Book Review

The Space Between Worlds – Micaiah Johnson

Book Title: The Space Between Worlds

Series:

Author:  Micaiah Johnson

Goodreads Link: Click here

Release Date:  8/4/20

Star Rating:

 Disclaimer: I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

“Calgon take me away!” Am I dating myself irrevocably with that old commercial reference? Good fantasy or science fiction can take you away from everything. Open you up to a new world, different species, strange otherworldly situations. However, some of the best fantasy or sci-fi allows you to visit those other places and people, while simultaneously keeping you rooted in the world we are living in now. This book is a remarkable example of an intriguing story that takes place in a completely different kind of world, all the while not allowing the reader to completely look away from the parallels to the ugly side of life in this world we are currently living. Providing reminders of the things that need changing, and why if we don’t pay attention we put ourselves and others at risk.

An outsider who can travel between worlds discovers a secret that threatens her new home and her fragile place in it, in a stunning sci-fi debut that’s both a cross-dimensional adventure and a powerful examination of identity, privilege, and belonging.

Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there’s just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying—from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun. Cara’s life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.

On this Earth, however, Cara has survived. Identified as an outlier and therefore a perfect candidate for multiverse travel, Cara is plucked from the dirt of the wastelands. Now she has a nice apartment on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. She works—and shamelessly flirts—with her enticing yet aloof handler, Dell, as the two women collect off-world data for the Eldridge Institute. She even occasionally leaves the city to visit her family in the wastes, though she struggles to feel at home in either place. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, Cara is on a sure path to citizenship and security.

But trouble finds Cara when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined—and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse.
– Goodreads

The idea of being able to visit yourself in the multiverse is captivating, and this story explores all the what-if’s that would attend this ability. What is more active in our lives, nature or nurture? How does abuse, classism, external influences affect our development? How much can one choice made divert the fate of a person, and the people around them? How much does poverty warp people away from their true potential? Micaiah Johnson delves into all these questions, while skilfully not sacrificing forward movement and dynamic plot developments.

The book has a lot to say about how we treat one another, and the frustration/futility of living in a society that is increasingly corporatized and at the whim of powerful people who control all advancement. It’s a sobering, but also a thrilling book. If you enjoy good science fiction with a progressive point of view you will be pleased with The Space Between Worlds.

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