Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reeves

Teen Read Week 2009 is less than a week away, and its theme is Read Beyond Reality. TO accompany this theme, the next few blog posts are going to focus on science fiction and fantasy young adult stories. Interworld, by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves, is a science fiction/fantasy novel on the suggested Teen Read Week reading list.

Interworld tells the story of Joey Harker, a directionally challenged teenager from Greenville. Joey discovers his ability to “walk” between parallel universes when on a high school field trip. He also quickly discovers that there are multiple versions of Earth in these parallel universes. These different versions of Earth have different versions of Joey, as well.

He, along with the other versions of himself, has special abilities to walk between parallel universes and fight against the evil forces, who want to take over the Altiverse. (The Altiverse contains all of the universes and whatever lies in between.) The evil forces are The Hex, who use magic, and The Binary, who rely on science. Both groups travel in the “Nowhere-at-all”, which is like hyperspace.

Joey finds himself thrust into training at a special school to become a Walker and constantly finds trouble. The Hex, led by Lord Dogknife and Lady Indigo, are out to get Joey because he has incredible power. The Hex use the abilities of Walkers to power their ships, which they need to take over the Altiverse. Joey and his team are trapped by Lady Indigo and her companions, Scarabus, a creature covered in magical tattoos, and Neville, who has transparent skin, while on a training mission.

While Joey is able to escape, his team is captured. Joey faces the consequences of leaving his team behind when he returns to Interworld HQ. The young Walker must then overcome great consequences, including having his memory erased and banishment, to rescue his friends.

Interworld is a quick read and highly entertaining, especially if you enjoy science fiction and/or fantasy. Gaiman does an excellent job describing inter-universe travel and keeps the reader entertained from beginning to end.

Neil Gaiman has had a significant writing career for more than the past twenty years. IN the Dictionary of Literary Biography he is listed as one of the top ten living post-modern writers. In the comic book world, Gaiman’s first huge success was the Sandman series. During its run it won nine Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, including the award for Best Writer four times, and three Harvey Awards. Sandman #19 won the 1991 World Fantasy Award, making it the first comic to ever win a literary award.

Gaiman is also known for his book, Coraline, which was adapted into a film directed by Tim Burton. The library has a print and audio version of Coraline (J Fic Gaiman; J AD Fic Gaiman), as well as the DVD of the Burton adaptation (DVD Coraline).

Other Young Adult books by Gaiman:
The Last Temptation
Marvel 1602
Sandman: Endless Nights
Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes
Sandman: World’s End
Other books by Michael Reaves:
Reaves books are available in the Science Fiction section of the library.
Jedi Twilight
Patterns of Force
Streets of Shadows
Star Wars: Death Star

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