Thursday, October 13, 2022

Today's read... Yesterworld by Rebecca Phelps

Today's read is the 2nd book in a series... and yes! I have read the first book already (you can see that review here). Since that one was such a fun scifi twist around time travel and dimensions, I was excited to see what would happen next. The 2nd book doesn't hit the shelves until beginning December, so there's even time to grab up book one first if you do find yourself curious about this one.

In any case, let's take a peek and see if the series continued nicely...or if I'm going to want to steer away after this.

Down World, #2
by Rebecca Phelps
Wattpad Books
Young Adult Science Fiction
352 pages


In the sequel to Down World, Marina is lured back through the doors by a mysterious man.

“Time after time I come back to this cold brick door. Sealed, as it has been for over a year now, as I know it must remain forever. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself. I know I can never open the door to Yesterday again. I can never have Kieren back. Never talk to Brady about the things we saw under the lake all those months ago. And never tell my brother Robbie how my heart broke every day that he was trapped in the abyss lurking behind those immovable bricks.

Maybe I come to this room the way some people visit gravestones. The three doors are all I have left of my loved ones now. The rough, hard rectangles and their merciless mortar, staring back at me. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.

And me in the waiting room.

To open any of these doors is to open a pathway to death. I know this. And yet, they call to me.”

Eighteen months have passed since Marina O’Connell first discovered the doors, and her life changed forever. She’s a senior now. And she’s living in a plane of reality with her stepmom and her dad, while Robbie and her mom are in Oregon. She and her best friend Christy are making plans for college. They’re crushing on Mr. Martel, the new history teacher. He’s young enough to inspire them to take the subject seriously, but there’s more to him than good looks. He isn’t who he seems, and when he confronts Marina with the secret they both share, she realizes that she can’t, or won’t, turn away from the doors that have been calling out to her for months.



This is the second novel in the Down World series and builds very much off of the events of the first novel, so it isn't a standalone.

Interdimensional travel mixes with time travel and intrigue to create an original and exciting tale.

Coming to terms with the new reality, after her trips through the dimensions to save her brother during the first book, Marina is simply trying to survive her senior year in high school and not mourn the parts of her life that she treasured before they were changed. At least, her brother is now alive. But guilt weighs down as she sees the lives of her friends changed, sometimes, for the worse. When her ex-boyfriend appears in front of the doors, a different version of the one she once knew, her heart breaks more. To add to the problems, the hot, new history teacher possess a key to the doors with an offer he won't let her refuse. Mariana's not sure he isn't working for her evil mom, and every trip seems to make something else worse. But the more often she goes in, the more sinister secrets she uncovers.

After reading the first book in this series, I was curious what would happen with Marina and the dimensions next. The first pages didn't dive right into the action, which was nice since it did give us a chance to see Marina's 'new normal' as she coped with her changed reality. Her unsettled feelings are understandable as she's stuck comparing what she had to what she ended up, especially in respect to the lives of her friends and family. It makes her easy to relate with, and her more risky decisions of entering the doors again sympathetic.

This is, for the most part, a quick-paced read with action and tenser moments, especially when it comes to the 4th door, Down World. The warped, historical twists are interesting and offer a grim outlook on how things might have been. But then, world building is a stronger aspect of these novels, which does make flipping through the dimensions grabbing. While the darker and tense side of the intrigue Marina stumbles on thrusts this tale forward, the more personal, relationship side isn't forgotten. Some characters from the first book do seem a bit left-by-the-wayside, but other ones come out stronger and gain depth. I'm not a huge fan of the various romantic strands, but they aren't completely illogical considering the various timelines. I just wish her head was more in the main game. But romance fans get do get their nice dose of tense scenes on that end, too.

It's a good continuation of the series, and I am hoping Marina isn't done quite yet because it'd be interesting to see where things go next.

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