I have a bit of a genre switch today as I am reviewing Micaiah Johnson’s sci-fi novel, The Space Between Worlds. Many thanks to Hodder & Stoughton for my copy of the book, which I received via NetGalley.
A multiverse-hopping outsider discovers a secret that threatens her home world and her fragile place in it–a stunning sci-fi debut that’s both a cross-dimensional adventure and a powerful examination of identity, privilege, and belonging.
CARA IS DEAD ON THREE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-FOUR WORLDS.
The multiverse business is booming, 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 diseases, from turf wars, from vendettas they couldn’t outrun.
But on this earth, Cara’s survived. And she’s reaping the benefits, thanks to the well-heeled Wiley City scientists who ID’d her as an outlier and plucked her from the dirt. Now she’s got a new job collecting offworld data, a path to citizenship, and a near-perfect Wiley City accent. Now she can pretend she’s always lived in the city she grew up staring at from the outside, even if she feels like a fraud on either side of its walls.
But when one of her eight remaining doppelgangers dies under mysterious circumstances, Cara is plunged into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and future in ways she never could have imagined–and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse.
Science fiction and fantasy are genres that are often grouped together, but whilst I read a lot of fantasy, it is a rarity for me to read sci-fi. I dabble occasionally, but I often find that I struggle to fully connect with the story. Right from the lovely dedication to the author’s grandma and an undisclosed “you” – which made me chuckle but feel sad at the same time – The Space Between Worlds has a very human feel that is sometimes lacking in sci fi books
Micaiah Johnson has created an intricate web where not only are there the different worlds of the multiverse, there are different incarnations of the same people. It is a multiverse full of interesting twists, and I can imagine it was tricky to keep track of everything while writing. It really is a very clever story, and I enjoyed every page.
I don’t know how well I would cope knowing that there were hundreds of other Mai Taylors out there. I have a feeling that finding out about them and how they died would become something of an obsession!