The Walls of the Universe by Paul Melko
Posted by Caitie F on December 22, 2013
Summary from publisher:
John Rayburn thought all of his problems were the mundane ones of an Ohio farm boy in his last year in high school. Then his doppelgänger appeared, tempted him with a device that let him travel across worlds, and stole his life from him. John soon finds himself caroming through universes, unable to return home—the device is broken. John settles in a new universe to unravel its secrets and fix it.
Meanwhile, his doppelgänger tries to exploit the commercial technology he’s stolen from other Earths: the Rubik’s Cube! John’s attempts to lie low in his new universe backfire when he inadvertently introduces pinball. It becomes a huge success. Both actions draw the notice of other, more dangerous travelers, who are exploiting worlds for ominous purposes.
The premise of this book is awesome. Travel between universes, what could be cooler? But the execution was severely lacking.
The first quarter of the book is good and then it just went downhill from there.
The characters were pretty one dimensional. I got who John was, but never really learned much about John Prime. There was so much time spent on building the stupid pinball machine and no time spent on where Prime was from or anything.
SO much on the machine. It felt like a complete waste of time reading several chapters. I know they say show, don’t tell, but he could have just said ‘we built a dueling pinball machine over a couple weeks”. The ending was so rushed and that was so dragged out, it should have been the other way around.
There were also so many plot holes. Why did John obsess over a University of Toledo lower level professor? He could have gotten n a bus and gone to a place with a top engineering program and moved everything a whole lot faster. So much happened just to make the stories line up that it got irritating.
The villains were not very interesting either. How did they get stuck here? What is their original world like? Why can’t they build something ot get back? None of these questions are answered.
Even though these questions might be answered, I have no desire to read the next book in the series (I don’t even get WHY it is a series). What a disappointing read, especially since the concept was so great.