From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Melko (Singularity's Ring) sends a naïve high school senior on a sharply imagined trip across divergent time lines in an adventure with both brains and heart. John Rayburn is approached by John Prime, another universe's version of himself, who lends him a device that permits travel to parallel worlds. John realizes he's been tricked when he can't get back home. He stops in an almost-familiar universe to analyze the device and return to his own world, where John Prime is trying to get rich quick by inventing gadgets that his new home lacks. Soon the two are making friends and putting down roots, each discovering that he carries his own fundamentally empathetic, responsible personality from one universe to another. With imagination and sympathy, Melko makes the journey genuinely exciting and leaves plenty of room for future exploits. (Feb.)
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Ohio farmboy John Rayburn is a high-school senior with relatively mundane concerns when, claiming to be from an alternate universe, his doppelganger, John Prime, shows up. The temptation to try out Prime’s universe-surfing device proves too great to resist, but, unfortunately, John discovers too late what Prime neglected to mention, that the thing works only one-way. Prime moved quite comfortably, into John’s life, with grand plans to market something his universe has and John’s doesn’t, a Rubik’s cube. Meanwhile, John has found a universe remarkably like his home, minus a version of himself, and enrolls at the University of Toledo as a physics major, figuring he’ll eventually be able to reverse-engineer the device. He accidentally invents pinball, which, thanks to his lab partners’ entrepreneurial genius, is a big hit. But unsavory sorts know it didn’t originate in this universe. Thrills ensue, for both John and Prime have attracted dangerous attention from other travellers between universes. Melko handles the struggles of young adulthood and universe-spanning conflict with equal vigor in this wildly entertaining yarn. --Regina Schroeder
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