Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there’s just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying—from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun. Cara’s life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.
On this Earth, however, Cara has survived. Identified as an outlier and therefore a perfect candidate for multiverse travel, Cara is plucked from the dirt of the wastelands. Now she has a nice apartment on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. She works—and shamelessly flirts—with her enticing yet aloof handler, Dell, as the two women collect off-world data for the Eldridge Institute. She even occasionally leaves the city to visit her family in the wastes, though she struggles to feel at home in either place. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, Cara is on a sure path to citizenship and security.
But trouble finds Cara when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined—and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world, but the entire multiverse.
I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review and can confirm all opinions are my own.
This book took me on one hell of a ride. I had requested it on Netgalley as I am trying to branch out more into Sci-Fi and did not expect to love it as much as I did. Cara is a Traverser, a person with the ability to transport to worlds in the multi-verse. Her background and previous lifestyle made her the perfect candidate, as did the fact she is currently dead in over 372 worlds. Her only goal in life is to make it the next four years so she can officially apply as a citizen of Wiley City, leaving her past in the wastes of Ashtown behind. After finding out she has been killed on yet another world, Eldridge send her to gather information only once she gets there her whole life is turned upside down. What she discovers highlights something dark in the company that they don’t want the general public finding out about and it might take Cara reaching out to those she had left behind, and being willing to risk her own life to end the deadly spiral.
Cara is a brilliantly written character, she is flawed and unafraid to hide it. Her life before Eldridge is something she would rather forget about, and her only ties to that life are her mother, stepfather and step siblings… people that she would do pretty much anything for. She carries secrets of her own, ones that we discover throughout the book but thanks to her upbringing she is a survivor. She really grows as a character in this book, which is something we don’t always get to see in Standalones.
I loved the way the authors delves into the multi-verse. We learn that they can only ‘Traverse’ to worlds that are similar to their own, where there is human life, oxygen et. In most of the timelines Cara’s life is similar to the one she led before Eldridge, she knows without a doubt that if she hadn’t been picked from obscurity to become a traverser then she would more than likely be dead by the hands of the Ashtown Emperor and her former lover NikNik. But on one world, Earth 175 she sees how a single decision can change the course of history, and not always for the better.
If you love a book that makes you think, has you questioning things the whole way through not quite believing what you are being told, then this is the book for you. There are plenty of plot twists, and while most are predictable, you only manage to figure it out a page or so before the character does or tells you. I love having little eureka moments when i’m reading and this book is filled with them. The authors writing style makes for an easy read and I found myself flying through chapters, reading 30-40% in one go.
A really fun and thought provoking read that definitely helped in cementing my love for Sci-Fi as a genre.