Title: The Silver Dream
Author: Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves
Joey Harker has more or less settled in at InterWorld, the organization made up of alternate-world versions of himself. Because Joey has the power to Walk between worlds (and so do many of his alternates), InterWorld fights both the technology-oriented Binary and the magic-oriented HEX who want to use his powers to conquer the worlds. All of them. And hopefully InterWorld can save a few more Joey Harkers along the way.
But all that Joey thought he knew is upended by a strange girl that can do what shouldn’t be possible. Only Joey can walk through worlds—who is she, that she has the same (or a very similar) ability? And to make matters worse, InterWorld itself is headed for major trouble, and Joey might be the cause more than the solution . . .
I should’ve re-read InterWorld again before reading this; despite the very helpful notes in the beginning about the various alternates, it isn’t the same as remembering their personalities. InterWorld is a complicated book to get into for a variety of reasons—and the bizarre complexities make it so much fun. Lots of books and movies exist about running into another version of yourself—but five hundred of them? And running the gamut from cyborgs to basically normal to winged people?
And even with all of the other versions of himself (including female versions), Joey is still on the fringes. He’s gotten a better relationship with his team, but it’s still tenuous. I particularly liked the description about why there aren’t any romantic relationships on base (it would be really weird to be dating what’s basically you from another Earth)—and it does make Joey’s “girlfriend” Acacia stick out.
Like the first book, this one has spades of interdimensional adventure. And in a delightful twist, a new type of power as well! I won’t spoil it except to say I enjoy how well the jumping-between-things bits is written. And I really want Hue to get more time in the third book, because Hue is awesome.
The only thing I didn’t totally buy was Acacia’s quick relationship with Joey. Her log entry early on helps set up why she’s acting the way she is, but Joey feels like he crushes pretty hard on her and then stays that way around her, more or less. It would’ve been nice to get some focus on some of his other relationships too, although the plot doesn’t leave a ton of room for it. Much of what does happen hinges on remembering people from the first book (some introduction is given, so you’re not totally lost, but it definitely loses the emotional punch).
Overall this is still a crazy, delightful ride. Given where it ends, though, you’d really be better off getting this and the third book together and reading them one right after the other. Because that ending is one of those “YOU DID NOT JUST STOP THERE.” I rate this book Recommended.