Monday, November 17, 2014

Reading on a Theme: Parallel Realities and Multiple Dimensions

If I had to pick a pet subject right now, it would be parallel realities. I'm starting to amass quite a collection. Here are five of my most recent parallel realities and multiple dimension reads. There's sure to be more to come.

Yes or No:
Near the end of her life, Patricia Cowen is in a nursing home, and she can remember two lives, one where she married Mark and had four children and another where she raised three children with Bee. In My Real Children the subtle differences between Tricia's, Pat's, and our world are very interesting. Science is a little more advanced in the book, and Tricia's world is a little better than ours, a little more accepting and a little less violent. Pat's world, on the other hand, is a little more violent and more segregated than our own. At times, these two worlds made the book feel a little politicized, but it was very interesting to see how Jo Walton developed parallel themes. I enjoyed this cerebral novel.

Tuning the Worlds:
Delancey Sullivan is a Walker. She can move between the parallel realities born with each choice. The world building in Dissonance is fabulous. I love Walking's associations with music and strings that can be tuned or off key, the genetic aspect of dimension travel, and the slightly sinister ruling body of the Consort. The ties between the Key World and the Echoes are fascinating. Delancey is a type of character that we see a lot in Young Adult fiction. She is exceptionally talented, but she is also reckless, headstrong, and overly confident. Her passion almost always triumphs over reason. I am such a fan of Erica O'Rourke's new novel, and I am excited to see what she has in store for us as the series continue. Review copy from Edelweiss.

Pursuit Across the Dimensions:
Marguerite's parents invented the Firebird, a device that makes traveling across dimensions possible. But now Marguerite's father is dead. On her quest to find her father's killer, the Firebird takes Marguerite to her other lives in other worlds. I love the exploration of the self that takes place in Claudia Gray's A Thousand Pieces of You. Do Marguerite's collective experiences, which change from world to world, make her who she is or is there something  that remains constant from life to life? Marguerite must ask herself if fate can bring people together across the dimensions. Her very existence depends on getting this question correct. A Thousand Pieces of You is out November 4th, 2014.  Review copy from Edelweiss.

Echoes of an Alternate Life:
When The World Was Flat And We Were in Love starts out a little slow. And it's full of those young adult tropes I'm getting a little tired of: mysterious new guy, strange, sudden connection, visionary dreams, stereotypical friends, small town, absentee mother. So the test became whether or not Ingrid Jonach's debut young adult novel could impress me despite all of that. I stuck with the book because I had this feeling that the pay off was going to be worth it. When the secrets--inspired by Albert Einstein's theories (and related to parallel realities)--began to be revealed the book got much more exciting and suddenly had enough that was unlike what I've read before to be enjoyable and thought provoking. 

Pick a Life:
Sabine is terrified of midnight. Every night at that time she shifts from one life to another. Night after night she travels back and forth, living each day twice, once in Roxbury and once in Wellesley, and all that jumping is wearing her down. At first, I found it really difficult to reconcile how different Sabine was in each reality. She carries all of her memories with her from place to place, so shouldn't she be less stuck-up in Wellesley? However, as the pieces started coming together her personalities also began to come together. Sabine changes a lot over the course of the book, in both lives. Jessica Shirvington is an Australian author. One Past Midnight was published as Between the Lives in Australia and the U.K.

All reviews by JoLee.

P.S. Two more parallel reality tales.

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