It’s not really my first as I’ve done reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, but it’s my first on this blog. I thought for a bit on what I wanted my emphasis to be, and then I realized that the book itself had given me my emphasis. It is a Young Adult book, and I have two young adults–my 13 and 15-year-old boys. Since finding things that they will read and enjoy is always a challenge, I like to be proactive in recommending books to them.
Anyway, on to the review. I read the book Be My Enemy (Ian McDonald, Pyr Books, Sept. 2012). It is the second book in the Everness series, but stands very solidly as a story on its own. I was afraid I had missed vital information by starting with the second book, but the author does an excellent job of introducing the characters and saying what’s going on without leaving the reader to wonder what he’s missed.
Here is the book synopsis quoted from Amazon. “Everett Singh has escaped with the Infundibulum from the clutches of Charlotte Villiers and the Order, but at a terrible price. His father is missing, banished to one of the billions of parallel universes of the Panoply of All Worlds, and Everett and the crew of the airship Everness have taken a wild Heisenberg jump to a random parallel plane. Everett is smart and resourceful, and from the refuge of a desolate frozen Earth far beyond the Plenitude, where he and his friends have gone into hiding, he makes plans to rescue his family. But the villainous Charlotte Villiers is one step ahead of him. The action traverses three different parallel Earths: one is a frozen wasteland; one is just like ours, except that the alien Thryn Sentiency has occupied the Moon since 1964, sharing its technology with humankind; and one is the embargoed home of dead London, where the remnants of humanity battle a terrifying nanotechnology run wild. Across these parallel planes of existence, Everett faces terrible choices of morality and power. But he has the love and support of Sen, Captain Anastasia Sixsmyth, and the rest of the crew of Everness as he learns that the deadliest enemy isn’t the Order or the world-devouring nanotech Nahn—it’s himself.”
What attracted me to this book, and what I knew would also attract my children, were the richness of the book’s language, the male protagonist, and the mention of parallel universes. My older son especially is a big fan of science fiction and fantasy and having the male protagonist be close to his own age is an extra bonus. I also liked the glossary at the back of the book which defined the words of the Airish language.
My plan is to go back to the first book in the series, Planesrunner, as I know that will have rich back story that can only help with the understanding of the series, but I can also heartily recommend this book and plan to read the other books of the series going forward. Congratulations to Ian McDonald on a wonderful job!