Cover Image: The Space Between Worlds

The Space Between Worlds

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Member Reviews

Thanks, I read and enjoyed this. I may assign an interview with the author to a freelance writer and run the story in 11 newspapers and websites in the Southern California News Group including the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Daily News. If so, I will include links below.
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This book is great! Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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This is a fascinating book. It’s set in a world where parallel world travel is an option, but only if your doppelgänger in that world is dead. So the main character, Cara, has a job of traveling between worlds because her other “selves” are really good at dying. But then she lands in a world where she discovers a secret that could rock all the worlds. She has to decide if exposing the secret is worth it. Not only is the tech/sci-fi aspects of this book great, the characters are really fascinating too. Especially when there are multiple versions of the same character on different worlds. So if you like your sci-fi to be character driven rather than tech-y, this book is for you. I would definitely recommend. Good news – at least right now this is a stand alone book, no need to worry about more books coming (obviously this could change, but this easily stands on it’s own).
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I loved this story. Its a little slow at first but quickly grabbed my attention. I love all the representation with the different characters, and making it not forced. Great job!
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Okay this book is just too cool! Bi rep! multi demential plot and characters. space. romance. I loved this book! I really enjoyed the character development and the cometary on BIPOC lives. I'll definitely have Micaiah Johnson on my "to look out for" list!
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I received a reviewer copy of The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson from the publisher from Random House Ballatine  from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

CW: Abuse

What It’s About: There are alternative worlds and the scientists have finally found a way to travel between worlds. The people who do this are the traversers, the only rule is that you can only travel to worlds where the alternative you is dead. Cara only has 7 other selves living, but she accidentally stumbles into a huge controversy. 

What I Loved: This book is expertly crafted and is a fantastic illustration of classism and corporate  greed. The book is slow to build but all the pieces go together and make sense. There is a really lovely romance. I really liked the secondary characters. The world building is exceptional and the idea of visiting worlds and the impact that has on our global security, resources, and corruption. It is fascinating and just really great world building. The author writes beautifully. 

What I didn’t like so much: The book was slowly paced in a way that made me think she was going to make this a series but it gets wrapped up very quickly and while it's satisfying, I think she could have expanded the world, but that's me being selfish. 

Who Should Read It: People who love sci-fi/fantasy. People interested in alternative worlds. People who want more LGBTQ representation in a book. People who love stories with hidden messages and commentary. 

General Summary: Traveling through alternative worlds and taking down global corruption.
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There are some cool elements in this book but for me, it was way too dense of a story.  There was just so much going on that it wore me down.  I can certainly see some people really enjoying this read, what with the different dimensions and the thriller aspect, but I just couldn't get into it.  It sort of reminded me of that old TV show Fringe (I guess it's not that old).  That is actually why I wanted to read, but it just didn't do it for me.  It's all good.
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I quite liked the idea that this book proposes. I couldn't wait to explore the multi-earths and all the possibilities; I was sorely disappointed. I understand the need to have each earth with the same people but I didn't expect it to be so closely knitted that only a few key things changed from earth to earth. 

I liked the main character Cara, though her inner voice, the one telling the story, felt off in age. She was an adult with a very child like way of telling us what happened. There was a disconnect here between the world she was trying to develop for us to imagine and the actual one she inhabited. 

It was not confusing to follow and the initial plot was actually a great premise, just lacking a great execution and follow through. Great foundation as they say, poor building on top. 

I really feel like a nice heavy hand at editing and this could have been much better. 

I did like the writing style at times and would give this author another a different novel though. 

*thank you netgalley and publisher for allowing me a review copy*
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This review is a tough one to write because overall the book is good but there was something missing to put it at 5 stars and I can’t figure out what that thing is. Part of it is the ending - it didn’t fit with the tone and reality of the book. I can’t say more without spoilers but it didn’t fit. World building is excellent and so is character development. I will buy the next book by this author. Also, this is the author’s debut novel and it is worth reading.
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I really enjoyed this book, but it was not quite what I expected.  

It read like a young adult book, which I actually enjoy.   However, I dont think that was the intention.  

Also, there were a few passages that didn’t make sense, or there were rules of the world that I didn't quite understand.  

All that being said, I enjoyed the world building, I related to the characters and I really wanted to know what happened next.  

If you are reading this review, you are already interested in this book, so give it a try - it will take you on a fun ride!
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For me, it was a slow start, so I kept putting it down. I wasn't connecting with the main character, Cara. In time, I did and regretted taking so long reading. This is an interesting and kind of scary at times, look into multiverses. I enjoyed the read and feel others who like science fiction will too.
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Cara has walked among the stars. In her dystopian world, multiverse travel is a real, and Cara is the ideal traveler. That's because in order to travel to another world, the you on that world must be dead, and Cara is no longer living on 372 worlds. Taken from the wastelands of her home world, Cara is just grateful for the opportunity to rise above the low-class society she was born into. Working (and flirting) with her handler Dell, Cara is tasked with collecting data from the other worlds for the Eldridge Institute. Easy enough. That is until one of her doppelgängers is murdered. Thrown into a new world, Cara discovers long-buried secrets that make her question everything about her life and the work she does. 

It's been awhile since I've read an adult sci-fi novel, and The Space Between Worlds did not disappoint! I can't recommend it enough. Featuring strong female characters, unexpected plot twists, and underlying social commentary, The Space Between Worlds is universe I'd gladly travel back to.
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“The universe erases me, but it also remakes me again and again, so there must be something worthwhile in this image.”

“They say hunting monsters will turn you into one.”

“Alive doesn’t mean anything at all. Sometimes the path to an easy life makes you miserable.”

This year I’ve been trying to read a lot of escapist fiction. Between a cancer scare and the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve really needed to check out in the late nights and early mornings when I read. I’ve behind on a lot of my reading this year, too, but I think that’s to be expected in times like these! Nevertheless, I was so happy to pick up and read The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson. It was exactly the kind of read I needed this year.

The book is a haunting sci-fi thriller that has characters who are impossible to forget. The lead character is Cara, a rough and tumble woman who is clever, resourceful, and, above all, fearless. I don’t want to give away the brilliant plot, so I will be a bit cagey with my review. Cara claws her way out of the literal wastelands to become a traverser, someone who travels in time from one world to another. The book is set in the future where a megalomaniac engineer, Adam Bosch, has discovered that there are parallel worlds: 372 to be exact. Cara is one of the few traversers hired by Bosch’s company to extract information and data out of the other worlds for the benefit of her world.

But as readers will learn, Cara’s work comes at a cost.

Cara is scrappy and curious, determined to benefit and learn from her travels in other timelines despite corporate rules prohibiting such behavior. In all the worlds she has visited, her life is difficult. These worlds all have one thing in common: inequality. Cara is a member of the lower classes abandoned and discriminated against simply for being born outside the walls of the wealthy Wiley City, a city which also serves as a corporate haven for Bosch. Wiley City is for the elite, and the surrounding desert is for the rest of the world who toil under a constant threat of sexual and physical violence.

Cara desires to find a better way of life for herself and her family members who remain entangled in poverty and strife, but numerous obstacles stand in her way. Time is running out for Cara to figure out how to secure a safer future for her family; traversers are being replaced by a new technology that will remotely retrieve data from the other universes. Adam Bosch’s company also plans to monetize traversing, offering the opportunity to the wealthy few who seek to expand their fortune and fame by visiting other universes.

The odds are stacked against Cara, but she isn’t someone who cares about odds. Will she die trying to beat them?

This book is exciting, heartbreaking, and impossible to put down. If you love sci-fi, thrillers, brilliantly imagined worlds, and characters you won’t ever forget, this is absolutely your book. Definitely going to be a book I need to add to my permanent library!

Thank you to Random House Publishing, the author, Micaiah Johnson, and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of The Space Between Worlds.
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’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.’

THE SPACE BETWEEN WORLDS is a mind-bending Science Fiction novel I did not want to put down. Though the pacing, for me, lulls at times, it’s the characters and worlds Johnson created that kept me engaged throughout. 

Cara and Dell-My Heart!

Highly Recommend! 

Thank you, NetGalley and Del Rey Publishing, for loaning me an eBook of THE SPACE BETWEEN WORLDS in exchange for an honest review.
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“Calgon take me away!” Am I dating myself irrevocably with that old commercial reference? Good fantasy or science fiction can take you away from everything. Open you up to a new world, different species, strange otherworldly situations. However, some of the best fantasy or sci-fi allows you to visit those other places and people, while simultaneously keeping you rooted in the world we are living in now. This book is a remarkable example of an intriguing story that takes place in a completely different kind of world, all the while not allowing the reader to completely look away from the parallels to the ugly side of life in this world we are currently living. Providing reminders of the things that need changing, and why if we don’t pay attention we put ourselves and others at risk.

The idea of being able to visit yourself in the multiverse is captivating, and this story explores all the what-if’s that would attend this ability. What is more active in our lives, nature or nurture? How does abuse, classism, external influences affect our development? How much can one choice made divert the fate of a person, and the people around them? How much does poverty warp people away from their true potential? Micaiah Johnson delves into all these questions, while skilfully not sacrificing forward movement and dynamic plot developments.

The book has a lot to say about how we treat one another, and the frustration/futility of living in a society that is increasingly corporatized and at the whim of powerful people who control all advancement. It’s a sobering, but also a thrilling book. If you enjoy good science fiction with a progressive point of view you will be pleased with The Space Between Worlds.
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I was engaged in the story and wanted to continue reading. I was trying to decide while reading if I liked it or not and why. I didn't know the MC. I didn't know much about the world we are in. I don't know much about the characters. I think that's what makes the story real. The MC doesn't know who she is. She doesn't know the worlds she goes to, and as it's repeated in the story, "can you ever really know someone?" You are immersed into what she feels and sees. For that, it does a great job. I didn't even realize what bothered me and then when I did, I understood why the author was doing it. I enjoyed the story and love how it wrapped up. I just found myself wanting to be finished, right before the climax.
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Multiverse travel exists, but you can only go to a world where all of your previous selves have died. Cara has no talents other than she's dead in 372 worlds. Plucked from the wastelands, she now lives in the City and travels across the worlds, and in a few short years she'll be granted citizenship. Unless the machinations of her totally benevolent tech genius boss do something to mess with that plan...
I have seen two worlds and the space between.

Two star body, four star ending.

I've been having a hard time trying to wrap my thoughts about this book into sometime resembling words. This was the longest 330something pages I've ever read, but the last twenty percent or so flew by? I seriously thought it was an over 500 page novel, as the first half draaaaagged after a really promising first few chapters and a huge fucking twist thrown right into the beginning.

But Wiley City is bad on age anyway. They see a fourteen-year-old runner outside the wall and say, A suspicious man spotted near the border, but when a thirty-three-year-old Wileyite murders his girlfriend it's Good boy goes bad./blockquote>

I really loved what this book had to say about privilege and human worth, about tech genius and the evils of capitalism, about misconceptions and the different kinds of love, and how it explored the various ways a person's life can vary just based on circumstances and chance. How the main character is a Black, bisexual former sex worker in a world where workers are valued for keeping the peace and bringing civilization.

Nik Senior said that was true power. Not to kill a man, but to kill a man in front of his family and force them to agree you did not.

I loved quite a bit of the writing, which could turn from lyrical to horrifying on a dime, and always cut through with laser precision into the heart of an uneven, imbalanced world filled with varying levels of power. Because ultimately this was a book about power: the having, the gaining, the losing and the sacrificing.

But the pacing.

It was so uneven that I almost DNF'd at 50%.

I'm very happy that I didn't, as the ending was fantastic and I loved that it was bisexually sapphic and diverse and I loved the various iterations of Cara's sisters and enemies. Cara was a chameleon, always changing herself to survive to the circumstances, which is what made it so much sadder that her other selves had died so often on so many other worlds.

Can't say much more about what happens after the 50% mark other than I loved that it got political and brought Cara back to her world and the evil secrets lurking beneath its surface.

The only due powerful men recognize is a life—in service or in sacrifice.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
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This is a parallel-worlds novel, where the protagonist is a “traverser” or world-walker, who can travel between 380-some versions of a blighted future Earth. Or rather, versions of the city-state of Wiley City, a wealthy enclave (think of a desert mini-Singapore) and its surrounding slum, Ashtown. That’s all we see of these future Earths, and a traverser can only world-walk to other Earths where her doppelgänger is dead. The publisher’s preview, at the top of this page, is what you should read first.

It’s good debut novel with first-novel rough spots. The premise didn’t convince me. The author shows us only one Earth, repeated hundreds of times, with small variations in its grim, post-apocalyptic setting. Nobody else has figured out a way out of this trap? And exactly the same people inhabit hundreds of alternate Earths? There aren’t any other inhabitable places on the whole planet? This used to be called out as the “It rained last Thursday on Algol-4” fallacy.

OK, every SF novel can have one impossible thing, and given her premise, Johnson draws an interesting (if grim) hypothetical future. The bit where Cara (the protag) takes over the identity of her dead double is clever, and confuses the hell out of everyone where she works, which was the idea. And the dirty politics, double and triple-crosses, murders, Mad Max killing-machines, revelations of evil and rot up to the very top of Earth-zero: all have a horrible fascination. Lord knows there’s precedent in our world for all the grim details. And the book does end on something of a hopeful note. It’s well-written, compulsively readable, and the weak spots were only obvious in retrospect.

Should you read it? Um. Do you like shaky stories of dystopias? I generally don’t, but I kept going on this one, even past the silly setup. I’m less happy now that I’ve had time to think about it. Lots of people liked the book more than I did, so it might be right for you — if you like that sort of thing. For me, it was flawed but worth reading. 3 stars.

Thanks to NetGalley and Del Rey Books for the review e-ARC.
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I read a fair amount of science fiction. The idea of multiworlds and traveling to them is not unheard of. In fact, there have been many books, movies and even a television series using the concept. The conceit here is that you can only visit worlds where you aren't alive. Attempting to travel to a world where you are alive can cause your death. 
Beyond the idea of multiworlds, the book is more a story of power and dynastic rule. Cara, our world traveler, orbits the power structure in most of these worlds. We see the action through her eyes. She tries to change things, but that may not be possible. 
There is more that one thing that bothers me with the world building here. Multiworlds would be focused on one person, the person doing the traveling. It would be different for each traveler. But here, the same set of characters inhabit each of the worlds. There are no unique characters. If David exists in World 6, a version of David lived or lives in all the other worlds. He may be slightly older or younger, being a farmer or a trader or a henchman depending on who else might be alive or not. All the people on World 1, who are studying the other worlds, see exactly the same population. That feels wrong, or at least unlikely.
Other than that, It was an interesting adventure story with some sciency fiction trappings. I did have to block some of my questioning thoughts. Otherwise, It was fun.
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A bit confusing in the beginning when the author was trying to establish characters and the plot, but she eventually got there and the tale became interesting. The premise that there are hundreds of worlds just like ours, with someone who is just like you living (on not) on them was pretty interesting.
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