The Space Between Worlds

A Novel

    • 4.5 • 154 Ratings
    • $13.99
    • $13.99

Publisher Description

NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS’ CHOICE • An outsider who can travel between worlds discovers a secret that threatens the very fabric of the multiverse in this stunning debut, a powerful examination of identity, privilege, and belonging.

WINNER OF THE COMPTON CROOK AWARD • FINALIST FOR THE LOCUS AWARD •Gorgeous writing, mind-bending world-building, razor-sharp social commentary, and a main character who demands your attention—and your allegiance.”—Rob Hart, author of The Warehouse


Multiverse travel is finally possible, but there’s just one catch: No one can visit a world where their counterpart is still alive. Enter Cara, whose parallel selves happen to be exceptionally good at dying—from disease, turf wars, or vendettas they couldn’t outrun. Cara’s life has been cut short on 372 worlds in total.

On this dystopian Earth, however, Cara has survived. Identified as an outlier and therefore a perfect candidate for multiverse travel, Cara is plucked from the dirt of the wastelands. Now what once made her marginalized has finally become an unexpected source of power. She has a nice apartment on the lower levels of the wealthy and walled-off Wiley City. She works—and shamelessly flirts—with her enticing yet aloof handler, Dell, as the two women collect off-world data for the Eldridge Institute. She even occasionally leaves the city to visit her family in the wastes, though she struggles to feel at home in either place. So long as she can keep her head down and avoid trouble, Cara is on a sure path to citizenship and security.

But trouble finds Cara when one of her eight remaining doppelgängers dies under mysterious circumstances, plunging her into a new world with an old secret. What she discovers will connect her past and her future in ways she could have never imagined—and reveal her own role in a plot that endangers not just her world but the entire multiverse.

“Clever characters, surprise twists, plenty of action, and a plot that highlights social and racial inequities in astute prose.”—Library Journal (starred review)

Sci-Fi & Fantasy
August 4
Random House Worlds
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

Hke d ,

I never read but looks cool


Severe Disappoint ,

Close to Home

I doubt there are more than five books that had me hooked from the very first page. This book is certainly an exception to the rule.

A friend recommended The Space Between Worlds, among other titles, after I ranted about there not being enough queer science fiction books. I haven’t gotten to all of them yet, but so far this is the only one that’s kept me entertained.

I like that it’s not a love story. But it is a love story. Maybe between a woman and herself/selves. Maybe between two women. Maybe between a woman and her home. It’s complex. It can be just as much as it can’t be, and that’s really poetic. Almost like an extension of the story.

My favorite part was the social commentary and how it was effortlessly weaved throughout the story. The widespread hunger for power as prevalent and real as this world. As a result, the marginalized suffer in Cara’s worlds too. Well, at least some of them. The worlds that were focal to the story anyway. Many of the problems I torture myself with regularly are the same in this book. The violence and greed. I am blown away by how close it hits to home despite living in a universe of its own. How it can feel so familiar and foreign at the same time. I suppose that’s a testament to the author’s storytelling and writing abilities.

I love the angst Cara battles daily - the inferiority complex, the bite of her ambition, needing to belong somewhere but feeling the impossibility of that, her unrequited love for Dell. Many of these are demons I’ve fought myself. They’re portrayed perfectly throughout this story. It’s beautiful to read, to be an outsider looking in. To see how most of these demons are toothless boogeymen, borne of the darkness inside herself. Inside ourselves.

This book captures the struggle of letting the light in and the irony will not be lost on anyone who reads this brilliant book.

Drjdo2 ,


Story jumped around, characters were too unpredictably different on different worlds (what about genetics?) and why does the character land in the same cities in each universe? Is the Earth really tiny? The ending lacked oomph-felt like ideas ran out-too simple.

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