This multiverse sci-fi blends social commentary with mind-boggling ideas, like seeing yourself in a parallel universe.
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Why I love it
This pandemic and the requisite quarantine have compelled me to do a lot of soul searching, and I know I’m not the only one. And is there any better way to combat daily existential despair and perpetual grief, than by sinking your teeth into a world that is not your own? This is what The Space Between Worlds offers: a way out, and a breathtaking, heart-pounding way in.
Cara is a traverser, someone who can travel between the multiverses. The catch? One can only step foot onto another world if their resident counterpart has already died, making her a natural prodigy, given her particular talent for dying on hundreds of other worlds. Charged with braving the terrifying void that separates each world from the next, Cara collects crucial data to share with her employer, attempting to forge a meaningful life for herself—which, for someone from the wastelands, mostly means just staying alive. When one of her few remaining doppelgängers suffers an unexplainable death, Cara finds herself enmeshed in an even stranger new world brimming with dangerous secrets.
This book is just so incredibly rich: layer upon layer of intricate worldbuilding that envelops you from page one. It’s an ideal read for sci-fi lovers, especially those who like their stories with a generous helping of angst-ridden love affairs (Cara’s connection to Dell, her beautiful yet emotionally distant handler, was one of my favorite aspects of this thrilling story). Choices, consequences, the rippling effects thereof: Who is to say what sets certain events into motion, making us the particular selves that we are? In The Space Between Worlds, Micaiah Johnson makes an unforgettable case for the glorious multiplicity of this fickle thing we call reality. I didn’t want to leave these worlds.
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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West Hollywood, CA
This book is SO good! So much fun to read. It’s so full of the spirit of Ursula K. Leguin and Micaiah Johnson is worthy of even higher praise. Its more than sci-fi, it’s beyond great storytelling! ❤️
North Hollywood, CA
This is the first sci-fi book I’ve read and I couldn’t have a better intro to the genre. Being raised in the same system as the author, I could easily detect the similarities with the Ruralites. U Go!
New Providence, NJ
LOVED this. The writing’s fantastic, the story compelling, & Cara’s voice is gripping & heartfelt.The multi-verse story is fascinating, but everything comes back to the characters, which are fantastic
I am not usually into sci fi, especially what is considered “classic,” as it seems so exclusionary. This book opens the sci fi world to POC, LGBT, and non binary folks, and it tells a damn good story
Utterly captivating read, I couldn’t put it down once I started and ended up finishing this book in one day. There were twists that I wasn’t expecting, but in hindsight were foreshadowed beautifully!
If you liked Dark Matter or Recursion then this book is for you. I didn’t wasn’t to put this book down, and when I did I couldn’t wait to pick it back up. Strong female characters and great story.
Quinton , VA
One the surface Cara seems to be all walls and cunning ambition, but her deep loyalty and ability understand people’s layers won me over big time. A twisty adventure ride in a wonderfully built world.
Loved the unique mix of sci-fi and literary fiction and I can’t wait to read more from this writer. Recommended to anyone that needs good writing to be entertained and especially for fans of Sliders.
Couldn’t put this down!! Amazingly well written plot with unexpected twists and turns, an extremely compelling main character, and an exciting and unique premise that had me hooked from the beginning.
Los Angeles, CA
How to do justice to quite possibly one of the best books I have ever read? An intricate plot as seamlessly-woven as its world(s) and multidimensional characters— go read this book! It will amaze you.
First novel like this I’ve read since Divergent and 1. I feel old and 2. This was so wonderful. It reminded me of why i used fo enjoy reading these works and has re-sparked a reading desire for me :)
Really great concept with great writing. I don’t usually go for the sci-fi genre, but I am so pleased that I did when choosing this book. Great read that brought queer characters to the main stage.
Love!When facing the multiverse there are endless possible ways you and your doppelgängers are similar but not the same. One choice can mean life or death and Cara is on the razors edge with each one.
Granville , MA
I adored this book. Vivid, layered characters make this hard to put down. It’s emotional, thought provoking, and beautifully written. The dynamic between Cara, Dell, and Nik Nik was my favorite part.
Freaking beautiful! What a wonderful story about finding yourself when you feel like you don’t belong anywhere. About learning to love & be brave. About not letting your past keep you from moving on.
Edgewood , MD
I love how the author mixed sci-fi, fantasy, and dystopian life all in one. It was an adventure, wrapped in a crime/mystery that moved at a great pace and had a twist that appeared at a perfect point.
Maple Grove, MN
It took me a few chapters to understand all the threads of this book that make it a story, but once there, I was all in. A unique look at parallel universes that had me thinking about my other selves.
New York, NY
LOVED. Fast-paced and intricate, it kept my attention and continued to level up all my expectations. It explores themes of circumstances, choices, & consequences through a stunning woman. & lgbtq rep!
Aurora , CO
The storyline is both symbolic and literal which perfectly exemplifies the concept of “the space between” It outlines consequences of human existence like racism, environmental decay, power, class
TSBW is fantastic twist on classic sci-fi stories. I loved how Micaiah was able to blend lgbt+ relationships effortlessly into the story. I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a dystopian thriller.