Base, including the man who he accidentally kills; is actually him. The old man who runs everything is him, the furry wolf-girl is him, the girl with the wings is him, the cybernetic boy is him, and the philosophizing mind/body connection boy is also him. Everyone in this entire fucking world is him. They’re all the same person, fighting the same battle against Hex and the technological threat that has yet to be revealed.

Interworld is not a book that I want to spoil. Even though it’s YA, I really discovered some quite profound ideas within this book that might be way over the heads of youth, but are definitely worthwhile matters of study for them. Yes, none of it’s actually backed by science; but this nature of creativity is much more rewarding than reading the softcore porn novels that they frequent on the shelves. The ones who still read, anyway. I asked my local library if they were getting the second novel in, as I wanted to read it; but didn’t want to purchase the book as there’s no guarantee that I will enjoy it quite as much as I did this first one. Unfortunately, not the library; nor the southern half of Arkansas are poised to get these novels – ever. Why? Because they’re “intelligent.” According to the librarian, “teens don’t want to read intelligent books, they want to read the teen romance novels and most of them just skip YA altogether and read hardcore sex scenes.” Porn in print, in a word. This novel may have been marketed towards young audiences, but that doesn’t mean that they’re interested. The novel contains not even one smidgen of sex, so if that’s what they’re looking for; Interworld will leave them sorely disappointed. But cheer up, young ones; as there are greater things in life than porn and your throbbing hormones (thanks, mutant food!) and you might just discover them while reading this novel.

Though it’s short, Interworld is the beginning of what might turn out to be a great series of novels which will perhaps expand into the television format, where they were originally first set to appear. This first book is certainly unlike any tale I’ve ever read and is worthwhile for fans of sci-fi, regardless of age. Although I will admit that some of the prose is a tad bit immature, (“his voice sounded like Darth Vader dipped in chocolate” for example) I simply looked beyond it and considered the work at hand, which was oddly satisfying after I finally found myself being sucked into Joey’s world. I’m going to give Interworld an 8/10. It’s worth checking out, but won’t be for everyone. Fans of my books should find something to it though, as I discovered a few similarities to my own work within it’s pages. But then my eyes bulged when I saw how much the book expounded upon those ideas.

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