From the moment I started reading the book, I had the nagging feeling that it read way too much like the treatment for a series pilot; this was confirmed when I reached the final pages and read that indeed, Interworld had been concieved as a series, except that apparently no TV executive got the premise of parallel universes (how did Sliders ever get produced then, I wonder?).
It all works OK as short novel for young readers, and it is entertaining and reads quickly. What went wrong then? Well, several things:
- most of the twists and turns were highly predictable.
- the witty-teenager narrator POV sounded a tad forced, and only in a few places I found myself actually getting an idea of what was REALLY going on in Joey's mind, which caused the third issue
- it all makes him very difficult to engage with, and seeing that every other character out there had very little "screentime" so to speak, leaves the reader feeling cheated
Overall, it's worth a read, but I am not sure how the book will sit with its intended audience. It's almost as if the authors were trying so hard to sound cool, that they forgot to actually make us care about the characters. Which is a shame, considering how that is one of Gaiman's strengths as a writer. I have never read anything from Reaves, so I don't know if this is his style, or they were both having off days. It's a real pity, because there is some potential with the idea, although the way it ends, it's left open to construct a whole series around them, which could explore the characters in detail and finally bring us to actually find them interesting. Which, I believe, was the original intent anyway.