Ahoy there me mateys! This book’s premise drew me in – multiverse travel with a murder mystery and a queer protagonist. Cool. While this book was enjoyable, I did have some issues that led to it not being a favorite.
So the story follows Cara who is one of the few people who can travel between the multiverses. People on Earth Zero can access 380 other versions of Earth but only if their doppelganger on that world is dead. Cara’s other selves are very good at dying. So much so that that there are only eight of her selves left. So when one of those eight is murdered she gets concerned.
I really did love the set up for this book and the idea of how the multiverses worked and how they were used by the major corporation. The science has no real explanations about how it works but I was okay with that. I really enjoyed the limitations on multiverse travel. The main character, Cara, was fun and I loved the hints of mystery about her from the very beginning.
The major problem was that the book was exciting and interesting in the beginning and then basically half-way through has a false ending where it felt like the story was mostly done. I got confused about where it could go next. The second half was bogged down in uninteresting politics, Cara making bad choices, boring relationship drama that could have been solved by just talking, and predictable bad guy actions.
This was a book that when finished just felt unsatisfying. The more I think about how it all went down, the more I find unanswered questions, plot holes, nonsensical technology and ridiculous character choices. For example they can endlessly recycle plastic and have parallel universes but nobody knows how to built guns. And the gun subplot is just weird. Also how society and class are structured don’t really make sense either.
So ultimately, I don’t think I could personally recommend this book to anyone even if I am not upset that I read it. I just wish it weren’t so flawed. Arrrr!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
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.
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