Wow. That’s the first word that came to me.
This book was intense. Weird and strangely scientific, and intense.
I had heard a lot of good things about this book but was a bit afraid of getting into it because I knew of the very scientific nature of it. Like string theory, astrophysics, and a whole bunch of the inter-dimensional mumbo jumbo.
I was worried that I wasn’t going to understand or that the science would be too overbearing, ruining the story.
Boy, was I wrong to think that. This book was so good!
Imagine a world where every choice you make, it could be as simple as turning left or right, creates a branch. There is your world, the one where you made your choice (going right for example), but then there is another world that springs to life from it, a world in which you go left. And it is like that for all of the choices for all of the people in the world, a never ending tree sprouting branches.
A place where anything that can happen will happen. And does happen. All at once. In an infinite set of ways.
“It’s terrifying when you consider that every thought we have, every choice we could possibly make, branches off into a new world.”
That is the basis of this story.
The story is also about a man, Jason Dessen, a happily married physics professor, and father, who one day gets kidnapped. The problem, (the one even bigger than getting kidnapped) is that the man who kidnaps him is none other than himself. And the place where this mysterious doppelganger drops him off is in a place not of his world, but rather another dimension in which he is a single, childless scientists who has just discovered a way for multidimensional travel.
From there, as you can imagine, things get weird as Jason, with the help of a woman named Amanda, go through the multiverse, a place with an infinite number of doors, each one leading to a different world, each the result of a different set of choices made, in order to get Jason back to his home dimension with his wife and kid.
Along the way, they see worlds that look like the future, with technical advancements beyond belief. They also see worlds destroyed by warfare and disease and worlds where humankind no longer exists.
And that’s not even the weirdest part, but I will leave it at that for you to find out when you read this book because I highly recommend.
The book is so deep and delves into things that I cannot even explain. And yet, it does a fantastic job of explaining it all. As I mentioned before, I was worried that this book might be too sciency for me, with too many things and concepts that I would not understand. And while yes, it does indeed have many bizarre scientific concepts it also has a way of breaking them down so that anyone can understand. All while not dumbing it down to the point that it assumes its audience is stupid.
Above all that science fiction craziness, one might consider this story a romance. Everything that Jason does, all the worlds that he jumps through and all he endures, he does because he loves his wife and will do anything and everything to get back to her. And not just any version of her, as he encounters many throughout his travels, but his one true wife, the one who made all the choices that made her who she was in his eyes. It’s about finding yourself when yourself changes with every choice you make.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I started reading it back in like April or something and then left it 1/4 through and didn’t pick it till now. I should have just kept reading because it was just so good! I totally recommend!
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