You know, when you read the notes to a novel and they tell you that this fantastic book you just read was really just sort of a lark, a one-off, a side project that didn't quite make it elsewhere...that's enough to frustrate any reader. Evidently that's the story with Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves, and let me just say this--Neil? Mike? Do me a favor and get going on that sequel, please. Pretty please?
Interworld is the story of Joey Harker. To be precise, it's the story of many Joey Harkers. One day, Joey gets lost on a school field trip and finds himself...somewhere else. It looks like his town. Kind of. Until he gets chased by crazy hoversurfers who try to shoot him, and then saved by some mystery dude named Jay, and then discovers, upon returning home, that he DOESN'T EXIST AT ALL in this world.
A fun, fast-paced, and suspenseful take on the idea of parallel worlds and analogous selves, Gaiman and Reaves have created a compelling tale. It is possible to tell from the execution of the piece that it didn't necessarily get the attention it deserved--I think there's huge potential for the premise and characters that wasn't quite fully developed. Having said that, I really enjoyed it. If you're a Gaiman fan, and you like the type of sci-fi that sort of delves into fantasy at the same time, you'll probably like it. It was exciting, imaginative, and I'd be more than willing to read more about the adventures of Joey Harker and his various analogue selves--the wolf-girl, the cyborg, the girl with wings, the levitating guru. And don't forget the interdimensional bubble-creature who communicates in...colors. Much, much fun.