Four months after Ben disappeared through the portal to his home universe, Janelle believes she’ll never see him again. Her world is still devastated, but life is finally starting to resume some kind of normalcy. Until Interverse Agent Taylor Barclay shows up. Somebody from an alternate universe is running a human trafficking ring, kidnapping people and selling them on different Earths—and Ben is the prime suspect. Now his family has been imprisoned and will be executed if Ben doesn’t turn himself over within five days.
I really liked the first book in the series, I did. This one just didn’t do it for me.
Janelle was, for the most part, still a good character to read. She was tough, no-nonsense and smart. I appreciate that. But Ben. Maybe I was still feeling residual weirdness after reading Undone (the novella between book 1 and 2) but I couldn’t help seeing his overly-needy, obsessive, stalker-y qualities. Ben was just so immature. And their relationship was really immature. And there was a lot of emotion in this book. Just too much. Drama everywhere. Blah. Barclay was the best character to read. I really like the way Norris presented him.
Book 1 encompassed a bunch of different genres: Sci-fi, paranormal, high school drama, coming-of-age, murder mystery, romance, probably something else I can’t think of right now. Book 2 is equally as confused: Sci-fi, romance, post-apocalyptic, conspiracy theories, fugitives, prison breaks, whatever else. It’s like Norris decided to write a series that encompassed every single genre of book she likes. I’m actually curious about what the 3rd book will be about.
The evolving genres didn’t really bother me too much, though. What did bother me was the writing. The chapters were super short which is sometimes a good thing because that way you can pick it up and read for a little bit and have a nice break to put it down. But these chapter breaks were awkward. Just about every one of them was a cliffhanger chapter and then the next chapter picked up exactly where the previous one left off. WHY??? Why not just make the chapters longer and continue the story without all the annoying breaks? It’s just as addictive to read a fast-paced book without cliffhangers as it is with the cliffhangers. Actually, in my case the former is more addictive since I don’t get annoyed by it. And then every little chronological detail was spelled out in the book. Everything. The book encompasses 5 days in the life of Janelle Tenner and when you read this book you know what happens in every minute of each of those 5 days. It’s a bit exhausting. I wanted more vague-ness in some places, you know? Instead of a page about how everyone tossed and turned all night thinking of all the things going on (and then rehashing all the things going on), how about a nice half sentence at the beginning of the next chapter: “After a restless night…” Vague. Effective. A lot less annoying to read.
Rehashing became a major theme throughout this book. Probably half the book was Norris reiterating what was going on and what would happen if they didn’t succeed. There was lot of, “Here’s our plan of action but if we don’t pull it off we could all die” type of stuff. Or, “By this time tomorrow we should be doing whatever-it-is. If we make it to tomorrow.” Seriously. Way. Too. Much of that writing device going on here. It got old real quick.
Another thing that bothered me was that there were doubles in other worlds at all. Sure, all the universes started the same but if in every world every person makes different choices and actually become different people I fail to see how they would have married or had children with the same people. If the double-people are so different I don’t think it’s at all likely they would fall in love with the same people. So unless the doubles act like the same person I doubt they would make the same choices. If that makes any sense.
And there was way too much dying. What is it with Norris and her killing off all her characters? Not a fan of that.
So, meh. I kind of want to read the third book but won’t be heartbroken about it if I don’t.
Sexual Content: Mild