Every time Zax Delatree falls asleep, he is taking a risk because every time Zax wakes up, he is in a new reality. He has no control over where he goes, and he has never been to the same world twice. He has to be prepared for anything – from wildly, technologically advanced worlds, to worlds of death and ruin, to worlds of idyllic nature – and he must survive by his wits and be ready to take sedatives to quickly advance to the next world, or stimulants to stay a little longer in a place that is comfortable.
Only those items that are immediately on his person or clutched in his arms travel with him, and he has found that this can include people if they are unconscious when he falls asleep. He travelled with someone early on, but it has been some time since that had happened. But when he meets Minna, a woman from a farming planet, he finds he has a new travelling partner.
The constant battle of waking up in a new world and trying to ascertain as quickly as possible if it is hospitable or not is wearing, but when Minna and Zax realize that they are being chased through the worlds, they have a new threat to worry about.
I liked this book. I liked this so much that I immediately went out and acquired a bunch of Tim Pratt’s work.
I’m not typically a fan of books that tell the story through journal entries, but this one worked for me. Possibly this is because I was immediately caught up in the adventure. Every chapter is a new world so I was nearly as eager as the character to know where we were and what possible dangers existed in the new world. And just as the newness of each world started to wear down I was then caught up in the story of the person following Zax and Minna. This becomes the main story (we do come to know who is following them, and how they are doing it and we learn this fairly early, but I don’t want to give away anything that might spoil this read). In fact Zax, Minna, and another traveler with them recognize a danger not only to them, ut to the worlds they visit is they can’t stop their pursuer.
I really got caught up in this book. The idea was kind of genius and the handling of the story was done really well. This was easily one of the best science fiction books I’ve read this year.
Looking for a good book? If you like creative, adventurous science fiction, do yourself a favor and read Tim Pratt’s Doors of Sleep.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Doors of Sleep
author: Tim Pratt
series: Journals of Zaxony Delatree
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 272 pages