Set in a future where there are 382 different planet Earths in other universes, with different versions of a person existing on each one; the multiverse business is booming. There is just one problem – no one can visit a planet where their doppelgänger is still alive. Enter Cara who is dead in all but eight so becomes a suitable ‘transverser’ collecting data and bringing it back to Earth Zero. Here she lives a comfortable life in wealthy, walled-off, Wiley City, a far cry from the poverty and hardship of her previous existence in Ashtown, a harsh environment where only the strong and lucky survive the lack of resources and violence. Life is good until she discovers a plot which jeopardises the future of every person on, not just her world, but the entire multiverse.
The Space Between Worlds is an intriguing look at the possibility of there being multiple versions of a person and how the merest difference in circumstance and upbringing can set off a complex chain of events which results in varying degrees of success. Love and revenge are both explored as the different versions of the same person make decisions which can reverberate across the universe. It is a beautifully written vision of a future which has the potential to fill readers with a sense of unease and foreboding while simultaneously opening up our minds to infinite possibilities.
Author Micaiah Johnson is a remarkable talent and displays the gift of creating both characters to love and hate. Her upbringing in California’s Mojave Desert in a Jehovah’s Witness community possibly accounts for the spiritual beliefs of the characters living in the fictional backdrop of Ashtown.
In a genre which is awash with mediocrity this novel stands out. It’s the sort of book the reader doesn’t want to finish. Netflix could be missing an opportunity for the latest box set binge if this novel is not put on the screen.