I didn’t like this book. You won’t either. Except that I did. Maybe you will too.
I’ve read reviews which state this should have been a short story, and I can see their point. The plot feels stretched thin at times. I didn’t particularly enjoy the ending. The pacing is very slow, and generally not much is happening. To be completely honest large sections of this book bored me. That being said I found I couldn’t put it down.
It wasn’t because of the characters. Most of the characters were kind of meh. Not bad, but not people I cared about. This includes our hero Joshua. He’s a good kid, but yeah, meh. I did however enjoy Sally Lindsey who is a minor character that accompanies our hero, and the AI, Lobsang. More about Lobsang later.
Instead of story, or characters what drew me in were the ideas. I’m a sucker for parallel universes, and this book is all about them. Specifically Earth’s infinite parallels. I loved exploring the ramifications of civilization should humanity be given access to unlimited land, and resources. And there are so many. Political, economic, and religious to name the big ones.
There are other sentient life forms in this book, but much like most of the characters I found myself not truly caring about them. Again it was the ideas that kept me engaged. Reading about humanity’s treatment of them in the book was far more interesting than the creatures themselves.
And of course there is Lobsang. I love a good AI, or rather AI written well. When I imagine an AI becoming sentient, yes these are the things that fill my idle thoughts, I imagine it being much like this. I might have read the book for this alone.