Zaxony (Zax) Delatree lives an unusual life. Every time he falls asleep he wakes up in a new world. Every waking day a new adventure – sometimes pleasant, sometimes life-threatening. It had been a lonely existence until he had met Ana – a companion who was one of The Sleepers – a group of travelers also existing between the worlds. But Ana had gotten irretrievably left behind on a world long ago and Zax now has Minna, a new companion who has found a way to travel the worlds with Zax.
The good news for the duo is that they are no longer being pursued through the worlds by Lector, a psychotic man who wanted full control of the ability to world hop. The bad news is that there is a cult of travelers who know the method of world-hopping (a parasite in the bloodstream that lives between dimensions and releases a toxin that provides the strange travelling). The cult are servants to The Prisoner – a being trapped between dimensions – and they believe that they only way to free their leader is to collapse all the different worlds – meaning the complete destruction of thousands of worlds and trillions and trillions of lives.
Ana has found a way to catch up to Zax and now Zax, Ana, and Minna are on a new journey to save all the worlds.
I really love the concept of the series (duology?). As I believe I mentioned in my review of the first book, I think this is one of the most creative concepts I’ve come across in a long time. And of course there’s a tremendous challenge for Pratt – not only is he creating a world in which Zax and friends travel by way of sleeping, he’s creating multiple worlds inside this world. How fun is that?!
This book didn’t have quite the excitement level as the previous book. In part, because it wasn’t so new to us anymore (not much you can do about that), but rather than being chased, Zax becomes the chaser. Sort of. (Yeah, I know, it’s a little confusing to try and sum up something rather complicated.)
There’s a large focus on Ana and her story – what happened to her and how she works to reconnect with Zax (every other chapter is hers). This seems really important (and it is), but when they do finally reconnect, what feels like it should be pretty momentous, kind of fizzles for me. Although I respect that this re-encounter also feels pretty authentic.
For me, Tim Pratt is a name that I will continue to read and there aren’t a lot of authors whose books I will be guaranteed to read.
Looking for a good book? Prison of Sleep by Tim Pratt is the second book in the Journals of Zaxony Delatree series and is an incredibly original scifi concept, well worth reading.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Prison of Sleep
author: Tim Pratt
series: Journals of Zaxony Delatree #2
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 288 pages