Saturday, December 25, 2010

Book Review: Interworld

I realized recently that I haven't read much Neil Gaiman but what I've read of him it sounds like I'd like his books pretty well (the only one I can think of off hand that I've read is Stardust but even that was only because I saw the movie and wanted to see how they compared). So when I saw he was co-author for this book at the local library I looked at the flap and then tossed it into my bag. In the back of the book he says that he and the other author (Michael Reeves) originally were trying to get it made into a tv series and, while I'm not sure how the pacing would've worked out for a serialized tv show, I would totally watch a tv show that was like this.

Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reeves
I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking at here (I see a boy's face but why are we following the rule of thirds?) but the colors and movement caught my eye so it works as a cover.

Summary: Joey is kind of person who (literally) gets lost in his own house so it should've been a bad sign when he actually knew where he was on a school trip. However he was too busy getting lost again to realize that in the process of getting lost he Walked across dimensions and set off dozens of alarms set by people who want that power of travel for themselves. Not long later he's managed to make it even worse and now has to learn how to fight or risk death by being boiled alive or frozen alive by the enemy, your pick which is worse.

The Good: The basic premise for the plot, walking between worlds, is nothing new* but the world building is solid. I'd love to see this as a tv show just to see the setting of some of the places, like the Inbetween which sounded trippy and pretty innovative. The idea that everyone else who can Walk is essentially Joey from another world (which begs the question, does that mean there's only one person in each world who can do that?) was neat and managed to make sense in an odd way as well. And there's a small scene between Joey and his mom that I really liked, finally an adult in a MG/YA book that DOESN'T act like an idiot and seems to just get what's going on. Actually, if there's a sequel to this book, I hope they expand on her a little more, there was something about her character that screamed "there's more to me than you think but we're not gonna tell you yet!" and I'm intrigued.

The Bad: My summary up there is a lot less spoilery than the one on the book jacket and, while the book jacket doesn't give away details, it's a fairly straightforward plot so I felt cheated out of a story for just reading that. It's just one rather simple plot, following the plot progression diagram I once read in a how to draw manga book, and it didn't surprise me at all. That was a bit disappointing since, while the book was interesting and I read it in almost one big go, I don't have any reason to want to reread it (and therefore buy it). I also never ended up liking Joey, I kept yelling at him to stop being stupid, and that is more than a little problem.

So, the book was alright but not fantastic (which seems to be the general consensus on amazon as well) and I wonder if it has/has plans for a sequel. I can see it going either way and I'll poke around a little to see if I can find any info on it.
And I actually have another review to post in a day or two, it's not another book so I don't have to get so bent out of shape for reviewing the same medium two times in a row, and this one is rather, interesting let's say.

*Hell I think I came up with something like that when I was in the seventh grade, which ironically enough would be just outside what Amazon tells me is the reading age group.