Worlds Apart

August 7, 2018 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, )

apartWorlds Apart by James Riley


With Worlds Apart, Riley brings his Story Thieves series to an end. As expected, he takes the threads from the previous books and winds them back together into a single strand. Most of the characters from the previous books find their way into the story, and they interact in ways both expected and not. The book feels familiar in style and tone, but it isn’t as compelling as the other books, which surprises me, since this is the culmination of the series, and the stakes are high.

At the end of Pick the Plot, the fictional and nonfictional worlds had been separated, and Worlds Apart shows what happens when they no longer interact. In the nonfictional world, imagination is stifled, and people are boring. When Owen finds himself drawn back into fictional events, everything starts to come together as he risks everything — quite literally — to defeat Nobody and rejoin the two worlds.

The book brings the series to a satisfying close, but it wasn’t the BOO-YAH ending I expected. It didn’t help that Pick the Plot was creative and exciting, both in structure and story, and Worlds Apart seemed to plod along in parts. I found myself having to force myself to return to the book, when the previous book had been one I hadn’t been able to put down.

Obviously, anyone who’s come this far with the series will want to see how it concludes, and I can’t say that I didn’t like the book, but it wasn’t as fun as the previous books in the series. I’d still recommend the series to younger readers, and to older readers who enjoy the cleverness of books like the Thursday Next series. It falters a bit near the end (which is exacerbated by the Return of the King syndrome, where we get two endings too many), but the rest of the journey is a lot of fun, and it would be a shame to pass up the whole thing for that reason alone.

Started: July 17, 2018
Finished: July 25, 2018

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