One girl and her doppelgangers try to stop the end of the world in this YA sci-fi adventure
When Hazel Stanczak was born, an interdimensional rift tore open near her family’s home, which prompted immediate government attention. They soon learned that if Hazel strayed too far, the rift would become volatile and fling things from other dimensions onto their front lawn—or it could swallow up their whole town. As a result, Hazel has never left her small Pennsylvania town, and the government agents garrisoned on her lawn make sure it stays that way. On her sixteenth birthday, though, the rift spins completely out of control. Hazel comes face-to-face with a surprise: a second Hazel. Then another. And another. Three other Hazels from three different dimensions! Now, for the first time, Hazel has to step into the world to learn about her connection to the rift—and how to close it. But is Hazel—even more than one of her—really capable of saving the world?
For the past 16 years, Hazel Stanczak has been tied to the interdimensional rift that materialized on her family's farm in West Asherton, Pa., when she was born, restricting her movements to a mile-and-a-half radius lest the rift spit out anomalies. Under strict government control, she's unable to experience normality. But then the rift " loose" and " away." In its wake, Hazel encounters alternate-dimension "skewed versions" of herself, plus an exasperated dragon named Neven, who says that Hazel has been chosen to save the world, with her other selves as "last-minute support." Now the Hazels must defeat the dangerous forces unleashed by the rift and thwart destiny, since to succeed, a specific Hazel must die. Duyvis (On the Edge of the World) subverts the Chosen One trope, with a hero thoroughly unprepared for her\n burden. Hazel's depiction as an anxious, sheltered protagonist is expanded by the other Hazels' reflections of her personality. One is "gay as Hell," allowing the original Hazel to realize her nascent asexuality, while another, who has endometriosis, represents a real-world alternative. Though the plot and cast feel overstuffed, the story\n offers a provocative, genre-bending look at exploring identity. Ages 12 up.