The short: 3/5 ✦. An entertaining conclusion to the InterWorld series that has just enough originality to prevent it from being too predictable.
I’ll be blunt: I only barely remembered anything about this series, having read the first book in like, 2010 or something. It’s hard for me to make time to reread books, especially ones I don’t own (libraries FTW!), so I have to rely on Wikipedia or Goodreads to help fill in the blanks of my memory. Fortunately and unlike most series, Eternity’s Wheel spends a good chunk of time recapping what happened previously and unloading a great deal of exposition. I think if I was overly familiar with the series, I would find this annoying and repetitive, but as lost as I was, I found it quite useful and a bit of a relief, since the plot is a bit sciencey-wiency.
C’mon, y’all knew that was coming.
In any case, I wasn’t terribly invested in the series, though I liked it well enough to continue reading it after the first one. The lack of Gaiman’s involvement didn’t bother me too much, as both Reaves are excellent writers. There’s no clichéd phrases, nothing that made me roll my eyes or scoff at yet another tired trope. Any romance is merely hinted at, as Joey, the main character, has far more pressing concerns (the end of the entire multiverse or whatever).
I liked the mythos of the Walkers, since I love alternate universes and interdimensions. I wish more could have been explored. I didn’t fully understand HEX and Binary, though I adore the traditional clashing of magic and technology. Basically, this book and series has a bunch of really interesting ideas and cool stuff that altogether make for only a competent read. There’s nothing bad with it, per se, but I didn’t feel too much for the characters, even those who died. The stakes were high, but it’s the kind of book where you know everything will probably be okay. The good thing was, you didn’t know how it was all going to happen. Like in The Silver Dream, you may have guessed there was a traitor, but who? I wasn’t expecting Joey to do what he did at the end of this book, but I liked that he didn’t whinge about it. He decided it was the right thing to do, and so he did it.
The series as a whole probably would’ve worked better as a one single novel. There’s not quite enough substance to justify its expansion to a trilogy, and I think it all would’ve just had better flow. The writing is great, the pathos is there, but the characters are flatter than they should be, which brings down the suspense factor. Again, it’s a good series (though probably better for the middle school crowd than most YA), and the premise is truly original. And the cliffhangers at the end keep this world open for more stories . . .
In any case, I’d recommend InterWorld, especially for younger readers.
Header image: Eternity’s Wheel by Michael Reaves and Mallory Reaves (story by Neil Gaiman), published May 19th 2015 by HarperTeen.