In Stel’s futuristic world, the Corridor connects Earth to a parallel universe. How the Corridor works is a secret that not even the highest government officials understand, but it’s frequently used to travel between worlds. One day, a freak accident overtakes the Corridor and Stel finds that she now possesses the power to create her own portals, independent from the Corridor, to any number of parallel universes. But normal people aren’t able to do these things – and the people who can, genetically engineered humans called Mods, are feared and kept under lock and key. Stel needs to explore her new-found power, but also has to be careful not to let the wrong people see, lest she end up like the Mods.
I really wanted to like this book, because the premise was there. It’s really exciting to think that there are several versions of Earth in existing in parallel universes. The different universes have some constants, but natural disasters, human advancement, and even things as simple as who marries who can change the course of history. Maybe in one universe, humans went too crazy with technology, so now it’s a barren wasteland – a strong reminder that we need to care for our planet before it’s too late. In a different universe, research has advanced to the point that all the parallel universes can be remotely monitored.
But while the premise was good, the rest of the book, unfortunately, was not.
My #1 issue with this book was that everything that happened was convenient. It’s convenient when Stel gets stranded with the boy she likes – now their relationship can develop. It’s convenient that Stel meets someone in a parallel universe who has the answers to all her questions – she can report back to her dad, who’s researching the topic in her home universe. It’s convenient that everyone she happens to meet trusts her immediately – now the plot can move along without any unnecessary relationship building. Nothing feels natural. Everything feels artificially contrived to move the plot along.
My #2 issue is the instalove. I mean, Stel finds this guy that she thinks is great. He’s cute, he’s funny, he takes care of her, and then he introduces her to his jerk brother. A brother who immediately and intensely dislikes Stel. So Stel basically says, “hey, if you don’t like me, that’s fine, I’ll just hang out with this nice guy over here.” Except that five minutes later, she’s forgotten that the nice guy exists and is ~in love~ with the jerk brother, who has seemingly also done a complete 180 and is completely smitten with her, too. Now they’re going to forget about the plot and spend a lot of time kissing.
Let me make one thing clear: This book did not need romance. It especially did not need a love triangle. It really, particularly, especially did not need a love triangle between TWO BROTHERS. It felt out of place, unnecessary, and awkward.
My #3 (and final) issue is that we got a lot of unnecessary detail on inconsequential plot points, but important things were glossed over. We know what Stel’s father had for dinner, and what outfit her best friend wore, but we don’t know anything about the Corridor or how Stel’s power works. Do I care about what her father is eating or what her best friend is wearing? Not really. Do I care about, you know, the main plot of the book? YES. ABSOLUTELY. And the specifics were completely ignored.
Overall, I think that the author had a really great idea, but the book fell totally flat. I see where she was going, but I don’t think that she accomplished what she set out to do.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy.
Final rating: ★★☆☆☆