Eternity’s Wheel (InterWorld #3)

Title: Eternity’s Wheel

Author: Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves

Joey Harker has seen the end of the Altiverse. FrostNight is coming. He—inadvertently—helped get it started. But he refuses to give up. Armed with a tenuous plan that’s more luck and hope than a real chance, he starts to gather Walkers to himself. Because what else can they do but fight, even against an unstoppable wave that’s rewriting reality?

I liked this book immensely, and I also had some pretty big problems with it. The first InterWorld book took a bunch of awesomely bizarre concepts and melded them together in amazing ways. And in that respect, the third one still holds up decently. The wave, the time paradoxes, Hue (who will always be a favorite), and even the way Joey resolves the whole mess I enjoyed a lot. There’s still some good humor and some great action scenes.

What was less fun was watching the plot trip over itself in a few key areas. Like the second book, the third appears to be going for shock value at having various characters die—only since those characters are STILL, by and large, only defined by what happened in the first book (one notable exception) it’s hard to really care. I was in fact quite angry at the one, as I was pleasantly surprised to see him pop up again, only for him to die a few pages later.

So the characters were the biggest problem I had. Once again there’s rather a large amount of exposition to catch up readers unfamiliar with the previous books, but a much smaller amount of character-building in the present time, which again makes it really hard to care about the people who keep getting killed off.

The relationship between Joey and the Old Man was visible in the second book, although still open to some doubt (since everyone at InterWorld is, after all, some form of Joey Harker) but the third resolves it exactly the way I was expecting. It does leave some rather puzzling gaps, though. What exactly did Hue do when he was “helping Joey heal” at the end (the implication is that Joey thus gains some powers, but never specified what). And the Omega designation by the Time Walker implies one thing, but the note Joey scribbles on the photo implies the opposite.

I still had a lot of fun with this book, and I would still advise readers who liked the first book to finish out the series. But be aware the second and third books aren’t up to the same quality as the first. Still, they’re also short enough that it won’t take long to punch through, and there’s still plenty to enjoy. I rate this book Recommended.

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