The Walls of the Universe by Paul Melko

What would you do if your doppleganger suddenly walked up to you and offered to show you the parallel universes that existed right outside the thin fabric of your reality? One day when Ohio teenager John Rayburn heads to the barn to do chores, he is confronted by an identical man who claims he is actually JR himself, but from a parallel world. He calls himself John Prime, and offers JR a deal—a 24-hour vacation in a parallel universe, free of charge. What red-blooded adolescent wouldn’t take such a proposition? To travel to another time and place while your twin guards your life here? Except, that’s not exactly what happens. Turns out Prime’s device only works one way, and that’s forward. Once JR jumps ahead to another universe, he can no longer go back. And now Prime is living his stolen life and JR has no choice but to find a new place in the universe. At first JR stumbles around multiple universes (universi?), making newbie-universe-traveler mistakes like losing his money, accidentally bringing alien species into other universes, and referring to objects or technology that haven’t been invented yet in the universe he is currently visiting. But finally JR settles down in a universe not unlike his own and decides to study physics in order to learn how the device works—so he can throw the lever in reverse, kick Prime’s butt and take his life back. But first he’s going to finance his college education by inventing a little game called pinball…This mind-bending and thoroughly entertaining sci-fi will leave you pondering the possibilities of parallel worlds and appreciating the little things like reality TV, root beer and Rubik’s Cubes that make THIS universe so frickin’ awesome.

6 thoughts on “The Walls of the Universe by Paul Melko

  1. This one sounds like a wonderful read, with lots of good stuff and twists in it. I like parallel universe books. Great review.

  2. This sounds like a very fascinating book. It sounds like it has its share of humor, too. I have to find it this soon. Thanks!

  3. The sciency stuff was a bit heavy for me at times, and this is coming from a die hard sci-fi fan. It was very much hard science, but the actual plot was good even though I didn’t quite get some of the vocab at times. Overall a very pleasent book to read by the end. And, like all good science fiction should and does do, it brought up some good questions. Thanks for the review b/c I wouldn’t have considered it for teens, but it makes sense since the protagonist is, in fact, one.

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