The Silver Dream: An InterWorld Novel by Michael Reaves
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Was this really written by Neil Gaiman? There are three names on the cover, and there's been very little fuss about this, so I'm going to guess the answer is "no" - he may have had input but this wasn't a real Gaiman effort. It definitely read as though the author(s) weren't really thinking this through as much as they could have.
This is a sequel to InterWorld, and Joey is slowly - maybe - getting accepted by the others. He and his team are on a mission that goes badly, and somewhere along the way they pick up a friend, Acacia Jones (don't call her Casey!). Something's different about her: she's not one of the J people, yet for some reason the Old Man gives her clearance and asks Joey to show her around. Then the InterWorld people hear about two Walkers, and Joey's team is sent to rescue one who just happens to be on the world where their last mission failed. Joaquim is genial, talented and Joey's jealous of him. But something seems to be wrong... and it keeps heading that way. Casey is part of TimeWatch, and how they interact with the InterWorld people, what their role in the war between HEX and Binary is, and exactly what TimeWatch is keeps us going for the rest of the book.
Sadly, that's part of the problem. It's one thing for a character to not understand what TimeWatch is/does, but when the explanation doesn't make sense to the reader it may be that it wasn't clear to the authors what they wanted it to be. That happens in a few places in this book. It's possible that people who are huge SF fans will be able to tease this all out, keeping track of what's going on far easier than I was able to do; it may also be possible for someone to figure out why this Joey is the most important one (given that everyone in InterWorld is generally the same person. The other possibility is that all will be explained in the next book. I just won't be reading it.
ARC provided by publisher.