So, after reading "Interworld" and being such a huge Gaiman fan I was honor-bound to read this.
This time I entered eyes wide open.
Neil Gaiman did not write this book.
Neil Gaiman came up with the concept.
Michael and Mallory Reaves wrote this book.
Ok, now I won't scale my expectations.
It was still "blah."
Not saying "bad."
It was nowhere near "bad," but it was "blah."
I felt like Reaves spent an awful lot of time reacquainting the reader with the worlds created, the powers used, the past trials and tribulations, etc.
HEY! I read the last book dude. A little lead-in would have been fine, but you went on way too far.
Again, I like many of the concepts ("Walking," Alternate universes based on choice, all of the characters being different versions of the same essence, but all from different worlds), but I swear, the characters got so muddled. At one point I actually got dizzy (literally) swimming in a sea of names that start with the letter "J." I stopped trying to figure out who was doing what and kept plodding forth through the meat.
Still, this is a YA novel so I understand who the target audience is.
My almost 10 year-old son just finished "Interworld" and he loved it (though, conceptually I think he will enjoy it a little more when he is a bit older).
The addition of actual "Time-travel" is nice as it adds an extra dimension to explore in this and future novels (literally and figuratively). The characters along with this nuance are quite interesting as well and I am intrigued to see what will come of them next installment (and there will be many).
I even felt satisfied with the ending, but again, the pace, the choppiness, the over-explanation...It made this "quick" read more troublesome than it needed to be.
I felt like it was about 47% rehash, 10% new stuff, 10% slap-together, 5% trite/cliche, 25% pandering to the new reader and 3% gold.
One Star for each golden percentage point (and that may be generous).