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The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson

The Space Between Worlds


We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Micaiah Johnson, on your first book!

by Micaiah Johnson

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Quick take

This multiverse sci-fi blends social commentary with mind-boggling ideas, like seeing yourself in a parallel universe.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SocialIssues

    Social issues

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Action


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LGBTQ

    LGBTQ+ themes

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Quest



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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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages ofThe Space Between Worlds.
The Space Between Worlds

Part One

Chapter One

When the multiverse was confirmed, the spiritual and scientific communities both counted it as evidence of their validity.

The scientists said, Look, we told you there were parallel universes.

And the spiritual said, See, we’ve always known there was more than one life.


Even worthless things can become valuable once they become rare. This is the grand lesson of my life.

I’m at the base of a mountain, looking over a landscape I was never meant to see. On this Earth—number 197—I died at three months old. The file only lists respiratory complications as cause of death, but the address on the certificate is the same one-room shack where I spent most of my life, so I can picture the sheet-metal roof, the concrete floor, and the mattress my mother and I shared on so many different Earths. I know I died warm, sleeping, and inhaling honest dirt off my mother’s skin.

“Cara, respond. Cara?”

Dell’s been calling me, but she’s only irritated now and I won’t answer until she’s concerned. Not because I like being difficult—though, there is that—but because her worry over a wasted mission sounds just like worry over me.

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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.

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Member ratings (12,488)

  • Miranda L.

    Bainbridge, OH

    The Space Between Worlds is something that I know I won’t be able to stop thinking about. I loved the story, characters, and world itself. Micaiah Johnson’s writing was so captivating too. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Hayley D.

    Woodstock, GA

    Not only is the plot original, this book is written so beautifully it made my heart ache. The characters are deeply flawed but you root for them despite. Definitely a new favorite! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Isaac W.

    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! ❤️

  • Jadyn M.

    Sonora, CA

    This was a great read and highly recommend! It’s a different kind of plot that I’ve never read before. Its so detailed and such an interesting read. Loved the characters and the comedic relief. 5⭐️!

  • Meghan M.

    Charlotte, NC

    Such a cool story! I don’t always go for SciFi books but I took a chance on this one & I’m glad I did. I loved the story & seeing how the plot unfolded, the science wasn’t too difficult to understand

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