The Silver Dream by Neil Gaiman, Michael Reaves and Mallory Reaves
Not hugely surprisingly, The Silver Dream shares pretty much all of the same strengths and flaws of it’s predecessor InterWorld. The setting and general tone are still great, but as with the previous book it’s extremely rough around the edges and oddly rushed.
The Silver Dream picks up a while after the events of InterWorld, with Joey and his team of parallel universe versions of himself now much better established in the InterWorld community. After a botched mission Joey accidently returns with the mysterious Acacia Jones, a non-Walker who should not be able to be there. A series of events are set in place that reveal that the Altiverse is even more complex than first imagined and Acacia may hold the secrets.
The plot of The Silver Dream is quite enjoyable if you just sit back and enjoy the ride, not thinking about it too much. I just wish that this novel was given some space to breathe. I’m all for a fast pace, but interesting concepts are introduced, lightly touched upon and then moved on from almost immediately. The world building here is so fascinating but so shallow; it breaks my heart slightly that this breakneck story is all that we’re getting from it. That’s not to say that the story is bad, but it is rushed and disjointed.
I feel a bit sorry for Mallory Reaves, who co-wrote the novel with her father and received short shrift next to Gaiman who is given a credit for creating the story. The writing is snappy and doesn’t get bogged down, although it definitely lacks Gaiman’s mystical prose. As with a lot of this book, the prose is competent but doesn’t necessarily stand out.
Acacia is a good addition, riffing off of Joey well. There’s probably a little bit too much ‘manic pixie dream girl’ to her, but she was likable nonetheless. The best characters are the charming range of parallel Joeys, a diverse bunch that I’d have liked to get to know better. Charecteristically for this novel however, we don’t spend as much time with them as I would have liked.
The Silver Dream is a good sequel to a good book, but it’s also frustrating. This series has such potential to be great but there just isn’t enough. It’s so rare for quantity to be the issue rather than quality, but here we are! Nonetheless, I’m looking forward to the final book in the trilogy which is releasing very soon.