“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.”
-Synopsis from Goodreads
The Space Between Worlds was my Book of the Month pick for August. I was eager to read a science fiction/fantasy books since it has been so long since I have read this genre. The synopsis hooked me right away and I was excited to read this debut author. To top it all off, the reviews on Goodreads seemed to be great, so what could go wrong?
Well, it was incredibly slow, for one. There was so much telling and explaining. I thought the story was just moving slowly, but then the things being explained got increasingly more confusing. I read the entire first chapter twice because I just felt like I was missing something. Nope, it was all just very convoluted. I appreciate when world-building is done in a particular way with details to make it seem real, but this was too much. It didn’t feel natural.
I was caught off guard when it was revealed that the Cara narrating the story was actually a Cara from a different world, because she had taken the place of the Cara from that world who had died. Just when I was starting to like her character, this made me wary and question her intentions, but not in a good way.
I was also thoroughly confused by Nik Nik. Is he a neighborhood gang leader? A real emperor ruling over Wiley City? The language used to describe him and the people of Wiley City was ambiguous to me at times. Honestly, my eyes glazed over many times when I was seemingly expected to know what was going on.
It seemed to me that the things in this story that needed explaining weren’t explained; while the things that were over-explained were done so unnecessarily and took time away from the action.
I just knew that if I forced myself to finish, I wasn’t going to enjoy it, so it became a DNF for me. Based on the Goodreads reviews, lots of readers are loving this book, which I think is great. It wasn’t the book for me, however, so I moved on to another one.