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though Joey Harker has lived in the same neighborhood all his life,
he still gets lost looking for his own house. North, south, east,
west? He can barely tell up from down. On his way home one
afternoon, Joey wanders through a thick mist. When he emerges, he's
in a part of town he's never seen before. He figures he's lost as
usual until he looks at Rowena and realizes that she's not the girl
he was walking home. When he opens the front door of his house,
everything is basically the same, but some small details aren't
right. Most disturbingly, his mom doesn't know who he is.

Joey runs out of the house and into a stranger wearing silver armor
who identifies himself as Jay. Jay says a lot of things Joey
can’t understand, but Joey doesn't have time to ask any
questions --- he's too busy dodging men on airborne surfboards who
are trying to catch him in a net. After a trip on a very strange
ship and an escape from a witch called Lady Indigo, Joey learns
from Jay that, although he can't tell right from left on his world,
he's gifted with the ability to Walk, or pass between worlds that
are spinoffs of Earth created from major decisions. The dangerous
path between worlds, the In-Between, is the domain of Walkers
(people like Joey).

Joey's mission, which he really doesn't get a choice in accepting
when Jay sacrifices himself for the boy, is to go to the camp where
Walkers are trained and join the interdimensional military. His
first assignment out of camp is a disaster, resulting in the
kidnapping and possible murder of five of his fellow recruits. The
Old Man who runs the training camp decides that Joey is too much of
a liability and wipes out his memory, sending him back to the home
he remembers.

Only everything at home is not quite as Joey remembers it.

The blend of technology, folklore and magic in this book will
remind you of Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl and D. J. MacHale's
Pendragon series, complete with nonstop, breakneck action
and thrilling fights of good versus evil. You never really get the
chance to know Joey or his well, but you'll bite your nails as they
fight to save Earth and all its possibilities from the
not-quite-people who want nothing more than to kill Joey and use
his essence as fuel. The brief glimpses of the thousands of worlds
created from decisions on Earth will leave you wanting and
wondering more.


Reviewed by Carlie Webber on October 18, 2011

by Neil Gaiman

  • Publication Date: April 23, 2013
  • Genres: Science Fiction
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • ISBN-10: 0062125303
  • ISBN-13: 9780062125309